Business & Finance
Commentary
4/23/2004
09:50 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
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Business Technology: The Readers Speak: Career Paths, Wish Lists

Thanks for the hundreds of responses to last week's questions. I'd like to share some of your thoughts on two of those questions, but I first want to say that in the voting for least-favorite person, you tanned the hide of Darl McBride in a landslide. Have no fear--I can make it possible for your individual votes to remain undisclosed so he can't sue you. But, come to think of it, he might still try to sue everyone regardless of how you voted--malicious intent if you voted for him, and tortious nonsupport if you didn't. So let's see--how would Darl handle this ... how about a per-person confidentiality-licensing fee of, say, $75 per month? Send that to me in cash and SCO will never know...

Here are some replies to two of the questions: If you could change one thing about your job, what would it be? And would you recommend IT as a career choice for your children?

"I'd recommend my children pursue a career in my field on three conditions: 1) I figure out just what my field is; 2) My kids then figure out what my field is; 3) By the time I have kids and they grow up, no one's talking about RFID at cocktail parties anymore." Thanks to David Berkowitz.

"If I could change one thing about my job, it would be the fact that it's ending in June. I told my kids to major in art, or music, or philosophy. Those things may never be big money-makers, but they won't be any more out of style than they are now, either." Thanks to George Wiman.

OTHER VOICES

This column describes a real project that lets the folks at home lend a hand to the soldiers in Iraq. ...The Marines identify local equipment needs, and Mr. Hake's organization, Spirit of America, after raising the money, acquires the stuff, typically for schools and medical clinics. ...Want a piece of the action? Spirit of America's project with the First Marine Division, and how to donate, is at www.spiritofamerica.net, or directly at www.spiritofamerica.net/req_12/request.html or 800-691-2209.

-- Daniel Henninger's column in the Wall Street Journal, April 16


"No. The pipeline is full for some time into the future. I push biogenetics and alternative-energy engineering." Thanks to James Dines.

"Part of my day is spent dealing with questions and issues from users who rarely know what they are asking or the details of their questions. We estimate that 75% of these questions could be resolved if THEY JUST LOOKED AT THE DOCUMENTATION!" Thanks and a cool drink to John Byrnes.

"Yes, I would recommend a career in my field--MVS System Programmer. I love my job, and it, or at least a derivative of it, will be around for a long, long time. But don't go by me--my three children listened to me and then went their own ways to automation engineering, sales management, and risk management for banks. Go figure, not a sysprog in the bunch!" Thanks to Lee McKnight.

"No! We are in a very specialized field (mathematical profiling and production), which demands a love of reading equations and such for funsies, and I haven't detected one whit of interest on the part of my kids to spend their time on such 'odd' endeavors." Thanks to Duane Morton.

"If I could change one thing about my job, it'd be ... wait, I just turned a layoff into a transfer with a promotion and a raise, and I get to keep my sixth-floor office window." Thanks and congrats to Thomas Hobbs.

"Project creep. I want to do the job I was hired for and not have a constant increase in all the 'one more little thing(s)' that never go away and cause the job tasks to be time-overwhelming." Thanks to Jaci Gibson-Henrie.

"I'm a programmer analyst. I told my daughter to get a job that is unlikely to be outsourced to the Asia-Pacific, such as a ski instructor. I didn't recommend stripping because there is so much competition on the Internet. ... Unfortunately, she really likes working on her Web pages. I told her there are 6 million English-speaking technical workers six seconds away who will work for peanuts. That inspired her. She got a job correcting papers for an online 'English as a second language' university-level class." Thanks to Requested Anonymity.

And as always, thanks to all of you for your time.

Bob Evans,
Editorial director
bevans@cmp.com


To discuss this column with other readers, please visit Bob Evans's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

Readers respond to Bob Evans (May 3, 2004)

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