back to article 'Young people don't want to become like us', say IT pros

A third of IT professionals say their jobs appear geeky and boring, according to a study into why tech careers are not particularly popular with da yoof. Employment site CWJobs polled 576 working IT pros on fresh talent entering the industry and quizzed them on why young people weren't applying for techie positions despite …


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  1. LarsG

    When at a party some pretty girlie asks you

    'so what do you do?' to which you respond

    'I'm an IT pro, you know work in IT'

    Sort of kills the conversation at that point.

    Better to lie and say stunt man, extreme sportsman or garage attendant.

    That way you'll have more chance of copping off.

    1. David Hicks

      You could say

      I travel round the world, alternately taking myself round thousands of miles of rugged coastline or staying in luxury resorts in faraway places. Oh you mean how do I pay for it? Yeah, inbetween times I have to work on IT systems. Pays the bill you know?

      You can try and explain how well-constructed algorithms are are like poetry or how a distributed system working in harmony is more beautiful to you than the finest ballet ever performed... but unless you're preaching to the already-converted it's not going to work.

      1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: You could say

        Bingo David, I was going to say the same.

        Work is _NOT_ life. Work is a source of income so you can _HAVE_ a life. Outside work you know. My wife has no clue what I do at work. Neither do my kids and that is exactly the way I want it. Neither do any of my friends who do not happen to be colleagues as well. No shop talk at the table, no shop talk in the bar.

        That is probably one of the reasons why the IT profession on the continent is not so much of a a nerd central (especially in Eastern Europe).

        They draw the work/life line in considerably more clear terms there. You do not need to explain to an Eastern European such basic concepts like "work != жизнь" for any values of жизнь, regardless of the amount of motivational posters, cosy happy color cushions, fruit bowl feeders in the kitchenette and socialist motivational slogans plastered on the office wall.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Voland's right hand

          Spot on post and I feel exactly the same way. Work is a means to an end. When I get home, the last thing I want to think about is work. Saps the soul no end. I don't talk about work at home or to friends as it's exceedingly dull.

          Have lots of thumbs up from me.

        2. GotThumbs

          Todays youth are the "E-Generation". E of course stands for Entitlement

          Most of the kids today don't know what work is. They want to play and be entertained all the time. I know of two boys that play games most of the day and have mentioned more than once about being a game programmer. Yet both boys are barely passing school and seem headed towards a life of manual work and a lifetime of dependence on their parents. With the new US health bill allowing children up to 26 to remain on the parents healthcare....seems the US government just doesn't understand the idea of children growing up and being self-sufficient. Children want to be given jobs that they like and don't understand the reality of how life really is. The kids just want to have stuff done for them...since most mothers still treat their children like babies. I know, because I was married to a woman who was more interested in pleasing the boys every whim over being a responsible parent/adult and focus on raising a future responsible citizen. There's a time and place for work and play. Kids today don't get that...yet.

          I consider today's youth the "E-generation". E of course stands for Entitlement

          1. JC_


            With the new US health bill allowing children up to 26 to remain on the parents healthcare....seems the US government just doesn't understand the idea of children growing up and being self-sufficient. Children want to be given jobs that they like and don't understand the reality of how life really is. The kids just want to have stuff done for them...

            What utter bollocks! The US government (actually the Democrats) understand that not having healthcare is a disaster waiting to happen, as well as economically inefficient. This is one small way that the ACA ('Obamacare') increases coverage*.

            Really, what is it with IT that attracts all the Ayn Randians? You guys know she signed up for Social Security & Medicare, right?

            (* single-payer universal coverage would be best, but not politically-feasible, hence the ACA having to include a lot of alternatives such as allowing children to remain on their parent's plans for longer.)

    2. McBeese

      You're right...

      Yep, you're right. I used to say "I'm a software genius". My best friend and Best Man from my wedding would say "I fly fighter jets." He wasn't lying. Guess who got lucky more often?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Or you could tell the truth and y'know, find someone who wants you for who you are?

      If someone doesn't want to know you because of your job, it's the wrong person.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeeesss

        That only works if there are enough people who do want you for who you are.

        If you work in IT, it's probably there ain't. Fact of life :(

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not so much the topic of the conversation, it's the, cliched but unfortunately real, appalling social skills that often to come with it. In reality it's easy to tell the truth about your occupation in IT but how you stress the relative importance of this compared to other factors are critical.

      For example, in response to the "so what do you do?" question you could either respond:

      "I'm an IT pro, you know I work with computers"


      "I work at XYZ company in the IT department; It's a nice company to work for and the people are friendly. What do you do?"

      In the first you're killing the conversation yourself and making it appear that you value computers over people or the work place and almost being condescending about the intelligence of the other party - they'll know what computers are, the chances are they suffer with using them as well. It's always best to treat the other party as if they are at least as intelligent as you are.

      In the second you're being honest that you work in the IT department but stressing that it's just one part of a company with other people and showing that you have a life beyond cursing the latest Microsoft monthly update. You're also giving the other party an opportunity to ask more about where you work and the people there and responding positively by trying to engage them in the next step of the conversation.

      These examples may seem frivolous but they're just simple examples of where it's easy to go wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 12:53

        You are Dominic Connor, and I claim my five pounds

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC: 12:53: Or you could say "I work at XYZ company in the IT department. It's a nice company to work for but everyone just shouts at me and blames everything that goes wrong on the IT guy. I basically get called a cnut every day of my working life. The business users all look down on me." Wouldn't want to lie would you?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 18:03

          Still don't lie - it's not worth it except for a one nighter!

          Tackling the blame culture of IT staff can be hard to achieve but like most things in the world it's critical to understand that it's a people business. Unfortunately a lot of IT staff either don't understand this or don't know how (or perhaps the experience) to relate positively with non-technical staff or those that aren't colleagues. There are plenty of things you can do to help this but the most important is to relate to those that you work with as if they are human; Learn their names, learn to recognise them and remember something about them so next time you meet them, ideally when they don't have a computer problem, you can engage with them meaningfully. Just sitting down and listening to their problems, demonstrating sympathy and empathy makes a world of difference - if they feel that you understand their problem and would like to resolve it as much as they would like it resolved then you will be given a lot more leeway and understanding in return. Remembering something about them other than their computer problems will make them feel more valued as a person and not as a source of problems. If you find it hard remembering things about them, other than repeated practice, you can always apply the time old salesman trick of making notes about them and looking them up before you next meet - just don't let them know this is how you remember them. Don't be ashamed or awkward about doing this as It's not really cheating, it's an aid to memory, and before too long you will start to genuinely remember things about people.

          All this is in fact quite easy, but won't feel it when you are run so ragged that you don't have the time but try it whenever possible even then. It does take practice but it is very rewarding and can open up some unexpected opportunities and can lead to a happier and more fulfilling working environment.

    5. Rob Davis

      Theatre plays are like real time software

      I would agree it's all about presentation and context. I was in a lovely theatre play a few years back and if I wanted to put an "interesting" (define that!) spin on computing (if it ever needed it), I would describe a theatre play as having things in common with real time software:

      Multiple-threads of execution - multiple actors doing different things

      Real time nature - things HAVE to happen at certain times

      Synchronisation - some things have to happen in sync with others

      Testing - rehearsals

      Debugging - removing/modifying troublesome parts of a script (actor's lines or sequence)


      Version Control - we all had to edit our scripts in the same way at the same time to be sure we knew what we were supposed to be doing

      Subsystems - different parts of the the Theatre's Company (different roles)

      Can you think of any more?

