In This Issue:
1. Editor's Note: Improving The IT Workplace
2. Today's Top Story: Careers
- IT Jobs Are Growing In The Big Cities
- Opinion: Are IT Jobs Good Jobs?
- Fortune 500 Boards Lack CIO, CFO Representation
3. Breaking News
- Europe Faces Battle Over Open Source Versus Proprietary Software
- New York Attorney General Targets Internet Fraud, Deception
- Dealing With Data Theft: After The Fact
- Exploit Against Popular 'Snort' Network Utility Close At Hand
- Apple Updates Desktops, Laptops
- ZoneAlarm Sniffs Out Spyware Behavior
- Online Video Revenue Expected To Soar
- C2C Archive One Extends Archive One To IM And RSS
- HP Tries To Bridge Blu-Ray, HD-DVD Formats
- SAP Profits Rise On U.S. Orders
4. In Depth: Personal Tech & Reviews
- Overview: Sun's StarOffice 8 Could Give Microsoft A Challenge
- Review: Sun Microsystems' StarOffice 8
- Review: Contenders Challenge The Microsoft Office Monopoly
- Review: Palm Hits Sweet Spot With New High-End PDA
- Review: FileMaker Pro 8.0
- How To Buy The Best Mouse
- Security Outsourcing: How To Do It Right
- Smaller, Faster, Cheaper Storage
5. Voice Of Authority: When An Analyst Works For Your Competitor
6. White Papers: A Better Approach To Securing Networks
7. Get More Out Of InformationWeek
8. Manage Your Newsletter Subscription
Quote of the day: Anger
"When anger rises, think of the consequences." -- Confucius
"Anger at lies lasts forever. Anger at truth can't last." -- Greg Evans
"But when [people] get angry, they bring about a change." -- Malcolm X
"I have a right to my anger, and I don't want anybody telling me
I shouldn't be, that it's not nice to be, and that something's
wrong with me because I get angry." -- Maxine Waters
1. Editor's Note: Improving The IT Workplace
Can you smell it? There's something in the air, but it's not the
autumnal hearth. A smoldering anger, something I'd call "code rage,"
is everywhere, spilling over into, permeating, and often
dominating every discussion we've had with readers this year
about the state of the IT industry, IT careers, and education.
For each commentator who loves the industry and offers upbeat advice,
you'll find 10 or more cynical, resentful, and seething posts.
Maybe, as some readers suggest, this is just to be
expected--either from displaced or older workers struggling to
find their footing in a changing IT landscape or as the
inevitable tumult that proceeds the death throes of what some see
as a dying industry.
But maybe we should be a little less blasé and a little
more proactive about trying to defuse this rage whenever and
wherever it flares up. As author Harriet Lerner says in The
Dance Of Anger, "Anger is a signal, and one worth listening
If you search our blogs in the career category and read the
posts, it's true you'll find a lot of posts from the disaffected
that start with "I've been in IT for 25, 30, 35 years ..." But if
you look closer you'll also notice two things: Many of these
people are employed, and mixed in along with their posts are
entries from a younger generation, some also very angry, but more
often bewildered, concerned, and uncertain of an IT career.
Alarm bells--hell, air-raid sirens--should be going off right now
for anyone managing an IT department anywhere. These are some of
your workers. This could be lurking in your office. Don't think
for one minute this won't affect your projects, your teams, your
results. It will. Maybe you'll complete projects, but will they
be as good as they could have been? Will team members have
enjoyed the experience and learned as much as they could have
from each other? Will they be willing or able to pitch new ideas,
projects, fixes? Do they have any sense that what they do matters
or is appreciated? I'm thinking no on the latter. So what are you
doing to let them know they do matter?
Having worked in middle management myself, I can guess your lot
in life isn't exactly the berries, either. You get to juggle
complaints and demands from above and below. Trying to make the
best of unrealistic project schedules or skimpy budgets can leave
your staff thinking you're the one who's unrealistic. If
you think that's an easy perch from which to work, it's not.
