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IT

Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials? 405

dcblogs writes: A survey of IT professionals that has been conducted in each of the last four years is showing an increase in IT work stress levels. It's a small survey, just over 200 IT workers, and it doesn't account for the age of the respondents. But some are asking whether Millennials, those ages 18 to 34, are pushing up stress levels either as IT workers or end users. The reason Millennials may be less able to handle stress is that they interact with others in person far less than other generations do, since most of their social interactions have been through Internet-based, arms-length contact, said Billie Blair, who holds a doctorate in organizational psychology. This generation has also been protected from many real-life situations by their parents, "so the workplace tends to be more stressful for them than for others," she said. Others are wondering if Millennials are more demanding of IT workers. Millennials are also expert users, and "are no longer in awe of technology specialists and therefore demand higher service levels," said Mitch Ellis, managing director of executive search firm Sanford Rose Associates in St. Louis.
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Is IT Work Getting More Stressful, Or Is It the Millennials?

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  • sampling bias (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sadsfae ( 242195 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:13PM (#49650463) Homepage

    Lots of conclusions drawn from a very small sampling size, there may be some truth to these generalizations but I'd prefer to see more data.

    • Re:sampling bias (Score:5, Insightful)

      by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:18PM (#49650495)

      When it comes to older generations thinking younger generations are whiney, lazy, idiots sample size doesn't matter.

      Old people almost always think that. I am not sure if it is a product of getting old, jealousy of the young, or what.

      But you can read newspapers from 100 years ago that had the same articles in them.

      • Re:sampling bias (Score:5, Informative)

        by odie5533 ( 989896 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:29PM (#49650555)

        The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.
        -- Socrates (470 BC – 399 BC)

        • Re:sampling bias (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:49PM (#49650645)

          Bad example, this was written just before the collapse of the Athenian empire, so the guy had a point. Socrates himself was tried and executed by the invading forces.

          • The point being made here is that there is nothing new under the sun. People pissing and moaning about *how times have changed* are full of it. Nothing has 'changed' except the pace of events.

            • It is just as much of a logical fallacy to use past examples of times not changing as proof that times are not changing now. If someone cries wolf, past cryings of wolf do not change the probability that there is a wolf.

              • by Kjella ( 173770 )

                It is just as much of a logical fallacy to use past examples of times not changing as proof that times are not changing now. If someone cries wolf, past cryings of wolf do not change the probability that there is a wolf.

                But it does mean that people moaning about today's youth is a useless indicator, like a broken clock is right twice a day. In fact that's giving it more credit than it deserves because it implies a situation we know is true once in a while. I can cry out about unicorns every day, it doesn't change the probability that there really is a unicorns. Mostly because there's no proof that unicorns exist at all. Has there ever really been a generation that's been so much terribly worse than the last?

            • by drnb ( 2434720 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @11:25PM (#49651765)

              The point being made here is that there is nothing new under the sun. People pissing and moaning about *how times have changed* are full of it. Nothing has 'changed' except the pace of events.

              You are having a forest and trees moment. Yes nothing changes, but the point is that when a society gets to the point that self-indulgence *greatly* exceeds a sense of duty and obligation to society then that society falls. Things sometimes change for the worse. And certain behaviors are a recurring theme prior to such changes.

              I'm not saying we are there. For example many of those of the current generation who went into the military got past the coddling and fake trophies and perform as well as any other generation. And some have faced the hard realities of the present and learned to deal with it, getting past their upbringing. Maybe its more a matter of the current generation needing more time to adjust to reality since they were kept farther away from it.

          • by khallow ( 566160 )
            No, he didn't have a point (nor did he actually say that [quoteinvestigator.com]). But why would you expect well behaved children in a situation where they're expecting to fight and possibly die in an incompetently run, losing conflict? Let us keep in mind that just before the collapse of the Athenian empire, they would still be reeling from their humiliating defeat at the hands of Syracuse, a city state with inferior military power (but a far better tactical and strategic position than the invading Athenian forces had).
          • Bad example, this was written just before the collapse of the Athenian empire, so the guy had a point.