  2. deains


    Most IT jobs -are- boring. There's nothing exciting or glamourous about changing printer cartridges and rebooting Windows laptops all day. There are some interesting roles, but the industry as a whole doesn't present the most appealing image.

    1. Jad
      Thumb Up

      Re: Welll...

      We had a student with us on placement and we gave him a nice project to play with.

      after spending weeks researching and learning and designing and coding and testing and re-coding he looked at me with a beaming smile on his face and said "Done it ... what shall I do now?"

      I replied "Roughly the same thing for the rest of your life!"

      The smile left his face ... I might have been being cynical, but I guess he realised something at that point because he left us and went off to become a teacher :)

      1. Joefish

        Re: "...the same thing for the rest of your life!"

        A good example of how IT pros themselves can be some of the worst ambassadors for the career path you could ever come across. Like the ones who insists kids shouldn't be given saps like SCRATCH and BASIC and should get stuck in to C++ from the start - completely ignoring the way their own education was built up layer-by-layer and the professionalism of the teachers and authors they relied on along the way. Railing on someone's enthusiasm like that is simply apalling.

    2. Nigel 11

      Re: Welll...

      The truth is that most jobs are boring, unless you can really enjoy the everyday detail. Here are some others. Car salesman. Estate agent. Hairdresser. Accountant. Garbage operative supervisor. Bus driver. Solicitor. Hotel manager. Starting to get the picture? Prefer any of those to IT? (the whole job, not just the over-inflated salary that some of them command).

      The thing that's sick with society is celebrity culture, the whole idea that everyone should ape the glamourous, the rich and famous, the fashionable. Mostly what it breeds is dissatisfaction, unhappiness, low self-esteem, and a failure to realise that the reward of helping other people is not solely that it gets you a paid at the end of the month.

      I've found a job that lets me spend a good part of my day solving puzzles (something I enjoy). It could be a lot worse. Also it's my job ... not my life.

      1. WorkingFromHome

        Re: Welll...

        "The thing that's sick with society is celebrity culture" - Exactly Nigel. Spot on.

        Many kids I meet are under the impression that they will all become famous and sing songs and act in movies. All these "talent" and celebrity shows have created a completely false impression of what life is likely to hold. Only a vanishingly small number of people will ever make a real living out of "begin famous".

        We once interviewed one girl and asked her the classic "where do you see self in the future?" - the answer - "I want to be famous".

        Most of the world does a job which is probably repetative and generally dull. The enjoyment comes from the people, the culture and the occasional challange, but most of the days will not constant excitement. The quickest route to misery is constantly dreaming of what can never be!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Garbage operative supervisor?

        What the hell is that? You must work in IT.

        Perhaps you just meant, "dustman".

        This inanity is one of the worst things about working in Informatics, sorry, information technology, to use more syllables and make it sound cleverer than it is.

        Actually, it is boring and frustrating and highly stressful for no good reason. It used to be almost fun. Now it is just windows interfaces to badly written systems written by somebody who never, intellectually, got past Janet and John or Noddy and Big Ears. Hours, days, years wasted getting around poorly implemented responses to badly designed solutions to misunderstood, wrong specifications for pointless or dodgy requirements.

        The clever, interesting stuff is a minority sport, a small and lucky minority. The rest work for banks, "retail", finance and who knows what, battling through reams of dreadful documents, security, audit, control systems, management systems, nearly all in place to try to overcome the sheer idiocy and irresponsibility of know-all "IT specialists".

        I and most other people in this line of work whom I know all advice our children to avoid IT at all costs. Actually, most are reasonably bright and have worked that out for themselves.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

    Yep, in History lessons. It was fun in the 70s and early 80s, but it's been downhill consistently from then. There may be exceptions, but generally management culture has all but killed the joy of SW/HW development.

    1. foo_bar_baz

      Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

      You don't say? The RBS arse-covering back-stabbing brown-nosing article on office politics is to turn anyone from from IT - at least in a corporate environment. Or maybe females would actually enjoy the excitement of that kind of soap opera...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

        it's the way you say "females" that gives it away...

        1. Rufus McDufus

          Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

          What would prefer instead of 'females' - 'hot totty' perhaps?

          1. Some Beggar

            Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"


            Fucking hell. No wonder you "males" struggle to form relationships.


          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

            Spreadsheet mouse-jigglers. OK an exception I am sure, but I used to know one who did this to impress everyone with her mad skillz. TBH she was surrounded by dopey male managerial types who probably thought it was coding.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: " needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

      Says it all really.

  4. xyz

    I've got apprentices...

    ...and the problem is this. In ye olden days, you got an apprentice so you could train him up to bang out widgets like what Jethro has been doing for the last 40 years, so when Jethro coughs you had a new one to replace him. My idea, instead of giving them crap to do (sorry train them up from the bottom rung) is to give them all the future stuff (Mongo, HTML5, mobile/tablets etc) that I and the rest of the seasoned pros don't know, then in 5 years they can be my boss and I can retrain in all the stuff they don't know. This goes down badly with everyone who is not an apprentice due to something called "human nature."

    Anyhoo, my point is that in a computer driven world you cannot expect new blood to be given old crap to do which is what happens to any "kid" who lands up in an IT dept because IT depts are full of old men from the 1990s who want to protect the status quo (i.e. their asses) and don't want flashy sods running about the place with new ideas and causing "chaos," so they only want to embrace the geek anyway. Lastly, who in their teens or twenties wants to look like M&S man?

    Rant over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've got apprentices...

      There is never an excuse for 'anyhoo'. Please don't do it.

    2. Pete 2


      > instead of giving them crap... give them all the future stuff... then in 5 years they can be my boss

      And the first they'll do is kick you into touch and bring in new, younger (than them) replacements as you won't have any relevant technical skills left.

      Your first (some would say only) allegiance is to yourself, not to some newbie trainee. As such it's your responsibility to keep yourself current, in technical terms. Bringing in a subordinate is the ideal - possibly the only - way to free up enough of your time to learn a new language, or technique. It also helps the young 'un by giving them background in the stuff the operation is currently running on. Better; they have someone there to ask about things they don't understand, rather then being dropped in head-first if they'd simply been recruited as your replacement.

      Sadly, nobody coming into IT these days has any sort of career path expectation. So it's unlikely that you'll be able to give your apprentoid a (manly) hug and say "someday, my son, all this will be yours" as in all likelihood it'll be shipped off to the far-east within a few years and both you and your protoges will be plodding the streets, wondering where it all went wrong. Yhat's the reason young people don't go into IT - lack of prospects, not because of dull work.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Payback

        Agreed, young folks are perfectly capable of spotting all the news articles mentioning X thousand jobs shipped offshore. And they'ļl notice it's NEVER done because of skills or quality requirements. And I am sure they will notice hat most of the big IT/accounting consultancies have consistently dreadful reputations but ALWAYS get chosen for big IT contracts.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I've got apprentices...

      "...old men from the 1990s who want to protect the status quo (i.e. their asses) and don't want flashy sods running about the place with new ideas and causing "chaos,"..."

