back to article UK govt advert encouraging re-skilling for cyber jobs implodes spectacularly

The UK government has pulled an ad campaign that encouraged retraining for a job in cyber-security. The ad appears to have been an emission of the CyberFirst programme at the UK's National Cyber Security Centre, an effort that encourages young people to consider acquiring the skills they'll need to pursue a career in cyber- …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You missed off...

    Commenting how "cyber" also used to mean to cybersex (because we were all young and horney on the Internet once).

    Admittedly it's branched into a myriad of ways since then but since we're dragging back archaic terms (cyber... Ffs even regular managers just refer to it as digital these days) from the says of Alt vista and geocities they should be reminded of that one too.

    Anon because I've been using my online handle for well into its second decade...

    1. H in The Hague Silver badge

      Re: You missed off...

      "since we're dragging back archaic terms"

      Hear, hear!

      I always thought that "cybernetics" was a term mostly used in the Soviet Union. Wot's wrong with plain old "IT"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You missed off...

        IT is not hip, or down, with the kids of today....

        None of those words are used by anyone other than someone trying to be modern, but missed the mark by 15 - 20 years.

        But i agree with the OP, cyber means something else than technology, IT or internet.

        ASL, Wanna cyber, wanna webcam.

      2. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

        Re: You missed off...

        RE: cybernetics; the amusingly-named Norbert Wiener invented the term and tried to push it but it never really took off, unlike the rather more comprehensive "Information Theory" of Claude Shannon. (Yes, this is simplifying a lot of interesting history a lot. See "The Information" by James Gleick).

        1. The Central Scrutinizer

          Re: You missed off...

          Huh, I'm reading that at the moment and am at the Claude Shannon part. Fascinating stuff.

          1. Joe W Silver badge

            Re: You missed off...

            Ever read Shannon's paper on information measures (from the Bell Systems Technical Journal, or what it was called)? Very well written, and the reason to call it "entropy" totally makes sense: it looks and behaves and calculates as entropy in physics and people don't really understand it...

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You missed off...

              I would like to say I remember Shannon's Information Theory from second year Electrical / Electronics Degree.

              However, that was the one lecture that we used to have in the Art block which was full of very distracting, arty females - not something we were used to in Engineering...

        2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: You missed off...

          Yes, Wiener coined "cybernetic" to refer to any self-regulating mechanism.1

          Then Clynes and Kline co-opted it for their daft "cyborg" portmanteau, which doesn't even make sense, since all organisms are already self-regulating to some extent. Why they thought "cybernetic" meant "biomechanical" I do not know.

          In their article they begin by referring to the "cybernetic aspects" of biological homeostasis, which is fine; but then they coin cyborg to mean "the exogenously extended organizational complex functioning as an integrated homeostatic system functioning unconsciously". Now, I admit the latter phrase is a bit of a mouthful (though I am tempted to drop it into conversation whenever possible2), but surely the "homeostatic" part is not the innovative aspect vis-a-vis the extant a priori organism, as C&K might put it. (Their piece is well worth reading just for the prose, which leaps beyond "turgid" to some new realm of awesomely over-written.)

          Anyhoo, Clynes and Kline started the rot in "cybernetic" in 1960 with their "cyborg", which then became popularized by Halacy, Kaidin, and others. Donna Haraway3 introduced it to critical-theory circles in 1985, which then trickled down to middlebrow venues. Meanwhile there was some use of "cyber" and other forms in IT; the CDC Cyber range launched in the early '70s, for example. And "CYBER" was a standard Library of Congress index term in 1990, and probably earlier.

          But the term didn't really pick up steam until the early 1990s, judging by Google Books Ngram data, as people began to tire of prefixing everything with "e-" to indicate it had something to do with IT. Then it snowballed.

          It was always etymologically unfounded for this use, though. And it carries rather a non-technical whiff; someone who sprinkles their conversation with cyber-this and cyber-that rather comes across as the sort of person whose expertise is derived mostly from reading the popular press.

          It's long past time to retire "cyber-".

          1From Greek "kybernetes" or "steersman", which now of course has been adopted by the Cloud People.

          2It's never possible.

          3Much of whose work I like. Not this piece, though.

      3. Trigonoceps occipitalis

        Re: You missed off...

        "since we're dragging back archaic terms"

        Back to the traditional occupation of resting thesps, barrista in Cyberia.

