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UK Companies Love IT Workers, Love Not Returned 352

Roblimo writes "'The study, completed in early July, showed that U.K. employees working in the information technology industry are more valued than they think they are,' says a story at ITMJ.com, but it also says, 'According to the results of the survey, only 45% of IT workers feel valued at work, and 70% don't believe that their job reflects their true potential.' Not only that, but 'Seventy-five percent feel discriminated against because of their age; 43% say their bosses think they are too young, and 32% feel too old.' That leaves only 25% who believe they're the right age for their jobs, and only 30% who feel they're working to their true potential. Does this mean U.K. employers need to worry about a mass exodus from the I.T. field, or is this just normal griping?"
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UK Companies Love IT Workers, Love Not Returned

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  • Just Griping. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ckwop ( 707653 ) * <Simon.Johnson@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:51AM (#13220189) Homepage

    Does this mean U.K. employers need to worry about a mass exodus from the I.T. field, or is this just normal griping?

    Griping, as they say: "The grass is always greener on the other side."

    The reality is that often it isn't, people (not just IT workers) fail to see just how good their job is and resign themselves to being miserable about it. I program C# about 50% of the time, do internal user support 10% of the time, reply to emails 10% time (this annoys me), deal with external customer support another 10% of the time. The remaining 20% is probably spent on administration etc.

    I love my job, I love the variety, the sallary is good for my age and my coworkers are motivated but easy enough to get a long with. A think a key failing with IT people is believing you can storm in at 20 and somehow be a senior developer. I have a simple message to people with this attitude: you're not a genius, get over yourself; this trade takes a long time to learn. Just because you hacked together a perl script to do something useful on your private linux box doesn't make you a seasoned professional. Building professional code takes as much experience as it does intelligence.

    Serve your apprenticeship get the experience and become a better coder. Don't be arrogant towards your superiors because believe it or not most of the time they deserve to be there. Remember, your time will come and for the moment there is a lot of wisdom in just be content with what you have: A brilliant job where you can be creative and intelligent.

    Simon.

    • Re:Just Griping. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @05:18AM (#13220246)

      A think a key failing with IT people is believing you can storm in at 20 and somehow be a senior developer.

      No, I think a key failing in the IT field is the application of double-standards.

      For example, one job I had in my early twenties, I was relatively inexperienced. I'd had a lot of "hobby experience" and only one proper job on my CV (a company that ceased trading, so it looked pretty suspect).

      Naturally, I was taken on in this new job as a "junior developer". What I wasn't told was that 75% of the development team had handed their notice in, including basically everybody who was capable of doing what it is I was taken on to do.

      Within a few months, I was basically doing the job of this 75%. I was barely keeping up with the work (a lot of putting out fires), but the owner of the firm wasn't willing to hire anybody with experience - or, for that matter, anybody who could actually code.

      See, I was desperately unhappy at that job, for various reasons. The main one, though was that I was treated as the junior developer for the purposes of salary, and my opinion on things was taken as seriously as a junior developers would be, but when it came to responsibility or workload, I was treated as some kind of hero programmer who could fix everything.

      The owner wanted it both ways - a cheap junior programmer he could ignore, and a skilled programmer who could do the work of many. While I can't say for sure that this sort of attitude is widespread, it certainly looks that way to me. So don't be so quick to assume that it's an inflated ego that causes young people to think they can do a lot - maybe it's just that they are actually doing a lot, and just not being treated accordingly.

      • I am seeing this as well in some IT contracts that are out there. They are labeling jobs as "junior" but the skill set for the job is somewhat more advanced. Plus jobs that start out as junior usually end up taking on more responsible work (which is good but only when you get paid at the same level as the responsibility) and the job role changes.
        • Re:Just Griping. (Score:3, Informative)

          by Phisbut ( 761268 )
          They are labeling jobs as "junior" but the skill set for the job is somewhat more advanced.