      You've really got a lot to learn. People who were working in the 1990s tend to be in their 30s/40s, hardly old. Also, if you haven't worked out that people with more experience than you, know more than you, you shouldn't be accusing them of stifling new ideas. I seem to be the person that you're speaking about, I'm 38 and have spent a long time in financial services IT, when people have flashy ideas that aren't properly thought through, stuff goes wrong. Usually your 30/40 year old guy can take one look at an idea and tell you if it's a goer or not.

    4. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: I've got apprentices...

      <rant> yeah right, and the young old men (and women) are mostly vicious, self absorbed narcissists in management, completely unaware of the coal faces of their "business" because they have evolved the idea it is clever to be ignorant, causing them to avoid the grease monkeys. I discourage anyone from pursuing IT as a career now. It used to be fun and challenging sometimes, like many jobs. Customers needs are now irrelevant to IT as practiced in big companies. Rant to be continued.

  5. Charles Smith

    National Service

    All these young scallywags need is a six month spell as conscripts to the Army. A spell of cold showers at 6a.m. and parade square bashing under a Drill Sergeant Major will soon buck up their ideas. IT not a good career? Harrumph, they just want life on easy street.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: National Service

      And when I were a lad, we spent 29 hours a day down t'mill, etc.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The injuns

    Why would anyone want to spend five or more years picking up skills only to be told the injuns can do the same job for a "penny to the pound". BT, Netwest and various other businesses have offshored work and in both my examples there have been CUFU's however the cost advantages of the injuns wins out over piffle such as wrecked billing or reporting systems.

    For me, Canada is looking very nice just about now.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The injuns

      Agreed, anywhere that is slightly out of the US-UK orbit is better, especially if their primary language isn't English. Because that keeps out the riff-raff.

      Don't' bother with any "new" countries though, they'ŗe usually predictably dismal ethnocracies.

      These countries *all* think they are God's Own People, and are quite happy to invent "unique" culture and history to prove it. In reality they'd be better getting the Chinese in to run things properly ;)

      These are ones with gigantic unofficial emigration %, so they'ŗe easy to spot.

    2. Sooty

      Re: The injuns

      With all the IT jobs being farmed out to the cheapest country possible, why would anybody want to get into IT now. I certainly couldn't recommend it as a secure career path.

      Where I work I, and many others, can see a problem looming on the horizon. We are constantly told that only the low level jobs are being offshored, and that they will always need experienced 'SMEs' onshore. But... How does anybody new become experienced if they aren't any low level jobs for them to start in.

      Additionally, you don't get 'lifers' anymore. That guy in your office with 40 years experience of a system, knowing it inside and out. Good luck replacing them, You'll never get someone doing that now, at the very best you get people job hopping ever few years as most companies don't promote anymore, if you want to progress you have to find another job at a higher grade. On a similar note, a lot of places have no techie career progression, once you reach a certain grade it's management or stay where you are.

      It's no wonder IT isn't attracting new people

    3. Mark 65

      Re: The injuns

      On the money AC. With outsourcing and offshoring only really happening to IT workers - the business can contain complete muppets that will never be replaced or moved - I'll make sure my kids are IT literate but I'll do my damnedest to steer them into something more lasting than the pigeon-holing of a career that IT is.

  7. NinjasFTW

    "There seems to be a disconnect between what young people perceive a career in IT to be and an acknowledgement of how this translates into the gadgets, smartphones and consoles they use on a daily basis."

    hmmm do we really want people who can't join the dots together in something so simple :)

    I'm not sure I want IT to be considered a cool industry, I preferred it when it was considered an elite industry and only the dedicated/actually interested wanted to do it. You know, back when it paid better before every man and their dog was an 'IT professional' :)

    On an unrelated (and pre coffee) note when the hell did they drop the qualification that to be an IT architect you had to have a big beard and actually know something about the bare metal systems :/

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    it is indeed very boring

    sitting writing documents about an Active Directory installation or an Exchange installation is one of the most mind-numbing experiences you could wish for (apart from watching TV).

    IT used to be fun but then we turned everything into a commodity and then to top it all we handed control to the accountants.

    Programming can still be fun but I cant see anyone getting excited about sysadmin or infrastructure design - I know I don't.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: it is indeed very boring

      >sitting writing documents about an Active Directory installation or an Exchange installation is one of the most mind-numbing experiences you could wish for (apart from watching TV).

      Or else it scares the crap out of you. We've been researching multi-tenancy recently. The fact that Microsoft acknowledge its existence but don't really support it tells you a lot. That and the fact there's at least three different ways of achieving it that we have to support :-/

    2. darkmage0707077

      Re: it is indeed very boring

      "Programming can still be fun but I cant see anyone getting excited about sysadmin or infrastructure design - I know I don't."

      Actually, I do get excited over sysadmin, myself. But where I see excitement over development as akin to pulling out the lego sets and putting blocks together (with the inevitable interoperable blocks as small frustrations), I see sysadmin work with the same excitement that comes from helping my grilfriend home after she's had some drinks at the club(s): pride and joy that she trusts me with something so important as her personal safety, and the satisfaction of knowing that I'm making her life easier because she doesn't have to worry about how to get home safely. Of course, sometimes she throws up on me and I get PO'd at her stupid antics, but such frustrations come with the territory. I imagine it would also be similiar to when you take care of your child, though I have none so I can't really say for sure. Same with sysadmin: that feeling I get when I stop and think about the fact that my entire company and millions of customers are counting on me to keep the system running smoothly and trust me with some of their most personal details (SSNs, addresses, etc)...thinking about that sends a shiver of excitement up my spine.

      Granted, both forms of excitement are different feelings - one child-like, the other more paternal - but they are both excitement none the less.

  9. Ralph B

    Social Networking as a Profession?

    > the most attractive areas to youngsters are social networking (39 per cent reckon so) then mobile (21 per cent) and gaming (17 per cent).

    I don't think the kids (or the pollsters) understand the question. Coding for an social networking app or website is going to just as boring (or as exciting!) as coding some payroll job or intranet site in an IT dept. Same or similar skill-set, slightly different problem domain and/or scaling. Software is software.

    Good luck to the kids if they plan to avoid learning software engineering in order to hone their skills in actually doing the social networking, mobile and/or gaming. More job choice for me!

    1. ratfox Silver badge

      Re: Social Networking as a Profession?

      Er… Coding for a social networking site is as boring as coding a payroll job? Having done both, I have to say I disagree, but YMMV…

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Social Networking as a Profession?

      Yeah, plus the social networks usually have this rather horrifying lack of what is known as "income", "profit" or "long-term-prospects" ... whilst spending rather a lot of investor's dough... I suppose you might manage to get a few paycheques out of them before the inevitable happens, but not sure if it's a "career".

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Social Networking as a Profession?

      Social networking as a profession? Isn't that what they call "Marketing" these days?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm and Oracle DBA/Unix SA so when I have to tell other people what I do I simply say, "IT , it would bore you to death if I told you what my job actually involved!".

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh no

    When I tell chicks that I'm an IT PRO they love it! Usually score as a result.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Oh no

      Have you tried taking your clothes off and putting them back on again?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh no

        They might do a BRS Reset on him ;)

  12. The Jase

    I say "I fix broken stuff and put new stuff in"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I prefer....

      "It involves anger, fear, agression, and pain. And fire. Lots of lovely, cleansing fire...."

