Most people who know me know that Im pretty passionate about IT. I love the opportunities, the intellectual challenge, the way IT fits into the real world. And it pays pretty well.
So, Im always talking about the benefits of IT, particularly to students. I really believe, on average, its about the best job there is.
Scene setting finished. Yesterday, I and my team had an meeting with some representatives from an unnamed government IT department. Which basically turned into a job-interview because my current contract is ending (Yay!). The representatives started talking about the project and the role.
Enterprise Service Bus, XML, vendor component stack, SOA arghhhhh! Every word they said sounded like another log on the fire of eternal IT soul-destroying damnation. I felt my rose-tinted view of IT projects shatter like an old CRT monitor thrown out of a 10th story window. Most roles have some redeeming features, but this one…? This one was…
So what do I say now, when Im trying to encourage someone into IT? How do I look them in the eye, knowing what might await them if they take the wrong turn, sign the wrong piece of paper? If these were the roles that were awaiting them, I would do everything I could to encourage them somewhere else, into medicine or accounting or professional sports or anything.
this is not IT!!!
IT is innovation and change and learning new things constantly. Its playing with the biggest and most complicated set of lego you ever did see. Its making things of beauty that change peoples lives. Its games and AI and cool algorithms. Its people and passion, and money. Its the way to change the world. Neither Bill, or Larry or Sergey, David or Jerry, no-one, no-one NO-ONE, got into IT to work on vendor component stacks.
It is not Enterprise Service Busses, and XML hell. And vendor component stacks. Maybe there should be something, like the Hippocratic oath for IT students, that says “I solemnly promise to never ever work with vendor component stacks or Enterprise Service Busses in my IT career”, that all IT students have to swear.
How do we show that IT is cool? and exciting? and the best job around? Is it any wonder that the number of IT graduates are falling everywhere (except maybe India?!). We (the industry) have to be offering more than this.