Friday, March 14, 2008


The Scramble for IT Talent - Where is the Disconnect?

The Agile Elephant wrote an interesting blog on The Scramble for IT Talent that is worthy of examination...

One needs to ask themselves why there is so much focus on hiring college graduates. I bet if you did some homework on all the folks that are retiring out of IT, the vast majority of them didn't have any degree when they entered the profession! Employers sent their employees to trade schools. I remember all the commercials on TV that if you attended the Computer Processing Institute, you could become an IT professional and all you had to do is take an aptitude test. I think we have placed requirements on our profession that aren't necessarily back-testable.

Haven't you heard of governance? Do you know what happens if you hire a resource proactively? At some level, I do agree with the practice in that the masses are coasting in their careers and using this approach is somewhat of a hedge to avoid the risk of hiring someone who won't grow into new opportunities. What is back-testable is all those old dinosaur COBOL programmers who couldn't learn client/server or even modern web development.

When will folks acknowledge that top talent wants to work not just in a good environment, but also with other top talent? Jordan, if you had a choice of working with two firms, all other things being equal. Would you choose to work with the one that all development occurs by folks down the hall or the one that outsources to India? Do you think that top talent wants to work with otherwise junior folks in India where they aren't even allowed to have a conversation with them due to their American liaison who as a so-called best practice insulates them? Regardless of what you think about the economics of outsourcing, the quality or lack of produced offshore, we must at least acknowledge that Indian outsourcing disables many conversations from occurring. If folks are going to work in a mentally unstimulating environment, then extreme pay becomes the crack of the minute and retaining folks for the long-term becomes elusive...

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