Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Links and Resources: November 18th, 2008

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists. -- Eric Hoffer
  • Opps, maybe IT isn't as recession-proof as columnist were predicting (that bubble burst quick). Over at ZDNet "Tech workforce pinched by economy, feeling like 2003" gives the bad numbers for layoffs in the tech sector, especially for telecom, electronics and computer industries.
  • However, there is still hope for other parts of the profession. Michelle Singletary picked "150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs" for her Color of Money Book Club (Everett Herald Nov. 2nd). #1 on their list was computer systems analyst. #5 was post-secondary teacher. Mrs. Advisory Bored, who teaches computer systems analysis at a community college, was rather smug the remainder of the day.
  • Computerworld's 2008 Salary Survey seems to indicate that "The hottest IT skills survive a cool economy". The survey tells us that businesses need to get the most of the technology they already have. Web developers, network administrators and information security managers stand to do well regardless of the economy.
  • At the most recent Everett SD technology advisory committee we briefly touched on the issue of the under-representation of certain demographic groups in IT. In the article "Making a Case for Diversity in STEM Fields" the authors argue that the lack of diversity isn't merely an unfortunately civil rights issue, but, given the importance of STEM, has significant implications for our economy and future. The article is hosted at MentorNet, an eMentoring site for science and technology fields (more here).
  • eSchool News reports that the "Nations first tech-literacy test" will be included in the Nation's Report Card starting in 2012. (I assume they mean information technology, because a stapler is technology and we don't need a test on it.) A contract was awarded to develop the framework for the assessment, but there is plenty left unresolved. They don't even know which grade-level will be tested.
  • And let us conclude with something fun. Paul over at the Last Great Road Trip sent me a link to Oblong Industries. Oblong makes g-spatial, a spatial operating environment. Watch the video.


Hula Betty said...

Darwin got it right.

I lived (and worked) through Y2K (and contractor wasteland that followed), .com implosion and the outsourcing of everything to India. Through it all I watched history repeat itself.

In many cases prior to the tech corrections, companies hired guys (gender neutral non-specific use) just because they had empty cubes and needed the dudes. Guys who previously sold $300 eye wear at the Sunglass Hut all of a sudden pitched themselves as computer analysts, web developers, project managers or architect of viral media technology.

Why then is everyone surprised when bad business models result in layoffs across the board culling tech sector posers who too often believe their own press. Sure in the short run the baby, bath water, and even the tub get thrown out, but over the turmoil of last 20 years, the good ones, who consider Tech their craft to be mastered, have landed on their feet. And will again.

This blip will pass. There will be a need for more tech guys than ever before. The ones who work their craft, continually learn and put in their time in the trenches will find tech to at least be recession resistant.

To succeed in tech you must continually learn new technology, improve your analytical skills, strengthen business acumen and build a broad social network. It won't stop a fall but in the lean times, these skill will soften the landing.

Or... I hear circus geeks are the recession proof. Maybe that should be my fall back.