    2. big_D Silver badge

      Re: You missed off...

      Having worked for 3 decades in IT, I've never seen cyber used as an abbreviation of cybersex. It was always cybersex...

      I know cyber as an abbreviation of cybernetics and its practitioners from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation will be the first against the wall, when the revolution comes.

      Your plastic pal that is fun to be with.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: You missed off...

        "Having worked for 3 decades in IT, I've never seen cyber used as an abbreviation of cybersex."

        It was quite common in the '90s when TheGreatUnwashed were just dipping a toe into the Internet through the likes of AOL, Prodigy, Compuserve & etc.

      2. Symon Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: You missed off...

        "plastic pal"

        In every dream home a heartache.

        https://youtu.be/G56DaSAeZfM

        p.s. OWGT was 'kin great.

      3. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: You missed off...

        "Want to cyber?" was something I frequently heard in the early 90s.

        They weren't talking about blockchains.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You missed off...

          ... They weren't talking about blockchains.

          Kinky!

      4. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: You missed off...

        Your username is "big D" and no-one has asked you to cyber? I find this hard to believe..

      5. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: You missed off...

        'cyber' is an adjective. It needs a noun. "Work in cyber". Cyber what? Cybernetics? Cyberinfomatics? Cybersex? It's like saying "Work in industrial". Industrial what?

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You missed off...

        Having worked almost 3 decades and then in my teens and preteenage life using various type of computers, it has been used as an abbreviation to cybersex, take urban dictionary:

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=cyber

        Earliest entry, almost 19 years ago.

        "So you really like him, huh? Have you two cybered yet?"

    3. MOH

      Re: You missed off...

      I think it helps drive home how idiotic the increasing use of "cyber" is if you deliberately pronounce it with a hard C. Maybe if we can get a whole gif/gif debate going it people will just give up and stop using it

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: You missed off...

        Carry On up the cyber?

      2. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Re: You missed off...

        'I think it helps drive home how idiotic the increasing use of "cyber" is if you deliberately pronounce it with a hard C'

        …like kubernetes, you mean? ;-)

        (which has the same origin, but I agree that the use of the term "cyber" on its own is stupid, and doesn't at its root necessarily have anything to do with computers anyway.)

    4. fidodogbreath Silver badge

      Re: You missed off...

      Maybe Fatima's next job can be working on one of those new-fangled information superhighway on-ramps.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Needs more "balance"

    So I suggest the next generic "non-stereotypical jobs" ad has a picture of jake installing slackware on his tractor's inflight computer system, with a caption suggesting he retrain as a ballet dancer [1]

    -

    [1] At which point jake will be along to say that at one point he was indeed a ballet dancer of some skill, before he decided that his beard was more important, and he wanted to go work on a farm or something :-) [2]

    [2] Just kidding, jake! :-)

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Needs more "balance"

      But I don't have a beard (and never have), the 1915 Case is steam powered & has no computer controls, my old abused knees can't handle dance, and the idiocy of the British Government is not my issue, seeing as I'm a bloody Yank.

      Other than that, I'd say you've nailed it.

      1. Vometia Munro

        Re: Needs more "balance"

        "the 1915 Case is steam powered"

        If it isn't supported by Linux, the NetBSD guys have probably got a version going by now.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Needs more "balance"

          Slackware will boot on it. Babbage did a patch

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Needs more "balance"

            Presumably those who run this are known as Babbage Patch Kids?

            Okay, okay, the coat's already on...

            1. Vometia Munro

              Re: Needs more "balance"

              That was so bad it causes a RL lol. Awesome.

            2. sev.monster
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: Needs more "balance"

              You made my day you rat bastard.

            3. jake Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Needs more "balance"

              Thanks for the laugh, folks :-)

              This round's on me.

          2. jake Silver badge

            Re: Needs more "balance"

            To be fair, Slackware doesn't actually boot on it, rather Slackware supports the hardware as a kernel extension. So do all other distros that use a SysV or BSD-style init. It seems that systemd-based distros crash on startup due to incompatibilities with tradition. (The usual suspects have labeled this obvious show-stopper of a bug WONTFIX, probably because they are too young to understand the complexities involved in what appears on first glance to be a simple operation.)