      Qualifying that with fixing a system that crashes when you're halfway through what you're meant to be doing (as an end user) usually gets a smile from even the most embittered desk jockey, male or female. They've all been there. And customer service is 50% of tech support. Sorry programmers, I don't know how you do it. I assume you get a similar kick out of a nice bit of code as I do performing necromancy on dead servers!

      it's not the job itself, it's how you approach it and how you handle it that counts. I have huge fun at work, rolling around the offices, advising arson and wide-opening windows as the very finest of troubleshooting techniques.

      Anon...obviously, as my customer service skills might not sound like the epitome of professionalism, but never had a complaint, always had recommendations, never been out of a job, always had disposable income. Normally spent on petrol. Or second story flats...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I encourage my children to use the computer as little as possible, and I know from other parents that I'm not alone. Friends who artists, gardners and so on seem to enjoy life a lot more, and aren't eyeballing a monitor to two 24hrs a day.

    Why would anyone want to join IT? You have to work long hours for little thanks, there are so many languages to learn and keep up-to-date with that you have to spend every waking minute in front of a computer.

    Also everyone knows that development is getting so complicated and large that someone soon is going to have to try and automate it... so most people will be out of a job soon anyway.

    Also those stupid IT recruitment fims are also to blame. As a web designer (DESIGNER - go to any uni to a web design course and your find it filled with graphic designers, and artistst) I have lost count of the number of jobs descriptions that want web designers to know java, c++, managings sql databases, have experience coding mobile apps, know illustrator, flash, photoshop.

    I thought it was just bad my end... my brother is a software and hardware engineer, knows shit loads of langauges, buidls his own hardware (C&C machines and so on), he is also fed up with job adverts looking for developers who can use photoshop flash and create visual mockups, no actionscript and css and have experience with adobe premier. Why would a senior programmer need to know how to use photoshop or create films with premier?

    The people who write these adverts cause their own problems... who has the skills of four people form completely different disciplines? They just ahve compos with each other to see how many applications and accronyms they can include in the job adverts.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well

      I've seen plenty of "sysadmin" jobs lately where most of the skills listed were clearly matching those of a web designer or DB admin, specifically "MS" SQL, clearly if you are skilled in SQL generally, you are sh*t out of luck, still the ads don't actually list any actual Sysadmin skills, so , whatever ....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well

        HR departments who don't know the difference between Cobra and Corba don't help.

        (NB: This is only funny if you haven't already travelled to the interview.)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well

      It's because of what was called in Ye Olden Days as Web 2.0, where folks with enough skill to mangle things in a trendy way with Photoshop, graft that on as a frontend onto a horrifyingly creaky unmaintainable lashup on Joomla or other CMS and then proclaim themselves as social networking genius inventors who don't need to learn serious programming anymore, Daddio.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well

      I though the standard approach was to list all the brand names of the random cr*p theyd bought for their company since Day 1, whether it works or they use it or not, and then paste that into the job listing, and expect hordes of folks with the same random list on their CV to run along to them?

      Actually that might explain the "IT dictionary" approach to some CVs I've seen lately ;)

  14. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge


    People have unreasonably high expectations. Let the dole queue lengthen, let state interfere somewhat more in the economy, let the depression continue or even worsen.

    Social networking, mobile and gaming??

    Be happy to take up a job in the basement of MinPlenty as datatypist to the Big Blair Computer.

  15. toadwarrior

    Most portrayals of IT are unappealing, they're almost constantly told those jobs go overseas or are done here for low pay and long hours. Of course that's unappealing.

    But what they don't realise is they face those same problems in gaming and social media if they plan on being involved in building those things. If they think they'll get a job posting on twitter or playing BF3 then they better be prepared for a big dose of reality.

    As a software engineer though I don't think people think my job is boring but then again it's not really an IT role, we don't even have an IT department and we have cool stuff like planes.

    I think that's the thing, what do you class as IT? Because working on a helpdesk is never going to be cool.

  16. dotdavid
    IT Angle

    "kids needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

    You often get free tea and coffee, and are almost always provided with your own desk (true, not always) and computer (usually) with which you are often allowed to go on Facebook or whatever you kids do now and again.

    Honestly, this is a golden age.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "kids needed to be taught early on about the joy of an IT department"

      The free tea and coffee and a desk "Woo!" (but of course no "office" for the plebs) and so on is to distract you from the fact that the directors have no intention of giving you decent pay or any kind of job security. Don't zoo-keepers throw in free bananas to the Lemurs like that as well? At least they don't insult the Lemurs by "giving" them share options then firing them regular as clockwork before the share options take effect ;)

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I took up computers at very young age and have always worked in this arena. I've got to say as an IT (supposed) expert, I am bored. This wonderful future with a massive pot of gold that was I sold is a red herring. My wages are mediocre, my interest levels are dwindling, if I could do it all again, I'd go into banking/finance, as even though that would dull, at least I'd have enough money to make 'my life' fun.

    IT isn't really a career these days, it's just another job where I am undervalued, underpaid and have 0 promotion chances as the only way up is out. It's time to retrain in another career, anyone want a plasterer??

    1. keithpeter

      "It's time to retrain in another career, anyone want a plasterer??"

      Your local FE College will have NVQ units in Built Environment that you can study for. While doing your craft quals, why not offer to facilitate some workshops in a local coffee shop? Find out what the local latte crowd want to know about, and talk about it. Bring Your Own Laptop. You know, how to change the colours on your blog type stuff.

      Or Scratch for Primary Teachers workshops given free to local schools. Expand your contact range &c

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My personal view on it is that as an IT person, your business skills are potentially in the "ferocious" league, compared to any of the "no-working-trade" types that often work in banking or business.

      How many of them could set up their own company web server and CMS and make sure it does what they want? Or even compose their own business cards? Hint - GLabels on Linux, don't use a crappy inkjet or at least make sure the ink is waterproof ;)

      You may need to refresh your interpersonal skills after years of being ground down by the "superiors".

      Don't take up golf though, unless you can pull off "ironic" or maybe you actually want Tiger Woods'' "real" social life ;)

    3. Mike Smith

      No title, no future,no f'ing nowt

      Let's get together. I'm seriously thinking about retraining as a plumber.

    4. Piro


      You're reading my mind. Interested in IT from a young age. Been in IT now, going on 10 years. Pay is poor, been from place to place, nowhere has been exceptional, the way IT is treated within any business is horrendous, regardless of our attitude and turn around times, it seems they think we'll be happy with some tea and biscuits, when what we need is a pay rise..

      Undervalued and tired of pissing my life away staring at a screen and fielding questions from people who don't even try to learn the basics.

      How nice it would be to get away from all that from time to time and do something simple..

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it?

    I'm an "IT Pro" and personally I love my job. It's not my life, but if I didn't like what I did then I would leave. Anyone who thinks there job is boring or too geeky just isn't in the right job.

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: I don't get it?

      U would have to be one of the few. Probably in an organisation so backward its management are at least moderately competent

      1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: I don't get it?

        If the OP was an exception,then I must be really rare. Not only do I enjoy my job, it actually partly conditions my life as well.

        I will often come home from fixing the work computers (with the associated buzz of a job well done) and open the laptop (or my new Android tablet), and spend time using computers to do other things, including reading about tech.

        And before you ask, I am married, and have children. They might get annoyed by the amount of time I spend with computers, but as I was doing this before the family came along, they accept it.