            It is a bad example, but for a different reason: Socrates never said it. The quote is actually from Aristophanes, who was writing a caricature of Socrates.

            Socrates himself was tried and executed by the invading forces.

            No, Socrates was executed by the Athenians themselves, not by the Spartan alliance.

          • by slew ( 2918 )

            Hmm, Socrates didn't actually write/say this (apparently someone else wrote this as part of their thesis in the 1900's and it's been misattributed many times since then) as there are no actual surviving works of Socrates (most of our information about Socrates comes from Plato, one of his disciples).

            It is also seems highly unlikely he would say something anything like this except as part of the losing part of a Socratic argument exploration. As I recall he was essentially tried on charges like corrupting th

          • Bad example, this was written just before the collapse of the Athenian empire, so the guy had a point. Socrates himself was tried and executed by the invading forces.

            Totally historically inaccurate, but let's address whether it's a bad example; it's not.

            Actually, it's a great example.

            The current article was written just before the collapse of the American empire.

      • Re:sampling bias (Score:5, Informative)

        by Austerity Empowers ( 669817 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:44PM (#49650611)

        Pretty much this. When I started work, using email was seen as a kind of rising trend, why use email when you can call someone? Why use a website to get a datasheet when you can call the vendor and have him fax it? I used to get strange looks about my methods, I'm putting too much on myself they said, or don't want to leave my office, etc.

        Now the "new trrend" (about as new as email and WWW was in the 90s) is IM, webex, wiki's. The older crowd understands these things but generally thinks they're a pain in the ass, but the younger crowd not only sees them as office furniture but doesn't think twice about setting up a webex on the spot and summoning the mages, without a day of advanced warning and a calendar invite.

        I'm not sure we think they're lazy, but certainly hasty, a little inconsiderate and not used to solving problems on their own or at least thinking them through before calling in for reinforcements. It tends to be very raw. But that's just how it will be 15 years hence.

        • but the younger crowd not only sees them as office furniture but doesn't think twice about setting up a webex on the spot and summoning the mages, without a day of advanced warning and a calendar invite.

          Ugh.. yes. Not just the younger crowd, but seems more likely from them. One of my largest pet peeves is people that simply think that if you don't have time on the calendar blocked out, that it means you're not busy. Even with a calendar invite, it drives me crazy when people will send one shortly before a meeting they want to hold, then get all pissy when you don't go. Sometimes I'm just too busy, sometimes it's because I don't sit there all day watching for stuff to pop up in email or on the calendar.

      • by Cafe Alpha ( 891670 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:08PM (#49650767) Journal

        I say this as a relatively older person. It turns out that it's older people who are whiny and immature.

        People get worse with age, and they no longer have people telling them when they get out of hand.

        People used to complain about 4chan, but when the God damn 70 year olds figured out Disqus they turned out to be much more heartless and disgusting trolls than any 13 year olds. The 13 year olds try to pretend to be racist sexist sh**s but the old people are THE REAL THING. The kids will grow out of it.

        • The 13 year olds try to pretend to be racist sexist sh**s but the old people are THE REAL THING. The kids will grow out of it.

          It's cute that you think they'll grow out of it.

      • Yeah, but now we have unprecedented levels of Global Whining, and unless we do something about it fast, we'll see mass destruction of the workplace environment.
      • When it comes to older generations thinking younger generations are whiney, lazy, idiots sample size doesn't matter.

        Old people almost always think that. I am not sure if it is a product of getting old, jealousy of the young, or what.

        But you can read newspapers from 100 years ago that had the same articles in them.

        And the old people are right nearly every time. Young people are trash.

      • Re:sampling bias (Score:5, Insightful)

        by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@@@tpno-co...org> on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:30PM (#49650905) Homepage

        It could very well be that they're right ( the old people ).

        When I started training the new employees ( 18-25 ), I noticed how much bitching and moaning they did. It was shocking, really. Enough so that I stopped and thought about it, and realized that when I was first entering the work force I did much the same thing.

        Maybe I'm old, and maybe you kids really should get the fuck off my lawn, but young adults DO whine incessantly.