          That is so true. When I got out of college with my software engineering degree, looking for "junior" jobs (knowing that I shouldn't aim for intermediate and senior positions anyway), I found a whole lot of openings with descriptions like "Junior progrogrammer position, requires 5 years of experience in C# as well as 3 years of database management experience". A whole lot of companies expect people to come out of col

          • laf, that's just great - In a similar vein, in about 2000 or so, I saw someone who was looking for 7 years of Java experience. I tried to explain to them that they are pretty much looking for Gosling himself, but they were sure that they'd find him. Given a few years of looking, I'm sure they found him. :)

            I think the major problems with IT staff and corporations are:

            a) they often lump anyone having anything to do with computers into one blanket term "IT"
            b) they see this staff as a "cost center" and a
      • See, I was desperately unhappy at that job, for various reasons. The main one, though was that I was treated as the junior developer for the purposes of salary, and my opinion on things was taken as seriously as a junior developers would be, but when it came to responsibility or workload, I was treated as some kind of hero programmer who could fix everything.

        Welcome to the real world. This has nothing at all to do with IT, all industries are like this. I guessed the problem is that when you come in to these
      • Responsabilities too much? Salary too low? Working overtime?

        Simple solution: don't. If they don't pay you enough to work more than 8 hours, don't work more than 8 hours. Even if that means the software won't make release date. Your job is to code. Making sure the software works and is released on time is your boss's job.
      • This is what most people (especially those without degrees) go through to get their first programming job. It's par for the course - it's only stupid if you stay at such a job for 1 day longer than you have to (like I did). Accept the crap job as the first hurdle, pad your resume, and look for the first job with a real company as the follow-on to the first job in the field.

        After 2 years full-time programming work, you should be looking for a "journeyman" job - one that has to deal with lots of legacy code
        • ...and what comes after the "journeyman" job? And after that?
          • The point of the "journeyman" job (or jobs) is to find the right environment in which to master the trade. This takes many years, but eventually (I'd guess about 5 years past the "apprentice" job for most bright coders) you get to the point where you know how to solve all the problems in your field well, and you have at least some feedback on how your favorite solutions actually work in practice.

            Beyond that point, your skills are only going to grow in depth by seeing the true results in the field and maint
    • I've been working at my job doing verification work for about 5 years. I generally feel like I'm doing the same job I was doing 5 yeas ago without any real change or growth.

      But today I had one of our new hires come in and ask a few questions about solutions that are pretty much daily routine - obvious - to me now. And I realized that 5 years ago, I had to ask very similar questions. Since then, I had become the expert. And thinking about it, there are a lot of job proficiencies and responsibilities I've
      • I'm not trying to rain on your parade, I swear. However, there's a joke I've heard that applies equally well to any white collar job as it does to IT work:

        Q: What's the technical term for an employee whose skills and responsibilites increase significantly, but without a proportionate increase in salary?
        A: Schmuck.

        Without going too much into detail, the same thing is happening right now to my wife. She was brought in at a very late stage (just before user acceptance testing) on a software project that has be
        • She's also a woman, which doesn't help.

          I worked as a DBA after I left school. On of the more experienced DBAs that I worked with an experienced DBA who was on-call 24x7 and was one of the only operations people who knew how the massive application that we administered worked inside and out.

          Her pay in 2000? $27k after five years.

          I was making nearly $50 as a clueless newbie two weeks out of school because I negotiated.
        • It's very rare that you can actually move up within a company proportional to your growth in skills. The worst mistake I've made in my life is staying with my first employer in the field for 5 years (abusive sons of bitches, too). It's always worth shopping around every year or two. You'll either find something better, or become disabused of your notion that you're worth more than you're paid. Either way leads to more satisfaction, in my experience.
        • ... is start looking for another job. Once she gets any kind of offer, she should tell the current outfit she's leaving unless she gets $X increase in salary. If she's really seen as critical to the success of the project, they'll cough up.

          Sean
        • I find it rare to get a significant jump in salary without leaving a company and going to another. Sure, there's often a small (10%) yearly increase, but if you want any significant improvement in terms and conditions, the best thing seems to be to shop around. It sucks from a loyalty perspective, but then again, where does their loyalty lie?
    • Re:Just Griping. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Tet ( 2721 )
      The reality is that often it isn't, people (not just IT workers) fail to see just how good their job is and resign themselves to being miserable about it.