Nonetheless, code rage is a very real, very now staffing issue
bubbling under the surface at many IT shops. I know the
fundamental underlying issues fueling that rage are unlikely to
change for many workers, but perhaps there are adjustments,
changes, and accommodations that can be made in the workplace to
make work a better place for everyone. I wonder how IT managers
and HR departments are dealing with workers who feel undervalued,
overworked, underpaid. Of course, there's a degree of that in any
industry, but it seems like a full-blown epidemic in IT. And
regardless of how the business side views or values IT's role in
your company, IT managers have to address this issue. You can't
change the reality of the industry or even necessarily the
attitude of your business compatriots, but you can, at minimum,
effect some changes within the confines of your department. In
other words, how can you make a tough situation easier to bear?
You have no choice. Your ROI depends on it, your future workforce
depends on it. If you as a manager have done anything specific to
mitigate the funk many IT workers seem to be stewing in--or if
your department has--and you've succeeded in muting it, however
minimally, we'd like to hear about it. Your peers would like to
hear about it. And if you have a deployable idea that you think
helps or should be adopted, we welcome those contributions as well.
Online job recruitment is strong in major metropolitan areas
despite a struggling economy and a slight decline nationally,
according to online recruiter Monster.com.
Related Stories: Opinion: Are IT Jobs Good Jobs?
While Bill Gates peddles a rosy vision of a bright future for IT
grads, employers are cutting payrolls and squeezing more work out
of beleaguered staff.
Dealing With Data Theft: After The Fact
What if the worst happens and your customers' data is stolen or
goes missing? Take a few tips from the financial-services
industry, which is fast making an art form out of dealing with
Apple Updates Desktops, Laptops
Apple Computer refreshed its top-end desktop and laptop lines,
adding dual-core PowerPC processors to all Power Mac G5 desktops,
and DVD burners and higher-resolution displays to PowerBooks.
HP Tries To Bridge Blu-Ray, HD-DVD Formats
In the latest attempt to unify the divergent Blu-ray Disc and
HD-DVD optical disk formats, Hewlett-Packard has formally appealed
to the Blu-ray Disc Association to incorporate two key technologies.
SAP Profits Rise On U.S. Orders
Enterprise software maker SAP reported third-quarter revenue up
13%, while net income rose to $1.29 per share, up from $1.22 per
share in the same period last year.
Chief Of The Year
Who's the CIO that inspires you most? What IT leader has led a
revolution at his or her company? Who deserves InformationWeek's
2005 Chief of the Year Award? Vote now by sending an E-mail to
RFID is positioned to revolutionize retail and supply chains. But
early adopters are encountering their share of difficulties.
These problems are documented along with deployment drivers and
adoption plans in InformationWeek Research's RFID--Wisdom Of
You determine the nominees and you choose the winner in TechWeb's
second annual Blog-X Awards. Nominate your favorite tech blog,
and be sure to return when it's time to vote for the winner.
Review: FileMaker Pro 8.0
New version maintains its reputation for ease of use with new
templates and features that make it particularly good for sharing
databases inside a business.
How To Buy The Best Mouse
Precise mice are nice. The trick is to both cover large screen
distances and give you pixel-precise control.
Security Outsourcing: How To Do It Right
Outsourcing your organization's information security can expose
you to great risks. We show you how a well-planned strategy can
realize benefits in cost, efficiency, expertise, and peace of mind.
Smaller, Faster, Cheaper Storage
Small businesses in need of fast storage that doesn't take a bite
out of their wallets or office space should check out NexonNAS
1000, a nifty little NAS.
So what happens when an analyst whom you've trusted with
confidential information about your company and your customers
takes a job with one of your competitors? It can have some
clients crying foul, says Stephanie Stahl. She examines some
suggestions on how research firms might handle such a situation.
Securing networks and their PC end points has grown increasingly
challenging. The answer to these problems is Total Access
Protection, Check Point's strategy for defending enterprise
networks by ensuring that every PC is secure before it connects
to the network.
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5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.