        • Re:sampling bias (Score:4, Insightful)

          by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl[ ]net ['d3.' in gap]> on Friday May 08, 2015 @10:26PM (#49651565) Homepage

          Back when I was young I remember one of the older guys feeling the same way you do when I asked a lot of questions. He saw it as whining, but I was actually just trying to get a full understanding of the issues and why things are done the way they are, not complain about them.

          Having said that, I did used to complain a bit more than I do now, but only because now I'm just resigned to the fact that everything is shit. They tell you to work hard and achieve your potential and everything will be great, but it's a lie! Coming to accept that when you have spent literally your entire life trying to better yourself and get qualified for these wonderful opportunities can be hard.

      • To be fair, there are amazing old people as well. One of the oldest guys at my workplace is 80 or something; he's been retired for 15 years but he still regularly shows up and in his retirement he's written tons of technical articles and books. And when asked of his opinion of the newer generation, "They are enthusiastic and accepting, and this place has never been better." I couldn't imagine that guy saying a single hateful word. I don't know what happens to people that causes them to become hateful pricks

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        "And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for you meddling kids!" - Old Computer Hacker
  • It's important to say, IT people tend to be an isolated bunch to start with, but yeah, although I didn't apply the label "Millennials", it does seem that the young members of the team seem more ... brittle, I guess is the expression I'd use. And in IT, that's not a good thing.

    • They may be more brittle than the seasoned individuals who self selected to stay in IT for 10 or 20 or 30 years. But are they actually more brittle as a group than the people who dipped their toes in the IT waters when you first started, many of whom removed themselves from the professional over the course of years because they could not hack it? I have no doubts there are aged based differences, but it is difficult to tease out the self-selection bias between generations.
    • by tsotha ( 720379 )
      You're not the first [youtube.com] to notice.
  • Um... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:21PM (#49650505)

    Millennials are also expert users...

    ... define "expert" and qualify "users" - social-media apps on smartphones or things actually used in an office or real work/dev environment?

    • by Jhon ( 241832 )

      '... define "expert" and qualify "users" - social-media apps on smartphones or things actually used in an office or real work/dev environment?'

      I'd say by "expert" they are familiar with the basic interfaces used on many operating systems. Do they know how to create a word document without hand holding? More than likely. Can they create a basic spreadsheet? Probably. Do they understand how to use office (MS or open or whatever version you pick) to its fullest? No. My experience is that many millennial

      • the under 30 crowd cannot survive without checking their PHONES every few minutes.

        it sort of reminds me of pidgeons and how they move their necks back and forth as they walk. would they be able to walk if you put a neck brace on them? ;)

        would the younger crowd even be able to function if you took their phones away?

        I know its a generalization, but it still strikes me as strange, every time I see someone walking down the street, face pointing downward, absorbed in some text or IM. its never an older person.

  • Junk science (Score:5, Informative)

    by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:25PM (#49650529)

    The survey, which started in 2012, just released its 2015 report, and found that of 78% of the IT workers surveyed consider their job stressful. That's up just 1% from 2014, but in 2013 the figure was 57% and in 2012, 67%.

    Their numbers are jumping all over the place. I also don't see how they can jump to any conclusions regarding Millennials in the workplace after only four years with such a small sample, and they don't break it out by age group.

    Someone needed to fill a column with some words - so here are some words. Come back next week for more words in this column

  • So are we saying that the millenials aren't a bunch of entitled rude asses?
  • by swb ( 14022 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:26PM (#49650535)

    I think some of it is the demand that everything work, all the time, without any room for maintenance while at the same time not being willing to pay for the resources to deliver systems that can provide that.

  • Give me a break. They have a high percentage of clueless users like any other generation.

  • Staffing Cuts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:29PM (#49650557)

    During the recession, many firms cut jobs and made 10 people do the work of 15. That saves money and resulted in no quantifiable loss in productivity of the group, so the firms never rehired the people they got rid of. How would this not be a more stressful work environment?