      I'm not convinced about this. I've worked in many companies where IT staff are treated visibly worse than those in other roles. The only exception is remuneration -- we're paid better than those in other areas. But this in itself leads to problems. Many companies see IT as a huge drain on their pockets, and resent us for it. The biggest problem, though,

      • But this in itself leads to problems. Many companies see IT as a huge drain on their pockets, and resent us for it.

        And yet, according to the surveys in TFA, this is mostly wrong. Most IT workers are support - they don't directly make or sell the product - and so *of course* they're a cost to be minimized. This doesn't mean that employers have a sore spot for IT vs, for example, facilities expenses. Nothing is hated more than facilities costs when you're stuck with a bad lease! How many companies actuall
    • I think a key failing with IT people is believing you can storm in at 20 and somehow be a senior developer. I have a simple message to people with this attitude: you're not a genius, get over yourself; this trade takes a long time to learn.

      Ok, so I am 30 now, I am senior developer and still feel like being discriminated against for being too young. I had since my 11 to learn about this trade and I am darn good at it and yeah, my IQ is way above the top half percentile line required by the definition of th

      • Ok, so I am 30 now, I am senior developer and still feel like being discriminated against for being too young. I had since my 11 to learn about this trade and I am darn good at it and yeah, my IQ is way above the top half percentile line required by the definition of the term genius.

        There are tricks for appearing older (eg, grow a beard, act more mature, dress better, add a little grey to hair, etc). Ie, act and appear older, and people will treat you that way. These usually solve this sort of problem.

        • There are tricks for appearing older (eg, grow a beard
          That didn't work for Guybrush, the bartender would not give him any grog without an ID card.

          *ducks*
        • There are tricks for appearing older (eg, grow a beard, act more mature, dress better, add a little grey to hair, etc). Ie, act and appear older, and people will treat you that way. These usually solve this sort of problem.

          Or go bald. Balding men usually seem a bit older than they are - which can be an advantage when dealing with others.

    • Re:Just Griping. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by TapeCutter ( 624760 )
      Excellent FP! I spent 15 years "digging ditches" before spending another 15 yrs "sipping lattes". I have never written a pearl script but I appreciate the knowlage that my proven ability to "work it out" enables me to swap one well paid job for another whenever I feel like it.

      The very first thing that spun me out about "office" bosses as compared to a "dirt" boss was that they said "please" and "thank-you". The idea that a boss would let you manage your time without a clock card was also a new experience
    • A bit of context: I've been coding professionally since 1984, hacking C, C++, perl and various dialects of shell.

      Most of that time has been as a contractor. That distorts the workplace experience a little, but it also means I've seen a lot of different companies and how they treat their personel. I'm quite content in my current role, but I think I've seen both ends of the spectrum over that time.

      Increasingly over that period, some environemts have come to see IT staff as a necessary evil. One CEO of a s

      • If you're IT staff but don't make the product, then you can expect to be treated as a cost to be managed - since you are. If you're an engineer designing the product in *any* field and you're treated like a cost to be managed, it's a real good sign that there's a better company out there looking for you!
    • Re:Just Griping. (Score:2, Insightful)

      No, I don't buy that. I've worked in an IT (developer/analyst) role in a number of companies, and they've pretty much all treated their IT staff badly in comparison with other groups. Systemic problems common to all have been:

      - a complete lack of knowledge or interest in how they do their job; or, more pertinently how long it takes to do things
      - repeated promises by people in charge to get jobs done far quicker than they can actually be done, leading to horrendous crunch periods
      - an assumption that anyone i
      • There are a lot of folks out there that aren't cut out to be IT workers, too. This probably comes from the mid-90s boom when people saw money as a good reason to get into IT.

        When you present those people with the same problems you describe, the money is no longer attractive. Especially in a post-bubble economy where the paychecks are half of what they used to be (or less!).

        A quick note on your last "problem":

        While coders aren't usually hand-picked for management, the Peter Principle [wikipedia.org] is still in effect. Many
      • If you want to make management money as a coder, you either have to work for an engineering company large enough that is has a technical career track (there are few such companies, but they are ususally huge companies, so there's a fair number of total jobs), or take a chance on a startup and hope that pays off.

