computing and globalization will have on the American IT Worker. From
my viewpoint Cloud Computing is a benefit to an organization requiring
an entirely new mindset and skill set for any IT Worker. Globalization
is the same; it requires a different view of the world and one not so
American Centric. American IT workers are no different, and as with all
technology, it is time to learn or go find another job.
I am not disparaging American IT workers; I have seen some of the
best IT folks come from all over the planet. The reality is though that
companies have adopted two disruptive technologies that will impact the
American IT worker, and realistically all IT workers worldwide. It is
time to start planning your career around these two disruptive forces,
Globalization and Cloud Computing, if you want to work in technology.
If you understand these two disruptive forces, you will have a job
until the next disruptive force comes through.
Globalization is a benefit to companies and people on an
international scale. Globalization has helped millions get out of
poverty and have a life that is not predicated on the search for food.
For the first time some of these families have a real opportunity to
create a new happier life for them and their children. This is a good
thing. The problem is that American IT workers are equally influenced
by Globalization. Realistically for a company, Globalization has
widened the talent pool of equally marginal employees from local to
international. You can find shoddy employees anywhere; it is the ones
that are continually learning and applying new techniques and
technology that are the real winners in globalization.
The myth that there are no jobs for American workers is just that, a myth. The Talbee report
that is used to determine the gap between CS graduates and job openings
continues to report that there is a significant gap between the number
of graduates and the number of open positions. There is a ton of good
jobs out there if American IT workers keep their skill sets up to date.
Unfortunately, what I have seen in my time as an American IT worker
and a hiring manager is that 90% of everyone who applies to me does not
make it through the initial screening. Of the 10% who do make it
through I might hire just one person who really does know their stuff.
My personal acceptance rate is 1 out of 100 applicants. The biggest
reason is that the skills on the resume do not match what people
actually know when they get to the interview. There is nothing more
frustrating to me to interview a network manager who does not know
about ACL’s, or “experts in programming” that have no clue how to
program a calculator or what a dot net assembly is, or a web programmer
that does not know about crossdomain.xml or an expert in biometrics who
does not know what a cross over error rate is. This is the kind of
stuff that kills me when it comes to interviews, and it is equally
applicable to anyone who interviews with me regardless of nationality.
I have seen people worldwide who will fail an interview with me, mostly
because they are all hype and no skills.
Globalization has not killed the American worker; rather it has
widened the talent pool for excellent workers, and marginal workers.
Unfortunately, there are far more marginal workers out there based on
my experience in trying to hire the right people for what I need to do
in my job. If I could get my hands on good honest folks who meet the
criteria of the job and have demonstrated skills in what I need from
them, I have had 10 positions open for the last year that I still need
filled. The problem is that I run into far too many marginal people who
have not kept their skills up and have no idea what some of the more
advanced and modern skills that I need for my company. The only thing
that Globalization has done for me is open the talent pool for marginal
people on an international basis. That makes it more difficult for
marginal employees because many companies are digging through the stack
of resumes and want high performers who really do know their stuff.
Many IT workers are looking at this and scratching their heads
because it is different. IT workers as much as anyone else will resist
change, and in some organizations will kill change. How many times have
we heard IT and IT Security say “No”? Business has always routed around
roadblocks and an obstruction, meaning that if a section of a company
is not getting the service they want they will go elsewhere including
into the cloud space. Cloud computing is somewhat different from what
we are all used to, but business units and contractors are mainly the
ones in this space right now with many of the companies I have looked
at or worked with. The internal IT shops want nothing to do with it
because it is not on their radar.
Honestly, IT workers who are holding on to their own data centers
and not learning cloud computing are not keeping their skills up to
date. A smart IT worker right now has an Amazon or Azure account and is
working out how to use it, what it can be used for, and is paying the
20 or 30 dollars a month to learn how to operate it. They are doing
this independently of what is happening with their peer group or what
the company is doing. Eventually most of what is in the data center now
will go into the cloud computing space. If you are not working on your
skills now, you will run headlong into Globalization where we have
opened up an international pool of equally marginal employees to choose
from when we go on a hiring spree.
It is not that we have a lack of anything; rather we have a widened
pool of good and bad knowledge workers. This is not something that
happened overnight, we are looking at the products of our school
systems on an international scale. We are also looking at any IT
workers skill sets and how they engage with new technology, new ideas,
and new techniques to make something happen. Change is hard, and many
people resist change, they go to college and they stop. The problem is
that change continues and a hot skill in 2001 like Windows 2000 is
hopelessly out of date, I want to see Windows 2008, Windows 7 on a
resume, not Windows NT. I want to see cloud computing even if it was on
an employee’s own dime because that tells me they are keeping up with
where technology is going. I need to see demonstrated knowledge and
understanding of the technology we are using.
That seems like a lot to ask lately, and it should not be that way.
So rather than whine about the loss of IT jobs, rather than rail on
against globalization, rather than bemoan the loss of a job, go out and
make yourself competitive. Rather than complain, act, go back to
school, and get the skills that employers want, really know your stuff
and become sociable while you are doing it. Take advantage of the
hundreds of free learning systems out there and sites like Coding
Horror, CCCUre.org, and others that help you not only prep for an exam
or new skill but also allow you the opportunity to interact with others
just like you. Whining will not help, but getting out there and
improving yourself, your skills, and doing your best to stay on top of
technology will seriously help your career, regardless of globalization
or cloud computing.
(Cross-posted @ IT Toolbox )