    • Let's not forget that IT was always a shitty, stressful work environment in most cases. A lot of people got out of it just because they got tired of being fucked over and then blamed for the fucking they were getting. It's a thankless, depressing, disgusting (anyone have budget for regular PC cleaning out there so they don't turn into dust monsters? hey, the PC monkey is part of the IT department, don't get all snooty network guys) job and it's no wonder that people don't want to do it unless they can get s

  • by bored ( 40072 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:30PM (#49650559)

    Or maybe its all the crap, half baked technology being used over the last few years. I think we are sort of in a time period like the mid/late 90's where everyone was shoveling garbage windows apps out the door before they were done baking (and win9x itself was a pile of crap).

    It seems to me, that over half the "web stacks" are just steaming piles of unfinished garbage. Same with a lot of the core infrastructure technologies that are all the hotness (see docker, openstack, etc).

    So, its no wonder these things get stressful, someone hits a bug and suddenly they are trying to fix software that is way over their head on a deadline.

    • by skids ( 119237 )

      Yeah I too think the technology has devolved over time. Certainly it is next to impossible to find a competently written manual for most things these days. There's no actual contract from vendors as to what's an actual feature and what's just an implementation side effect, software hits the marketplace with things broken that should not even have gotten *to* the QA department, much less past it, and there's no shortage of glossy brochures deceiving the high level managers into believing that everyone is u

      • I do, however, worry about the data entry skills of the latest generation. You'd think being raised with tech would make them understand the importance of consistency and accuracy, but if my anecdotal experience is accurate they are even less thorough than the older people who had the excuse of not being familiar with the technology."

        That's why businesses are hiring people with autism. Having the ability to focus on something for an extended period of time is hard for people who expect everything to just work and have the attention span of a tweet.

  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:40PM (#49650597)
    "Do more with less, and with fewer coworkers with less experience. You have four weeks of paid vacation, but no backup (fewer coworkers, less experience), so if there's a problem, you need to fix it on vacation, so your vacation needs to be a stay-cation." -New corporate management motto.

    morale = morale - 4
    • by xystren ( 522982 )

      I think we are seeing the effects of the expected long hours - that 60-80 work week being a badge of honor; the effects of the dependency on IT services, without the budget/forethought to provide the needed staff/support and maintenance; the get it deployed and fix it later attitude; deliverables forcing the never having the time to do it right, but always time to do it again; unrealistic project management and project goals/deliverables; threat of outsourcing/off-shoring; corporate treating staff as resour

    • It's like this in many other industries too, even thriving ones. It's the new squeeze the worker theme. The older generation is not immune, but successful older people are much less likely to feel the pinch because they have gone on to better jobs/positions.
    • "My phone plugs into a wall, so that's your responsibility too. You need to be available by phone in case our Sales department in Germany has any problems. Oh, and we need to have you come to the morning meetings every day to explain why the Windows update broke Exchange and why we haven't upgraded to Windows 8 yet - we're supposed to be cutting edge! By the way, our website is loading slow and we need you to figure out why. And we want to fire Larry - we're pretty sure he surfs porn sites on his lunch,

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:41PM (#49650603)
    Except for a few top guys and the occasional person who wins the lottery in life pay is what is was 20 years ago after 20 years of inflation. Companies are merging left and right and everytime they do it's another round of layoffs. Offshoring and onshoring (via H1-B) are nuts. If you work in IT you're probably seeing something like a 70% Indian workforce with only the occasional American to fill a spot when they ran out of visas. Meanwhile it's a statisical fact that productively is way way up, meaning you're doing more work. Even if the tools are better it still means you're responsible for a hell of a lot more. How the hell would that _not_ be stressful?
    • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:58PM (#49651049) Journal

      THIS! rsilvergun is 100% correct here.

      I commented already on here about my thoughts on the original topic, but the bigger, underlying issue is definitely tied to the pay rate not really keeping up with inflation. With one of the career jobs most people consider "among the better paying", like I.T., it can really sneak up on you too.

      I remember working for a place in the 90's doing server and PC support, feeling I was underpaid but enjoying the other aspects of the job enough not to care. But when I finally moved on, I realized I couldn't find work doing the same thing where my salary was going to be that much higher than what I was making before. (Combination of the dot com crash and economic depression around that time AND the fact that everyone wants to know what you made where you worked previously, and tries not to pay you much more than that.)