        If you're not yet a master of your trade (which means at least 5 years real full-time experience, even if you're brilliant, and probably 8 years for most who think they're brilliant), you're not work
    • The reality is a bit more complex than that "oh, they'd be griping anyway" over-simplification. A lot of working places really _are_ bad at showing any appreciation, if they actually appreciate their employees.

      Yes, the trade takes a long time to learn, and I can certainly realize that after over 20 years of programming computers. But that also means enough time to see such "employee appreciation" as:

      - control-freak PHB's.

      True story: I've worked a couple of years for someone who genuinely thought that he nee
      • True story: we had to make a nazi time-keeping program for another company. Think popping up every few minutes to ask you if you still work on the project. And if within 1 minute you didn't click on "Yes" (e.g., because you needed to go talk to another co-worker about that very project), it would close the project and mark you as idle.

        I love it when people try shit like this with programmers. Thank Goddess for GUI automation tools! But mostly it's a helpful sign that you're not working for a good company,
    • Don't be arrogant towards your superiors because believe it or not most of the time they deserve to be there.

      In my experience, most IT managers couldn't find their ass with both hands and a hunting dog.
  • by aixou ( 756713 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:55AM (#13220195)
    37% of U.K. workers don't feel they belong to any statistical demographic.
  • by Afecks ( 899057 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:55AM (#13220196)
    70% don't believe that their job reflects their true potential

    I'm not surprised. I don't think anyone wants to imagine "Help Desk II" being the maximum of their potential.
    • Sadly, this is the best level that some will achieve. Not because the market is bad, or they are being unfairly discriminated against, but because they truly don't have the skills/discipline/abilities/whatever to become a senior developer. Then again, there are many other options besides developmemt. Working in a developer role is a very narrow definition of being an IT professional. There are multitudes of other roles to aim for, second and third tier support being some. There's people who specialise
    • Actually that means that close to 30% are under qualified. I have a BS degree in Computer Science with focuses on Parallel Processing and Interprocess Communication. And what do I do PHP scripts and VB code. My job which requires a 4 year degree at least is the job that a 2 year degree person can do. The stuff that requires a Masters degree is the stuff that I can do and be close to showing my potential. The stuff that the PhDs are doing are things that Master Students could do just as easily (I could
      • My job which requires a 4 year degree at least is the job that a 2 year degree person can do. The stuff that requires a Masters degree is the stuff that I can do and be close to showing my potential. The stuff that the PhDs are doing are things that Master Students could do just as easily (I could even argue a 4 year degree person can do some of the work)

        I suspect this may be the same in every field. Personally, I'm a chemist, and the same situation applies. To get a job doing what you learned in a two-year
        • This is because no one actually learns anything useful when they "learn the material" (especially something as memeorize-and-regurgitate intensive as orgo!), but actually use that material for a couple years when studying something else, and it's a different story.
    • Jokes aside, Help Desk is probably the toughest IT assignment. Any dork can hack some perl, it's hard to solve someones problem on the phone. It's totally unrewarding, and a job that pays dick, but it's in my opinion harder than anything else IT people do.

      Also probably the one that qualifies people for management the best. If you can keep your temper when dealing with the dumbest of dumb on the phone, you're probably ready to politic with your peers successfully. Sadly, that's about all that qualifies peopl
  • by BitwizeGHC ( 145393 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @04:57AM (#13220203) Homepage
    Of course it's just normal griping by the expected percentage of always-disgruntled employees. We here at Yoyodyne value our employees, and try to create a flexible work environment that enables them to be more productive with less stress.

    Now quit posting to Slashdot and get back to work. You've got a deadline coming up and it looks like you'll be working an 80-hour week to catch up. I suggest you get busy.
    • ROFL!

      Actually I think the biggest problem is the lack of "pat on the back", alot of IT folks end up doing alot of jim'l'fixit's and it becomes an expectation. I personally don't think I am underpaid but sometimes a hoot of "you da man" would do miracles for my smiling...yes, we have egos, yes they need stroking..
      • I second this: a pat on the back would go a long way. It's human nature to focus on problems and neglect things that are going well. I know I feel insecure all year long only to get a positive review when my anniversary arrives.