        But I know that things are changing, I just hope that my skillset remains sufficiently in demand that I can reach retirement before I struggle to find work. Only 14 years to go, unless they raise the retirement age again

        (spot the person whose pension provision is suffering)

  19. jake Silver badge

    "Kids need to learn that IT guys make the fun stuff they love, said Nott:"

    Duh. Unfortunately, kids are (l)users, not doers. "Learning fun stuff" is hard. Most kids just want to play with their toys, and have no intention of actually thinking about it.

    "There seems to be a disconnect between what young people perceive a career in IT to be and an acknowledgement of how this translates into the gadgets, smartphones and consoles they use on a daily basis."

    This hasn't changed in thirty tens of centuries ... Using a tool doth not make you a tool-maker.

    "Ensuring the role of the IT professional is relevant to young people will ensure their interest in the industry for a future career."

    No more than than ensuring the role of bread or sausage making is relevant to young people and will ensure said industries into the future.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well, counter-duh.

      > Duh. Unfortunately, kids are (l)users, not doers. "Learning fun stuff" is hard. Most kids just want to play with their toys, and have no intention of actually thinking about it.

      I guess nobody told us 80's bedroom coders that we were actually 'learning stuff'. Thank God, else I'd probably be shovelling shit for a living now, or selling car insurance.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Well, counter-duh.

        Note I said "most kids". Not every kid is cut out for every career, despite what the bleeding-heart hand-wringers would try to have you believe.

        When I was coding in my bedroom in the '70s[1], I found it fun ... but I knew I was learning something, too. I'm sorry you didn't realize you were learning something. That has probably stifled your career.

        Nowt wrong with shovelling(sic) shit for a living. I'll be doing that for the next five days ... I've sent my field hands off to the Yucatan to be with their family for their sister's wedding.

        [1] TOPS-10 Tymeshare system at Stanford, via acoustic-coupled teleprinter and boxes & boxes of green and white fan-fold paper.

  20. LDS Silver badge

    They should be taught at eight how to find a new job when theirs is moved to India

    That's what the actual situation is telling. Why should someone select a job when any day can be told "sorry, you cost too much, there's someone in India who can do your job at 1/x of your salary. Please clean your desk, your credentials have been blocked already".

    And worst of all, you can't access your bank account for some days after that....

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    90hr working week with no compensation for overtime doesn't help either. The IT industry has become completely controlled by predatory investors. It's no longer a decent work environment. Many IT workers rank below cleaners wrt financial compensation per working hour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You don''t work in a large bank that cocked up recently do you? Sounds familiar somehow. Do they pay many many weeks late without explanation as well? ;)

  22. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Crystal Reports.

    They're right, my job is shit.

  23. ukgnome
    IT Angle

    I tell them I work for IBM

    Well at least people have an idea (albeit incorrect) of what they do.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Aren't they the firm that made computers for Nazi death camps?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM

        I briefly worked for IBM as a result of an 'acquisition'.

        It is true that today most people have a clue when you say who you work for. Some are suitably impressed.

        However, now that IBM don't PCs or even PoS systems, will the next generation know who big blue is? They will become as obscure to the general public as Oracle or Citrix.

        I left soon after having to train up a team (!) of offshore staff to perform the job that I (singular) was performing. The corporate politics and having to back up raises by printing off silly emails rather than hard work was also draining for someone used to working in startups.

        Pension wasn't bad though.

        (AC, just in case)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: IBM

          I thought many of the large IT Service companies were capable of making a top-class PoS system ;)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: IBM

        I believe this may have been so, and this man was partly responsible for creating that demand at the time. (hanged at Nuremberg)

        His ideas would have ended in the complete implementation of this, if things had "worked out" for them:-

        As you can see this would have been rather unpleasant for people "they just didn't like" including particularly, the Poles (80-85%), Lithuanians (85%), Belarusians (75%), and Latgalians (Eastern Latvians) (100%).

        If you have a particularly strong stomach you should certainly also, for educational reasons, check out as an example of what was planned - Babi Yar, and the organisations Einsatzgruppen (A, B, C), and Paul Blobel (also hanged) who helped to carry out and conceal these "Aktionen" (a euphemism) particularly the rather grotesque mass coverup Aktion 1005.

      3. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Re: IBM

        Check your history. No computers, but maybe card sorters. Computers in 2WW were people who did computations, not machines.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Wait, kids don't want to become part of an industry which is increasingly underpaid, over-stressed and under-appreciated?


  25. Khaptain Silver badge

    What is it all about

    * Dealing with people that don't have a clue what IT can provide but believe that solutions are just clicks on the keyboard away.

    * Trying to explain that having IT knowledge has nothing to do with being able to repair personal material, being a Photoshop genius or counselling on how make thy personal website look "pretty".

    * No, I do not have any good sources or information requiring the purchase of cheap material.

    * Trying to run an IT department on an ever decreasing budget but with increasing demands..

    * Endless reports to the upper echelons which will be used to further prove that the workforce can be reduced.

    * The installation and maintenance of hardware OUTSIDE of office hours. No, the hours are not always paid.

    * Being on call 365 days a year.

    And what are the advantages.

    * A free Blackberry so that you can be on call. - whoopy do.

    * A non restricted Internet access - whoopy f***ing do.

    * You get to choose your own laptop - as long as its a Dell, double whoopy f***ing do.

    Yup, really looking great isnt it.

    To be honest though there are some perks to the job but they are usually quite rare and far between.

  26. Tel Starr

    Is polling...

    a bunch of middle age keyboard warriors on their opinion on 'yoof' going to give an accurate profile?

    Why didn't they ask the incoming generation directly?

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Is polling...

      becus they don spek english ne moh

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The joy of IT?

    Yes ask those lucky few in RBS IT about the joy of seeing jobs sold to cheap suppliers. The thrill of a major fuckup. Add the elation at then having to work your ass off to protect the management who outsourced your mates in the first place.

    After y2k IT turned pants and nobody does fun stuff anymore.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The joy of IT?

      Wasn't that also about the time the Indian Govt started their humongous (almost total) tax exemption scheme for companies to kick-start Bangalore?

  28. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge


    Saw this coming in the late 90's in the networking field when the support was commoditized. Once you de-skill the lower levels (which made it ripe for off-shoring) you lose the 'rising through the ranks' skills and experience that people of my age group have.

    I have spoken to firewall engineers at large blue chip companies who don't know anything about routing - even though their firewall is a router (that came as a bit of a surprise to the guy I was talking to btw - scary).

    At my age, in my industry, the 'yoof' i.e. 25-30 year olds (old enough to have an education and an experience but obviously younger than my 40) should be snapping at my heels for all the jobs I go for - but they aren't - they are completely absent.

    IT = Geeky and can be boring, but it can also pay well and fund my lifestyle choices and my wife hasn't had to work for money for 15 years.

    Kids, they want everything but have no idea what the actually means.

  29. AndrueC Silver badge

    I find that the fun factor gets less and less as time goes on. Now fair enough I'm actually a programmer not an IT admin but the nature of my work means I have to set up and maintain domains with Exchange and SharePoint servers a long with a working knowledge of almost every backup package on the market.

    I don't see how anyone could think of that as fun. It's tedious and bloody irritating most of the time. I die a little inside every time I create a Windows server and IESec kicks in. Does anyone ever leave that active on their servers?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think youngsters expect it on a plate to be honest...