      Like a lot of people though, I eventually settled for what they were offering so I could at least stay gainfully employed, and believed all the promises of future bonuses and compensation for hard work. But life marches on, even if pay raises don't.... All of a sudden, I'm older and have a whole family I'm responsible for. Things I never cared about before like having a bigger house with a few bedrooms in it and more than one bathroom became big deals (not to mention having to worry about living in a "good school district", vs. just living where you could live cheap).

      Wound up not only switching jobs but relocating to get the "better paying" position, only to find cost of living was so much higher where I went, it negated most of the pay increase. One day, you just wake up and say, "WTF man!? I have 20+ years of experience, yet my overall lifestyle and buying power really feels about the same as what it was 10-15 years earlier. I know I'm *doing* way more complex stuff that should offer employers more value, but I'm just treading water."

    • by MrKaos ( 858439 )

      Exactly. All the employers seem to have the attitude "well you love this stuff, so you would do it for free - so you must love working like a slave. If you don't like working like a slave then you can't be very enthusiastic or motivated".

      I've long been coming to the conclusion that IT is now fucked however I've also found that the places with mature business practices and decent project management were the ones that offer the least stress. That's because those ancillary to IT were skilled enough to manage

  • by stox ( 131684 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:46PM (#49650623) Homepage

    Many places are trying to adopt styles/methods/etc that are well suited to a startup in manic phase. They don't seem to realize that you can't keep this up indefinitely. Just dump bodies in the meat grinder, and code comes out the other end.

  • I've seen it time and again, with the people around me who insisted to spawn child processes. The mix of helicopter parents who would not only ensure no "bad" experience would ever happen to their little precious but also made certain that anyone not seeing their brat as the special snowflake they are will get their banshee like fury, coupled with a school system that promoted feeling good and "everyone's a winner", where you would already get rewarded for showing up, whether you can actually accomplish any

    • by metlin ( 258108 )

      What rubbish. Plenty of cultures have parents who are involved in their children's education. My own parents were extremely involved, and as the only child, they put a lot of time and effort into my education and extracurricular activities. To this day, they are quite interested in my career, and are just as involved in teaching my own year old language and music.

      That is not a statement on their children's capabilities. Tiger moms are common, and it just demonstrates responsible parents who are genuinely in

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:50PM (#49650647)

    I'm in my thirties. I can attest that twenty somethings freak out like little bitches and make non-issues into epic sources of pointless, unnecessary stress.

    Just like they did when I was a twenty something.

    Just like the 40+ crowd did when they were twenty-something.

    Just like they have been doing for generations.

    You're seriously talking about kids who have just left University of Daycare and are stepping into the big bad real world for the first time. They're not established. They don't have stable careers. They have no real life experience. Give 'em a decade and I'm sure we'll be treated to another asinine buzzword declaring that yet another generation is completely incomprehensible to everyone in spite of simple human nature being very easily understood.

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) <mike.mell@gmail.com> on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:52PM (#49650667)
    You know - those kids who currently have over eight years experience with RHEL 7, nearly a decade with Windows Server 2012 - those kids who grew up with FaceSpace, WhoTube and YouTome? Oh, yeah . . . I remember them.

    And for the record, we who have been in the industry long enough to remember a time without all these resources - we who are decidedly not "Digital Natives" - we're the ones who created FaceBox, YouScreen and WhoBook et. al. And we still have a much older word for "Digital Natives" - we still call 'em "n00bz".

    • by Toth ( 36602 )

      I saw the string "n00bz" and its variations online in the days of dial up at 1200 baud and bang path emailing. I even used it myself once or twice. I didn't see or use it IRL though. We were treated like rock stars by the users. This was probably partly due to the low hanging fruit of a 25 person administrative office and no computers or "ceremonial" computers running a single industry-specific application.