        Quarterly mini-reviews might be nice. Nothing involving a salary adjustment, just a systematic plan for having a private chat with your boss.
  • 90% percent of all news is a PR stunt.

    what those statistics intend to tell [1], apart from taking valuable space in front news?

    [1] they can't, because it's statistics
  • I used to work developing software for a global telecommunications test equipment manufacturer. The job was well paid, with good team working, and interesting challenges. The problem was that our managers (or one in particular, you know the story) was obsessed with components and re-use. On the face of it, the drive for re-use made sense, but in practical terms, made the lives of most of the developers difficult, since we were expected to develop software and firmware components that could be re-used on oth
    • You come off really well in this story...
  • I predict an immediate exit of qualified people from the IT industry in favor of more fullfilling careers like chip frying, garbage hauling, and TV/VCR repair.
    • In previous employment, One of my colleagues left software to be a meat porter (for more money) and another to become a carpenter (he wanted to do something tangible). A third (different company) became a farmer "I'm fed up with nanoseconds, I dont want to worry about any unit of time smaller than a season".

      Personally, I would love the money that other people who have studied for similar amounts of time get (Doctors, lawyers, etc) and I'd also love to be bullied less (You can't have your holiday now! Wait t

    • TV/VCR repair is in danger of becoming extinct, because manufacturing new units tends to be cheaper than repairing. Otherwise, I might be tempted...
      • TV/VCR repair is in danger of becoming extinct

        I wouldn't even waste my time considering learning VCR repair; you can pick up a new VCR for less than what any reasonable repair person would have to charge to fix the majority of faults.

        Additionally, they'll be dead for pretty much any purpose in the next couple of years, as DVD recorders and PVRs (*especially* PVRs) take over.

        In short, utterly pointless business to consider even working in; doubly stupid if you have to learn the skills first.

        TVs may
  • I work for the Dutch branch of a British company.
    I see these problems in all our departments, not just IT.
    And it has come to us in The Netherlands through an imported British manager.

    Continental Europe has historicaly concidered worker participation as important, the UK fights this concept tooth and nail.

    The feeling that you belong to the company and that your opinion is valued is an important factor for employee satisfaction and the company will prosper bacause of it.

    • Okay, so this study was done in the UK. But the UK has (largely) adopted the USA's management style. Which is to say, those domestic IT jobs that have not already been offshore outsourced, or (IMHO even worse) filled by imported foreigners at lower wage and benefit level, face increased pressure to "do more with less" -- more hours and expanded job functions with less staffing and resources and wages.

      Many of the USA's IT workers feel "unrequited love" for the work they do -- where IS the love?
      No doubt, ma
  • Seventy-five percent feel discriminated against because of their age
    43% say their bosses think they are too young, and 32% feel too old.

    Anyone else see hypocrisy there? The age of your boss is irrelevant so long as (s)he is competent.

    • I'm curious as to what people think is "too old" for IT? I'd say that there could easily be problems where someone refuses to keep abreast of newer technology, but for someone who finds this an interesting challenge, how old is too old?
  • by Neo-Rio-101 ( 700494 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @05:30AM (#13220269)
    I want to feel valued by having a wage increase. I don't care much for the smiles and congratulations.... they're few and far between anyway, and then what are they going to say? "Thank you for keeping the network up, like it should be anyway"?

    As far as I'm concerned, nobody knows I exist until the network goes down - then they all start to care.

    I don't mind. I just want the cold hard cash anyhow.

    • You don't think that is an unfulfilling attitude?

      Is your life's end-goal really money? Or do you want money so you can spend more time with your family? Or what?

      If it is in any way people-oriented, why can't that include people at work?

      Obviously we need money to pay the bills and to live, but what's money if it isn't to free you so you can enjoy the truly pleasureable things in life? Just seems like an odd priority.
    • I guess I'm lucky then - my employers pay well and treat the programming/systems staff with the same (high) level of respect as the non-technical employees. There's no out-sourcing, no contractors, no PHBs, no pointless HR rules and a completely casual work place.