    I personally think that too many expect IT to be "effortless" and expect the actual technology to do the work for them. I'm posting anon because I worked as a network and sys admin within a private school who actually invested more than the average state school in IT. However, it still wasn't enough to attract the people into the roles. I only stuck there for 5 years as I did see progression within my role up to a point where my technical abilities outweighed the pay and nothing was being done to scale the department.

    One of my responsibilities was to look after the trainees they employed to do the low-level/1st line support work within the school. I covered the 2nd/3rd line ground. Unfortunately, I could only go so far with all the trainees we got through those posts (most were from the apprenticeship system) and none of them aspired to be me wanting to learn new tech and write code/learn command-line (such as HP/Cisco switches and routers for example). Most didn't take the initiative to learn and expected it all to be done for them. Also, the full-time trainees we got through by employment I know will be still there doing trainee roles in 10 years time. One of the guys who was approaching his 30s and the other in his early 20s had no sparkle to go forward to progress into my role. No fight at all to be the best. Especially the guy in his late 20s. Still living at home with his mum, went on holidays with family and had come from being in retail for 7 years at one of the high street PC shops. I know he could do more if he pushed himself. I wasn't going to do it for him.

    I expect the same is for most youngsters thinking to go into Google/Apple of the IT world without any effort. I've gone from managing a wintel interal network to now managing web servers in a top e-commerce travel firm. I've had to learn more tech and skills to here.

    Maybe there's a lack of role-models in the industry or poor IT teachers not inspiring our next generation?

  31. Melanie Winiger

    "In the good old days"

    "In the good old days" when you programmed for the company you worked for, isof for an outsourced multi-national, I felt a connection with the company and enjoyed the work.

    Now - after been outsourced, bankrupted, bought, sold and bought again, I feel like a pawn in a beancounters' chess game.

    The technical side is still fun, but those accountants and their multiple time-reporting systems have made the overall job like swimming in treacle.

  32. JohnG Silver badge

    IT was never cool

    Take it from someone the wrong side of 50 - IT was never cool, even when it was called "Data Processing". IT is about as cool as accountancy : boring but the money is good. IT may have become even less cool with the effect of outsourcing and Intra Corporate Transfers on salaries.

    1. Anonymous Coward 15
      Paris Hilton

      Re: IT was never cool

      Now it's more like something else with the initials DP.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    State of mind

    What most big companies, the financial services sector in particular, refuses to understand is that developers/coders/engineers (call them what you will) are able to do the work because their minds work in a very particular way. They are not widget makers, they are, to some extent, artists. Now when the full might of conformity, corporate culture and accountancy is brought to bear upon a group of artisans the latter get disgruntled REALLY fast. In other words the very qualities that allow developers to produce imaginative, effective applications in the least time and with great aplomb are being squashed by the bastards in grey suits! We have a generation of IT professionals who became so because they were able to exploit their creative impulses in the 80s using microcomputers at home and at their own (often frantic) pace. Inflict corporate stupidity and lethargy upon those people and they get ill. Show corporate IT to anyone who wasn't seduced by their own interest in the subject first and they'll want nothing to do with it.

  34. Why Not?
    Thumb Up

    It beats cleaning the toilets

    You get normally a desk, aircon & a reasonable chair (you are after all admin staff so the H&S rules apply).

    You are likely to be part of the bonus scheme unlike the production staff. You may even get HR support. You won't get overtime.

    Its unlikely you will be infected, poisoned or crippled by your work. Whilst offshoring is a threat its not as likely as it is if you are in manufacturing.

    It is likely no one will understand what you do and expect you to perform miracles (you normally do, so take it as a compliment). They expect to control it the same way they do the warehouse but without the same investment. If they put a new procedure in the warehouse they spend 1/4 million on external training, IT changes daily and when was the last time you had formal training.

    But because they don't understand it they assume when a cheap supplier offers to do the same for 30% of the cost they assume it will be the same quality and go for it. Their experience with manufacturing suggests it will be better.

    I see business managers grappling with comprehension of basic non technical ideas (the ones I build solutions on) making more money than me. If you want cash & chicks go into management. If you want a mentally stimulating career go into IT. I have more control over profits than most sales managers.

    It is also one of the few businesses you can set up with almost no investment or stock and make millions its a lot less work than cleaning toilets.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bad pay? You're looking in the wrong place

    I agree that working in IT isn't the most exciting place, but as a software developer there are opportunities to find fun stuff to work on. But I decided getting paid well was more important that fun, so I went to work in a bank. As a contractor with 2 years experience in the finance industry at 24, I'm earning approximately £80k per year, and if I was willing to travel abroad I would be looking at ~£150k per year (these are for 6 or 12 month contracts, so you can expect some downtime inbetween).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "But I decided getting paid well was more important than fun ..."

      Has it really come to this?

      Everything you need to know about what's wrong with humanity in the 21st Century.

      Don't get me wrong, I understand the logic and the necessity but life REALLY shouldn't be like this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "But I decided getting paid well was more important than fun ..."

        I like to have fun outside of work, earning well means I have the money to go and do what I want in my own time. I'd love to get a job doing something I really enjoy, mountain biking, playing computer games, racing sports cars, etc. but I realise this just isn't going to happen.

    2. IronSteve

      Re: Bad pay? You're looking in the wrong place

      I agree, money in your job is more important than fun. If you can get both then great, but given the choice I choose money every time

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bad pay? You're looking in the wrong place

      > I agree that working in IT isn't the most exciting place, but as a software developer there are opportunities to find fun stuff to work on. But I decided getting paid well was more important that fun, so I went to work in a bank. As a contractor with 2 years experience in the finance industry at 24, I'm earning approximately £80k per year, and if I was willing to travel abroad I would be looking at ~£150k per year (these are for 6 or 12 month contracts, so you can expect some downtime inbetween).

      Getting laid yet?

      1. Brutus

        Re: Bad pay? You're looking in the wrong place

        AC 12:45

        "Getting laid yet?"

        Really? Are we still working on that sad old theme or are you just allowing your jealousy to get the better of you?

        Getting laid has little to do with your job, and a lot more to do with your approach.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Bad pay? You're looking in the wrong place

          > AC 12:45

          > "Getting laid yet?"

          > Really? Are we still working on that sad old theme or are you just allowing your jealousy to get the better of you?

          > Getting laid has little to do with your job, and a lot more to do with your approach.

          That'd be 'no', then?

  36. PassiveSmoking

    "IT isn't perceived as a fun career"

    Wish I'd been that astute when I was a kid.

  37. phuzz Silver badge

    Don't encourage the little buggers to start in IT, they'll be taking my job!

  38. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    stuff the IT


    Give them to me on the shop floor and I'll have them making the robots sing and dance... oh you cant because they're under 18 and all the employees will need a CRB check that the boss is too tight to pay for

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Your'e all doing it wrong.

    I would program even I had another job. It can be enjoyable to get balls-deep into a nice programming challenge. Obviously it can get boring when it's just adding simple features etc, but you can make it more fun - use a new paradigm/thing even though you don;t really need to - but helps your knowledge.

    Also work for a small company. You'll be able to use your brain more to make decisions about projects without having to deal with too many non-programmers, if any. ( My rule is that a good programmer shouldn't ever be taking shit from non-programmers. )

    With the right role, programming can be a good job: Perks like spending the morning browsing the web (I'm at work now!), and then just caning some work this afternoon.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your'e all doing it wrong.