      I'd go in after office hours and locate the trash baskets with the most adding machine tape. The n

    • "nearly a decade with Windows Server 2012" old man getting senile
  • by Ronin Developer ( 67677 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @06:59PM (#49650713)

    Stress in the workplace has always existed. Granted, this generation tends to communicate more but using tools such as Instagram and Twitter where the communications are short, don't convey much information and are non-personal. Granted, the older generation used email (after the memo went the way of the dinosaur)- primarily to put the discussion into a more formal written form. The phone or in-person conversation allows one to hear the emotion and concerns of the other party. It's easier to resolve issues when speaking with the other parties than to try to hash it out over email or some chat technology for all but the simplest of issues.

    The other night, there was the discussion on why hiring an older person wasn't such a good idea with one person insinuated they (older workers) wouldn't work late nights on a regular basis to get the project done. Someone with experience knows that proper planning and design can alleviate most of those late night coding cycles. As such, they are inclined to find a better balance between home and work and still get their work done without burning the candle at both ends. They also know when late night exercises ARE useful or necessary.

    What we old fogies have a hard time dealing with is being treated (along with our coworkers) like a disposable napkin. Workplaces that foster that attitude coupled with limited human interactivity breeds stress. And, that stress doesn't know generational boundaries.

  • Workplace fun has all been drummed out of existence, for better or worse. Way back when companies had more picnics, beer bashes, and tolerated more hooliganism as ways to build teams and blow off steam. Those "good old days" had issues too, but the point is that fun has been squeezed out which also reduces chances for new guys to be brought into the fold and gel with the company.

    All that said, this sounds a lot like another round of blaming the new generation for being inferior to the last one. Just as e

    • Yeah, my company now has its picnic on a Sunday. Why on earth would I give up what little free time off I have to attend?

  • Well.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:08PM (#49650769)
    There is something to be said for the millennial general approach to work. At least the ones we hired, all but two were pretty difficult to work with, and needed handling with kid gloves. And quit pretty regularly.

    Some highlites:

    I had one who wouldn't answer his phone. He insisted that he be texted. I put up with that for a few days, but eventually told him he had a choice of responding to my phone calls, or I would personally pay him a visit every time I needed to interact with him. If a person cannot interact except with text, he needs to get a job that requires only yes or no answers.

    Another who would panic every time I spoke with him. This guy was bizarre. I can tell a person to go to hell in such a nice way that they look forward to the trip, but he just couldn't interact properly.

    Another guy who went batshit nuts on me when I pointed at his laptop screen. He's busy screaming about "Dont touch my screen! I'm not going to tell you again!" I was so shocked at that inappropriate outburst that I was actually silenced for a few seconds.

    Then there was the young lady who we hired, and immediately after getting hired, she goes on a month and a half vacation (unpaid of course) during the year she worked with us, she went on around 3 and a half months vacation, spent most of her time on Facebook, and wouldn't interact with anyone unless absolutely necessary. She quit after a year to go live at home because she found work too stressful.

    There were other experiences, but those were the most unbalanced ones.

    In general though, they have a tendency to come into the workplace with some overblown expectations, expecting very little interaction to people other than "their friends", and those via texting or facebook updates. They also have a rather exaggerated opinion of their own technical prowess, most believing that anyone of their parents age or older have very little clue about anything, and none whatsoever about computing. At best, we were there to provide support for them.

    Amazingly enough, most were looking for a promotion and big raise after a year

    The two who we the exception were both young ladies, who were simply incredible. One who was a talented illustrator, and also had a great work ethic. The other was simply amazing, who would finish her work, accurately, on time or sooner, and then ask if there was anything else she could do. I expect to see both as leaders some day.

    We might ask why this happens?

    One of the biggest culprits IMO, is the self esteem movement. Children were and are being told they are special (and they are) and taught to think very higly of themselves. from an early age these days.

    What could be wrong with that?

    One of the first things is that people with real self esteem issues tend to have those issues no matter how much "uplifting encouragement" they get. Its a neurosis.

    Then we have the rest of the children. Its good not to hate yourself, and no doubt. But real self esteem comes from accomplishments, and not being told how special you are at every chance. High esteem with no real accomplishments is not a good combination. It tends to make you think that life is a sprint, and not a marathon.REal self esteem comes from doing good work and accomplishments, not being told you are special all the time.