      The trick is to avoid software houses and consultancies. Writing in-house software is much more rewarding (in all senses of the term) and much less stressful. I've also found the standards are much higher with in-house coders which makes my own wor

  • IMHO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by m00nun1t ( 588082 )
    In my opinion, IT workers generally have an over inflated view of their own importance. They serve a business function that helps the organisation run, same as personnel, finance, facilities, etc. So many IT folk think they are the company. The guys who bring in the money and make the actual product are the ones that count, the person maintaining the mail server is no more or less important than the person who makes sure the air conditioner is working correctly.
    • Re:IMHO (Score:3, Informative)

      by malkavian ( 9512 )
      Interesting viewpoint.
      The difference between the chap keeping the air conditioning working, and the guy who keeps the servers running is that when the air con fails, people open the windows to the street to let air in, and feel hot and bothered.
      When the servers go down, the people who bring in the money suddenly can't contact by email the people they need to talk to, to get money in.
      The secretaries can't produce documentation, or access their calendars. Meetings fall off the face of the earth. Important m
    • The parent is wrong on so many levels.

      As an experiment, try rebooting your servers at 3pm and see what happens. Every, and I mean every department will decend on you like a ton of bricks because like it or not, IT is now the core of most businesses and not a service. Cripple the Finance departments software for a while and suppliers and employees don't get paid, cripple the order department for a day and everyone's schedules get set back.

      A companies network is infrastructure in the same way that a road netw
      • Cripple the Finance departments software for a while and suppliers and employees don't get paid

        As an experiment, try not paying your suppliers... No, wait, don't, as someone's already tried it [bbc.co.uk] this week. You lack an understanding of the true significance of other corporate support functions. Cripple the Finance function and your company dies on its arse *very* quickly. Actually, Red Letter Days was also killed because not paying suppliers got into the national media over the weekend. Company was dead wi

        • You're missing an important distinction. They didnt have servers fail and not be able to pay bills for one day. They slowly went bankrupt until the day arrived that they could no longer pay their bills.
      • Here you cripple one system, and everyone just uses pen and paper. Employees get paid, orders get taken, processed, and shipped, parts get purchased, etc. I swear, it's like they all know how to do their own jobs or something.

        That said, it would cause some serious anger and frustration if I rebooted the servers at 3pm. Maybe they'd decide to hire a real IT guy and let me focus on development.
    • "..the person maintaining the mail server is no more or less important than the person who makes sure the air conditioner is working correctly"

      The responsibility for maintaining the "mail server" rests with the CIO who normally sits on the board of directors.
      OTOH: The AC is usually the landlord's concern.
    • You might find it interesting that as an IT guy, I'm the one responsible for maintaining the server which tells the A/C repair guy when an A/C unit is failing.

      We have an automated system across 6 buildings which communicates to a server all of the relevant information on how well the A/C units are functioning.

      If that server goes down, suddenly the "person who makes sure the air conditioner is working correctly" can't do his job properly, and we would need to hire 2 more people to make up for the additional
    • Accepting the obvious fact that IT was created as a method for increasing productivity, and has evolved into a conduit for providing customers services, sales (websales anyways) and a good portion of customer service (telephony.)

      Without Phones (voip/pbx), email (presales/sales), digital documents (fileservers), and the network to run these things for users all of a sudden business grinds to a halt.

      Unless you're running POTS/Typewriters/filecabinets instead of modern solutions you're going to have time re-ad
  • Does this mean U.K. employers need to worry about a mass exodus from the I.T. field, or is this just normal griping?"

    I dunno... It's impossible to tell without CONTROL GROUPS, which is why research based upon the principles of the scientific method has them.
  • Complaining is a national passtime in Britain. Everyone complains; it's expected of you. So these stats actually point out that IT wokers are happy, relative to the general population.
  • The rest is griping: a combination of a lack of social skill, lack of understanding of their place in the world, and fantasies about being the IT hero and changing the world.
    • You forgot the 'give clear specifications for the work to be carried out'.
      I've seen so many managers give 'specifications of a system', with a straight face, as a series of wireframe drawings of the user interface, with no mention of data inputs, outputs, movement, translation or any other thing it's required to do.