      "It can be enjoyable to get balls-deep into a nice programming challenge"

      More enjoyable with the PA though. With your rule about a good programmer shouldn't ever be taking shit from a non-programmer - nice thought, hold on to it, reality says that every little herbert likes to stick thei 2p in.

  40. Reg Varney

    Or maybe they've just seen hordes of IT jobs disappear offshore and can see which way the wind is blowing,

    And to second some of the others' comments above... a lot of it *is* really, really fucking boring!

  41. djswivel

    IT's not all bad...

    I've not long entered the IT field, having been given the opportunity by my employer.

    I spent years playing with computers and electrics at home but had not experiance of "proper" IT support.

    I've been put on the helpdesk (as a start) and provided some in house training (this has been tricky, given that I'm in Cornwall by myself and the rest of the department is in London).

    Given that I have no relevant training at all, I feel lucky to have been given this chance - especially as "good" jobs in Cornwall are few and far between.

    I probably don't count at a young un' (being 28) but I've always fancied a job in computers. I wasn't given the guidance I needed at school as to what qualifications would land me a computer job.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT's not all bad...

      It depends on the help desk, yours may be better but our IT help desk is staffed entirely by unskilled call centre operators. They simply take your call, collect information from you, mangle it as thoroughly as possible, and use it to fill in a form on the incident system. This then gets farmed out to IT teams! If you're lucky the team it gets assigned to actually know who it should have been sent to and reassign it correctly. Otherwise they just bounce around until you give up. I certainly wouldn't relate what they do to an IT role.

      I don't think we have any IT entry points anymore. Hell I'm a senior dev/admin and I'm pretty much at the lowest level we have for an it role now, and even my grade is being pushed out to replace with offshore. The only way to do it I can think of would be to go up grades in a non it role then apply for an IT role at a high grade. Because technical skills aren't seen as important.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT's not all bad...

      That's really sad. It's like someone who always wanted to work in entertainment and ended up as a fluffer.

  42. PaulM 1

    Most of the enthusiastic young IT graduates in the UK are Indian Nationals

    I have met many enthusiastic young IT graduates recently in my travels as an IT contractor. However the suprising thing is that they are mostly Indian Nationals. A conversation with one Indian graduate revealed to me why this is happening. He told me that the ICT teacher he had from age 11 was passionate about C programming. My son's ICT teacher told me has never written a line of code in any programming language. The UK has a lost generation of young people who could have had a career in programming who instead are stacking shelves at Tescos because they were failed by ICT teachers who know virtually nothing about computers.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most of the enthusiastic young IT graduates in the UK are Indian Nationals

      > A conversation with one Indian graduate revealed to me why this is happening.

      Nothing to do with price, then?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Kids need to learn that IT guys make the fun stuff they love, said Nott:

    There seems to be a disconnect between what young people perceive a career in IT to be and an acknowledgement of how this translates into the gadgets, smartphones and consoles they use on a daily basis. Ensuring the role of the IT professional is relevant to young people will ensure their interest in the industry for a future career."

    Thing is, the above is what I'd call Research and Development (albeit often with a strong electronics/hardware/firmware/software theme) [which is what I do]. "IT" I'm afraid conjures up an image of "IT support" helpdesk and/or folks who do the "digital plumbing" that keeps a modern office ticking over. [which seems comparatively dull from my perspective]

  44. spiny norman


    "There seems to be a disconnect between what young people perceive a career in IT to be and an acknowledgement of how this translates into the gadgets, smartphones and consoles they use on a daily basis."

    How stoking the mainframe in the basement of RBS translate into gadgets, smartphones and consoles?

  45. Ben Norris

    you don't work in IT

    The problem is that 'working in IT' is presented as a choice when for most people it is not. We are getting to the stage where everything uses computers and no matter what you do, you will use IT to achieve it. Writers don't claim to be in the paper and pencil business, those are just tools - it is the same with IT.

    Ironically it is the people who don't choose to learn about it who are going to end up doing the boring menial stuff! I'm a coder, I get to solve interesting puzzles, they are the ones who are going to end up filling in the same form over and over.

    But IT isn't just about spreadsheets or code, IT is a doorway to taking your imagination into reality in whatever field you are in. This is where the education system has really failed in capturing the imagination.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: you don't work in IT

      > IT is a doorway to taking your imagination into reality in whatever field you are in.

      No it isn't. IT is just data processing. Coding is not IT. Also, coding is not a career. It's a trade. You can have a lot of fun and get paid a lot of money, if you keep your skills up to date. And unlike in IT, incompetent people have nowhere to hide.

      1. the-it-slayer
        Thumb Down

        Re: you don't work in IT

        Big boo to you. Coding is IT. It's the basis of how data is crunched. No logical rules, no data processing. I think you're getting confused by the term IT - "Information Technology". A very broad term used to describe anyone who deals with anything within the digital space of computers. Oh don't worry, people your world of "conventional IT" cannot hide. Especially after the RBS incident where slight incompentance in huge organisation can cost your career.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: you don't work in IT

          "Especially after the RBS incident where slight incompentance in huge organisation can cost your career."

          Tell me about it, I got chucked out just for posting a message on here, didn't even reveal anything that wasn't already public knowledge, Ho Hum.

      2. Ben Norris

        Re: you don't work in IT

        Sorry Field Marshal El-Haj Prof. Dr. Idi Amin Dada, VC DSO MC but you are stuck in the middle ages or are you just confusing a helpdesk with the whole field of computing? IT is just data processing like thought is just electrical impulses in neurons.

  46. This post has been deleted by its author

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nobody asks me what I do at parties.

    I'm happily married. That means I don't have to go to parties. Especially parties full of sad IT people trying to pretend they don't work in IT so they can get laid (didn't they get laid at college? why not?)


  48. Ben Holmes
    Thumb Up

    I'm not bothered by this

    As far as I'm concerned, the moronic 'yoof' of today have just secured my career for me. Cheers, boys and girls. You go chase your celebutard of choice, and aspire to be just as vacous as they can be, and I'll carry on doing the job I enjoy, at a reasonable salary, for a company I enjoy working for.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's all being offshored anyway

    Why take a career that is headed east?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's all being offshored anyway

      Total myth. Whilst jobs are scarce at the moment in other fields, IT is booming. I get calls several times a week from recruiters trying to fill a position.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's all being offshored anyway

        They used to pull that sh*t in 2002 as well, when most IT contractors were out of a job.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's all being offshored anyway

        "I get calls several times a week from recruiters trying to fill a position."

        Me too, but you know just because a job is mentioned doesn't mean one really exists.

        Once I got headhunted for a job, a couple of weeks later they headhunted me again for the exact same position.

        Just like any job site, a fake job to fill out a database they can sell.

      3. The Jase

        Re: It's all being offshored anyway

        "Total myth. Whilst jobs are scarce at the moment in other fields, IT is booming. I get calls several times a week from recruiters trying to fill a position."

        The pimps are just trying to fulfil unrealistic wish lists for far too little money.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boring? Uncool? Underpaid? Not really.

    Age 14, first installed a Linux distro on my computer and setup a home network.

    I found it seriously interesting and fun, no one else knew how the hell I could understand everything. Now kids younger than this are scripting with their eyes shut, but aren't interested.