    Then we have the parents. Parents want the best for their children, but since the rise of the helicopters, and especially the dreaded blackhawk mother, (this is the one who does their children's homework for them so they can take their special classes out of school) We have parents who simply refuse to allow their children to grow up. Ever see those diaper commercials showing 6 year olds? Helicopter fodder.

    So now we have the cellular//smartphone. The helicopters can now keep in constant contact and control of ther children. It's completely insane on college campuses now. These children are physical adults, but not at all mature. A friend who is a cou

  • But a lot of the IT people I talk to haven't had a vacation in years. Suggest that they take one and you get a stunned pause and then you can actually sense the wave of relief coming off them as they start to think about it. I took a three day weekend skydiving down in Phoenix after going about three years without a vacation and the change to my outlook was amazing. Taking time off and staying in town doesn't seem to have the same effect.
  • by King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:44PM (#49650977) Journal

    I have a few thoughts of my own on the subject, based on my own work situation, and they don't quite line up with theirs.

    First off, yes... I would say that at least for our workplace, stress levels in I.T. have generally increased over the last few years. (I work as part of a 4 person I.T. team for a marketing firm that has several locations strategically placed around the country, close to the majority of clients they have or want.)

    Marketing is definitely a business where lots of millennials are hired. Our I.T. group and upper management are really the only people in the company of an older generation than that, other than a few random exceptions.

    But to claim the I.T. stress levels are correlated with the millennial generation's lack of in-person communication skills? No... at least for our industry, that's not the case at all. You can't be successful working in marketing for us if you're not an exceptionally good in-person communicator. I know I'm far less comfortable chatting up random people in social situations than any of the millennials we've got working as creative directors, producers, designers, etc. Maybe we're constantly hiring the exceptions to the rule because of the nature of the business ... but regardless, that's the situation for the people our I.T. group supports.

    Where I see stress levels climbing has more to do with people expecting more and more from the computerized tools they're given. For example, when I started working for these guys, several of our offices literally spent 90% of their day buried in Outlook. Everything revolved around email correspondence and scheduling meetings or appointments. Sure, they had the occasional need for the rest of the Office suite (especially PowerPoint or Keynote for our Mac users, if they were preparing a presentation for a client), but the vast majority of support calls or issues were "Why did my email bounce?", "It says my mailbox is full!", "I can't find this message I know I saved someplace in here earlier today.", or "So and so received my calendar invite 3 times in a row for some reason." Stuff like that, along with trouble opening various email attachments they received.....

    Looking at how things have evolved now? We ran into issues where some of the huge Word templates they use regularly to produce client proposals got too big to keep editing reliably inside Word. (Lots of copy/pasted graphics in them and all that.) So we now paid for a cloud based service designed just for such proposals. Instead of constantly filling mailboxes with email attachments getting shared around, we set up DropBox for Teams so I.T. creates any of the "top level" folders anyone requests and makes sure the proper folks are given read or read/write access to those shared resources. As we've grown, the Finance department required better automation so they could process all the invoices in a timely manner as offices generate them. So they put in dedicated scanning stations at each office with document capture software that goes to "watched folders", with special software that can toss them into their accounting system as it sees new ones appear. The original few, designated office people with copies of Adobe Acrobat (full version, not reader) kept growing as more users saw the benefits of being able to actually edit a PDF document on their Windows PC (or saw Mac users doing it natively with Preview and asked why they can't have the same capabilities). So that led to buying Creative Cloud with user accounts I.T. again has to manage.

    On top of that, one of the offices is trying to get more serious about offering in-house video rendering capabilities instead of outsourcing it all the time, so now we're starting to build and support a rendering farm and high end video packages on the clients.

    What we haven't done is hire a single new I.T. staffer to help with any of this.... We push for it all the time (especially when one of us is out sick or on vacation and the pressure is really on). But at the end of the day, manag

  • by lymond01 ( 314120 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @07:51PM (#49651005)

    Back in the 90s, IT people were magicians. Now they are plumbers. So much of today's infrastructure relies 100% on IT support -- people can't just write it down, or file it manually. IT folk are in charge of a giant, critical piece of the everyday workload. But expectations are that it will just work, and that things will keep moving forward as new technologies arise. Back in the day, IT could handle an entire 500 person company with 2 or 3 people -- it was all printers and email. Now it's files and databases and remote access and web apps and mobile apps and security and policies.