      As for fantasies about being the IT hero.. Each time you recover someone's data, roll back a mistake they made, or otherwise sort out a problem, you change a little bit of the world each time.
  • I think it's fair to say that 100% of poms are upset about the recent Ashes result.
    • Those of us in Scotland (ie in the UK but not English) are rather happy about the recent Ashes result, supporting as we do anyone playing against the Sassenachs.

      Not sure if your definition of 'poms' includes all of UK or just England...
  • love? or despise..? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Cederic ( 9623 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @07:21AM (#13220456) Journal

    I can confirm that my company clearly does not love IT workers.

    Take a look at the obvious measure any company uses: Cost.

    IT is a cost centre. We're seen as an expense. The business resents the expense.

    Ignore the way that the technology we recommend and implement now generates a significant percentage of our sales (over the web), how better telephone systems (including VRU) mean greatly reduced call centre cost, how the business would collapse if we switched off any of the 140+ systems essential to our daily operations.

    We're kept out of decision making. Our director isn't directly on the board, he reports to another board member - who also owns finance and HR.

    We're treated like second-class citizens. Shiny new building goes up; IT get shoved into the old building.

    The business want shiny new features - on the websites (we have dozens), in the call centres, in our retail estate. So they go out and buy expensive systems, make deals for software, agree hosting - and then blame IT when things don't work together, when we have massive duplication of functionality and capability, when vendor lock-in causes excessive cost. So much for using the experience and expertise of the IT professionals that would have stopped them making those mistakes.

    On top of all that, they decided to outsource all our development to India. Current status of outsourcing:
    Development costs : Higher
    Delivery timescales : Longer
    Quality of deliverables : Lower
    Customer (i.e. internal customers) satisfaction : Lower

    The last thing that hurts is that the internal politics here are the worse I've ever seen. Different departments actively try to make the others look bad, and IT systems often become the battleground. Result? Continual derision of the IT systems we put in place to their specs.

    Yet despite this, my team is very capable, very loyal, we are well paid compared to other people in the company (but don't quite reach average levels for the IT industry) and we continually push, recommend, innovate and strive to improve the business, the IT systems and processes supporting it, all while keeping costs down.

    If it wasn't for the great CV fodder I'm picking up I'd personally have walked out a long time ago. This company doesn't love its IT people, and its IT people definitely don't love it.

  • You only know if you are loved based on how the lover treats you. A lot of times, I know I was 'valued' by the company highly. But the treatment I received indicated that management valued me as an asset, not as an entire person. I was valued, but many qualities I consider integral to my sense of self were viewed as 'inconvenient', and 'obstacles to my advancement'. This is a very mixed message. It doesn't say, "we love you", it says, "we -would- love you if you were a little different; all you need to do i
  • Particularly, we need similar statistics on other industries in the UK, and similar statistics on IT companies in other countries. You could come up with several reasons, such as IT employees tend to be more jaded than other types, or that UKers tend to be more cynical. However, one couldn't possibly make that comparison without the right figures for the comparison. Without that, these are just random figures the media put into a story to stir up attention and hits to the site.

    Then again, what story with
  • It is rare to find a job, in any country, where management vocalizes their appreciation of the work IT professionals do. Of course, bonuses, awards, etc help too! Management may say they value their IT employees to a reporter, but how often do they say it to the employees themselves?

    After being laid off in 2001 (shortly after 9/11), I spent the next three years looking for a position that could use my skills, where I'd learn new skills, and where they'd appreciate my effort. After trying jobs where I was
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Tuesday August 02, 2005 @08:45AM (#13220741) Homepage Journal
    You are a cog, a part, a line in the overhead, like lights and rent and shrinkage. You should be grateful you have a job because we are thinking of shipping your job off to the place that had a thousand people drown in the monsoon flooding last week.
  • U.K. employees working in the information technology industry are more valued than they think they are,

    I think this is reflective of some general truths about IT workers. We are primarily computer people. Generally the political side is at best a secondary skill and more often a deficient skill. As such, we are less adept than those in other sectors at negotiating and getting the maximum compensation that is warranted by the amount of wealth we generate for our companies. The profit maximizing solution fro

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