    A middle aged network engineer once told me I'd be better being a plumber, there's no jobs or money in IT.

    I'm 23 now, systems engineer in oil and gas industry earning a great salary doing data centre management, dba work, designing new products, being left to run with my own projects and travelling to some amazing places in the world.

    IT might not appear 'cool' but of youre interested and love the challenge, then you can have a fantastically challenging career which pays a 'glamourous' lifestyle if you want to call it that.

    That's what we should be telling kids, IT really needs some bright young

    Minds to take IT up a gear and become a more desirable career choice.

  51. LordHighFixer

    IT Morloks & IT Eloi

    You can see from my name what I think of myself and what I do. I even include it on my resume. I am one of the Morloks of IT. I have been doing this since punching bootstrap loaders into the front panel was the norm. While I can't fab a transistor in my garage, I can make logic circuits out of relays if necessary. I really enjoy my work, and yes, I eat the IT Eloi for lunch. It is kinda sad to watch them thinking that C(#, +, !) is low level programming, or that .net is actually a viable skill. Just take your iStick and go play in a corner while the real IT pros get some work done. And yes, I get paid and paid reasonably well.

    IT as a career path is dead, because when I and my breathren go away there will be no one left who really understands the tech. It will all be the white boxes and zillion lines of code that are generated by those who think a terrebyte of ram is the minimum necessary to do anything. Just push a button and there you go, new code. You might as well be bean counters or factory workers. The age of digital innovation is done. It is all the same old recycled sh*t only a little smaller and a little faster, with a little more shine on it. Show me something truly new!!!

    At least when I started doing this it WAS rocket surgery, now it is little more than a game for the marketing department and the lawyers. That is the real reason that the youth aren't interested, we have shown them the truth.

    If you have never seen a data-center, on the inside, or have no idea what the server that runs your stuff really looks like or how it is architected, well, then, you can go code yourself. I will see you at feeding time.

    Take solice young ones, your time will come, there will be a new and interesting path for you to follow, consider physics, or genetics, or chemistry. There will be something, just not IT.

    1. Notas Badoff

      Between the boom and the zoom, I get called in...

      Now that's an introduction!

      "I do rocket surgery, after ignition and they realize something's wrong..."

      How many of your jobs sound like that! And *you're* the ones saying what the hey, this is *fun*!

  52. Andy 7

    Grass is greener in the "X" dept

    I would rather be in IT than, HR, Accounts/Finance, Marketing or Operations.

    Maybe I feel like that because I'm not at the coal face watering and feeding the systems/infrastructure or keeping the code alive, but I wouldn't swap IT for anything else.

    Each day there is a new problem to solve with the help of the right people within the IT dept who are the SME's for the topic at hand be it Technical, Process or Politics some days are painful, most are not.

    Get some perspective people we all have our crosses to bear, no industry is 100% fun for 100% of the people in it.

    Don't like what you are doing now, then ship on out and go something you enjoy, if you cant leave, then grab your ankles while you grin and bear it. It could be worse, you could be one of the many looking for a job and can't get one.... I'm just saying

  53. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I just tell people I get paid to play around with 'stuff' - not so far off the truth either!

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    With ever changing technology it's often like swimming against the current regardless of direction chosen, while at the same time large companies are throwing you stone life rafts by way of "New interfaces" upgrades and end of life as directed by the marketing team.

    Never for one moment have I thought "those people at Microsoft have my back and are focusing on best value, reliability.........."

    People notice downtime but rarely uptime, you could bust a gut for that always on, bit faster experience, better QOS, efficient use of funds (everyone's bonuses) but often they will just notice X has a wireless keyboard why don't I!?

    IT can empower people but only if applied intelligently, learning "a button to press in Word" is much less valuable than how to evoke the action required in any package. Can't do something? learn to use help systems and search the net efficiently.

    IMO IT still has potential but we really need to pension off the "Named package for task" thinking it just kills all thought. You want to write a text document? then you don't "NEED" Word and Windows in fact if you want to stay connected in IT they are the last things you need and for any intelligent being should be banished, find another way and stay alive in IT.

    That's not about MS office by the way, its a just an illustration of the deadly treadmill mush which hides the potential and beauty of these incredible machines in this interesting time.

  55. John A Blackley

    If anyone starts a conversation with

    "and what do you do?" I usually respond, "Well, a great deal of the time I sleep", leave unsaid the "you bore" part and then walk away.

  56. David Gillies
    IT Angle

    IT is boring and full of spods and no-one should ever work in it

    Right, now we've got that out of the way: why would I want a bunch of people coming into my profession and diluting my appeal to employers? If everyone could do what I do, then I wouldn't get paid as much. The ideal situation would be where my skill-set was so rare I could basically name my price.

  57. SirDigalot

    IT not fun

    IT or more accuratly computers, were a hobby, when i was 16, tinkering installing uninstalling trying new things, tinkering more, it was fun, a couple of years later i had a full time job, it was not very good but paid a crapton for a well known english aviatory company, in the mean time thinking i was much better then the average (well paid awesome benfitted employee) i changed and did a sort of apprenticeshipp thing in audi visual stuff it was fun ever getting closer to my ultimate goal of IT, I got the books, bought more stuff and worked like buggery i thought it was da bomb diggity! i was cool, i worked on computers, i was going to buy a bow tie and a fez!

    I moved to the US w00t! land of golden arches i was gonna make it big! ok after spending a while waiting for ald sammy to sort out my actual worky without deporty stuff, i was doing side work, it was fun also it was not all the time, challenging everyday was a new conundrum! i could focus on IT i could be arty farty if i wnated again i thought this was goign to be the jammy dodger of the proverbial biscuit tin!

    then i got a real helpdesk job...

    ok it was ok.... clients (public) were at times a little frustrating, but it goes with the territory, it was helpdesk, i increased my skill set where i could and left that job for another where i am now, been here for a few years now, IT, sysadmin, stuff, IT stuff, Computers! yeah it sucks, i no linger deal with "clients" at least not in the sense of the general unwashed masses, i do have to deal with employed unwashed masses, who are actually really dumb, really really dumb, and annoying, and smug, pretty much it is the same stuff all the time, no pioneering, no, hollywood fixing this or that or cool stuff nothing that approached the idea of what i thought i wanted to do in my heady yoof, no it is tedious frustrating monotony, and we are not allowed to even be the slightest bit sarcastic with our fellow workers ( i started that and got dinged for it, told my boss they asked for it they work for a technology compnay and cannot work out how to turn on their laptop...)I am on call 24/7 like the rest of my department, i cannot NOT think about my job when i go home (even if i try there is always someone who wants computer "help") now i look back at my menial job, that paid well, for what i did, the benefits were superb! i could stop thinking about my job at exactly knock off time, i could also be somewhat of a prick to my colleagues in a horseplay sort of way and get away with it, even my boss..

    kids want to USE technology they want SOMEONE ELSE to fix it, does not matter what it is , if they have to spend a few minutes not doing what they want ( music listening games TV chatting) then it is too hard for them, they are under the impression the fixit fairies come and do it for them - for free.

    bitter about my career? it has done me ok, wished i knew what it was really about before comitting yup..

    IT is not cool, engineering is cool, flying planes is cool, tormenting linrarians with incorrectly placed books is cool..

    IT is a service

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