    The IT folk who are more stressed are the ones who haven't staffed up. I've no comment on the younger set...I'll defer to Socrates as people have suggested.

  • by plopez ( 54068 )

    From my experience nothing has changed in 20 odd years. The same insane schedules, clueless managers, evil marketing people, etc. still rule the day. Nothing ever changes. The same mistakes made 20 years ago are made over and over again. People come along offering to make things easier with a magic bullet, and it works as they get rich and it makes their lives easier.

    As far as 'Millennials' go from my experience it is a mixed bag, some are good and some aren't. There is the natural over exuberance and naive

  • I think that IT work is getting more stressful, but that is only one factor among many for the increase in stress. Some of it is that there is no longer easy money for easy IT work, like there was during the dot com boom, some of it is that millennials really do have an inflated sense of entitlement, and some of it is that the economy is pushing management to demand more in terms of results while those results are getting more difficult to measure. Contemporary IT work involves a lot of very complex web-b

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @08:38PM (#49651183) Journal

    When I was a kid, we didn't have any of those sissy antibiotics. When we got sick, our grandmothers would perform extreme unction on us and then leave us on the roof overnight. If we were strong enough to climb down in the morning we got breakfast. If not, we got buried. It made us learn the meaning of a dollar, because for a dollar my sister would bring me a snack up there and leave the ladder against the side of the house. And there was none of this mp3 youtube nonsense. If we wanted music, we had burn the barn down and dance to the crackling fire. I can still beatbox a three-alarm blaze. And sex? We didn't have sex. We just set the women folk up on the roof and if they had the strength to climb down in the morning, grandpa would take them out to the barn and make them pregnant. And that also taught us the meaning of a dollar, because for a dollar, he'd let us hide under the hayloft to watch for Zeus to appear in the shape of a bull to impregnate the females. And if any of us showed any visible signs of arousal, we got beaten with a sickle and our parts were left on the roof to die.

    The kids these days don't know how good they got it with their quarter million dollar school loans to prepare them for jobs that don't exist or go to internet scammers in Bangalore. They don't realize how lucky they are not to have to worry about privacy any more, because by god there is none. They make me sick, with their rising sea levels and paint thinner in the water supply and multinational tech companies tracking their every movement. Because when I was a kid, my total lack of self-awareness convinced me that I got where I am today only because of my hard work and talent.

  • by Todd Knarr ( 15451 ) on Friday May 08, 2015 @08:52PM (#49651249) Homepage

    It's not the Millenials. They're a bit more demanding, yes, but not significantly so compared to all the other groups of clueless users I've dealt with over the last 3 decades. Mostly they can be dealt with by telling them that I'd love to be able to do what they want but management's refused to allow it so they need to go talk to $AppropriateExecutive and convince him to change the policies on it. That gets them out of my hair.

    Mostly the stress comes from management wanting more and more from fewer people with fewer resources, less funding and lower salaries. Instead of being skeptical, they buy into the salespeople's lies completely and then yell at IT when what was delivered doesn't do what was promised and never will. And gods help you if you do manage to prove the salesperson lied, because then it's your fault management bought into it. This from management's not a new thing, I've watched it growing since the early 90s.

  • There's a book about generational cycles called Generations that talks about how there is a 4 generation cycle that repeats itself every 80 years or so cause by shared life experiences that are shaped primarily by the emotional and attitudes of society in general and their parents in particular. So, the Millenials have been shaped in attitude by 9/11, the current international conflicts, and their parents' reactions to these events.

    It's called Strauss-Howe generaitonal theory. Each generation is one of 4 ty

  • by Drewdad ( 1738014 ) on Saturday May 09, 2015 @09:24AM (#49653041)

    I hear it all the time from vendors and at conferences. "IT is being expected to do more with less."

    Our IT budget has been flat for five years, and we're supporting double the number of employees.

    Do we have difficult users? Yes. I haven't noticed any correlation between difficulty and age, though.

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