Community Feedback 58

Readers letters for the May 5, 2007 issue of InformationWeek
Alignment Needed
While buzzwords like Extreme Programming and XML sound good to technologists, their costly adoption doesn't create apparent value in the minds of the business execs who must foot the bill ("The CIO Dilemma," March 26, 2007). Hence, IT is forced into counterproductive approaches, such as offshore outsourcing, that create the appearance of cost cutting at the expense of application functionality, quality, usability, and timeliness.

IT needs an approach to designing applications that truly aligns the tactical application and process complex with the specific strategic direction and value structure of the organization that's footing the bill. When this is done, IT may be relieved of the mindless burden of reducing apparent cost and be freed to seeking ways of adding to the business value.

BOB DIDNER, Proprietor
Decision Information Designs; Morristown, N.J.

IT Drives Motor City
I'm just curious why the Detroit area doesn't ever make your list ("Six-Figure Club," April 30, 2007). Detroit metro is the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country and, although not a hotbed for new and innovative IT, there's still a tremendous amount of IT in the area. The headquarters of the Big Three automakers alone contributes thousands of IT jobs, plus there are many other global headquarters and significant presences. It may also offer a contrasting view of how IT is doing, though I believe those getting positions at this time are following the trend even though the area itself is not flourishing. It's nice to have some sort of reference when hiring and contracting employees.

Fullerton Tool Co.; Saginaw, Mich.

Editor: Of the 134 responses we received from Detroit, the median base salary for staff is $75,000 and for managers $95,000. If you'd like data on areas not included in the InformationWeek National IT Salary Survey, send an E-mail to [email protected].

Apple's Edge
If you're only looking at iPhone and the current Apple product line and from that suggesting a downturn for Apple, you've missed the key factor ("10 Indications Apple Is Headed For A Fall," April 30, 2007).

Apple is and always has been about interface, hence the success of the iPod in a crowded market.

What is key are the slew of patent filings about multitouch interface, of which the iPhone is merely a harbinger. It will be the new interface paradigm that will lead to Apple rising further.

BOB HARRIS, Orchidpeople
Hawi, Hawaii

English Skills Suffer
I can't help but disagree with you on the impact of texting, IMing, and E-mailing on language skills ("If E-Mail Is Old School, I Must Be Ancient," April 26, 2007). I run across too many individuals in business who don't have clear command of the English language to believe that there's no impact on skills. I'm appalled when I see what can only be considered either laziness or lack of skill in communications from people I generally consider intelligent.

While the English language has changed considerably since Chaucer's days, I don't believe that sliding into phonetic spelling and lack of punctuation or vowels is a sign of progress.

Company name withheld by request
Tampa, Fla.

Marketing Magic
It's funny that texting is considered the "new way" for young people to communicate. Texting is actually the "old way" to communicate.

Back in the early '90s, before every 9-year-old owned a cell phone, the hot item for young, hip trendsetters to have was a Sky-Tel pager with text message capability. These things were all the rage until cell phones became ubiquitous. In recent times, cell phone companies have ingeniously convinced the young that texting is again the hip thing to do.

Texting is a stroke of marketing genius. Convincing kids to use an antiquated technology, which they have to pay extra for, while at the same time costing the provider less, all while the newer technology--voice--is literally sitting right under the kids' noses is an absolute stroke of marketing brilliance. It should be taught in business schools.

JOE POWELL, IT Director/Facilities Director
Xanodyne Pharmaceuticals; Newport, Ky

Editor's Choice
Mary E. Shacklett, President of Transworld Data
James M. Connolly, Contributing Editor and Writer