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: Needs more "balance"

          Even the BSD guys & gals gave up on it ... Not much call for BSD on a 1 bit trinary processor (forward, stop, reverse) that consumes over 200 horsepower to do 65 horsepower worth of work.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    You can be whatever you want

    This fits right in with the ideology that you can be whatever you want regardless of your skill or capacity... What a bunch of crap....

    IT is probably the worst choice of career for this kind of publicity.. Even those that have the desire, capacity and knowledge can find infosec a deeply challenging area. It's complex, requires years of experience, frustration and endless days and nights of hair pulling and that's for those that are dedicated.....

    I would challenge the authors of the publicity to actually spend a day with an IT Pro in order that they begin to understand some of the "subtleties" of what being in IT actually involves.. Ballet dancers are not likely to either want or desire to push themselves into IT...

    I would probably also challenge the authors to day spend a day as a Ballerina....

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: You can be whatever you want

      Ah, you miss the worse aspect of this.

      All of the outrage is at the sheer nerve of suggesting a delicate empowered woman should sully herself by taking a smelly job in *spit* IT.

      Yes, they really do think that IT is done by social outcasts incapable of real work.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: You can be whatever you want

        Charlie Stross (quoted in the article) used to work in IT (for SCO no less), so he's fully aware of what an actual career in IT is like.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: You can be whatever you want

          His rant is out of place. Everybody loves arts (or what they believe is art) - far less so science and technology.

          How many little girls dream to become a ballerina - and not an engineer? Singers, musicians, dancers, actors, writers, painters, etc. are far more adulated than scientists by the general public - which usually know the names of the former and not the latter. I had to explain to some people who Penrose is. You don't usually need to explain who won a Oscar or a Grammy (maybe to your grandfather who looks suspiciously at that strange man or woman....)

          Even politicians usually pretend they love and know art - after all who doesn't like to be seen with pretty actresses, or world famous artists? I don't see many technologists walking along red carpets making the news. Pretending to know science and technology is far harder - and when they show off with someone, is the famous billionaire - not the egghead (the latter is usually clever enough to stay away).

          There's nothing wrong if a girl who was forced by her mother (oh - how many do!) to dance finds cybersecurity is a far more interesting challenge for her. Maybe the original idea was to show someone who would never think to attempt a career in cyber and say "why don't you think about it too? There's far more in life then the usual gender clichés" - but was implemented very badly. Robbing images somewhere is never clever, and the boundary between a great ad and a stupid one is easy to cross.

          I do expect an image showing a boy with a football renouncing to millions kicking a ball in Premier League to pursue bad hackers instead....

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: You can be whatever you want

            "had to explain to some people who Penrose is."

            Lionel or Roger?

            1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

              Re: You can be whatever you want

              Comic relief sidekick in "Danger Mouse".

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: You can be whatever you want

            Ironically, I am aware of Penrose precisely because of those pretty and artistic geometric tiling patterns he invented. I am afraid I have absolutely no idea what the rest of his work involves, however.

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: You can be whatever you want

          "Charlie Stross (quoted in the article) used to work in IT (for SCO no less), so he's fully aware of what an actual career in IT is like."

          For "IT career" that equals "technical writer".

          On the bright side, it was the real SCO. The SCO famed for losing lawsuits came later.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: You can be whatever you want

        I think it's more to do with the government re-launching a campaign which craps on the arts after the chancellor did a speech where he crapped on the arts.

        Presumably they've decided there's no votes for them from the arts sector so they can take an almighty dump on it, in spite of it being one of the big sectors in the UK economy.

      3. sev.monster

        Re: You can be whatever you want

        Certainly there were some idiots among the Twitter mob (surprise surprise that the primary demographic is printing so much) but the general feel I got was that art is still an important field, and if someone wants to do it then they should. Something that I agree with personally; as overabundant and crowded a field as it is, art and expression will always have its place.

      4. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: You can be whatever you want

        Exactly.

        I am sure nobody would object if there was a flight attendant on a the ad, but “creative people” are above dirting their hands.

  4. AMBxx Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Soviet Union reference

    I seem to recall the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts as a failed way to show the superiority of their system.

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Soviet Union reference

      People were very keen to participate because it was one of the few ways you could get to travel abroad and potentially "defect".

      Can't see IT being a route to escaping our present pestilential pit anytime soon. Even if there were anywhere to escape to.

      1. Symon Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Soviet Union reference

        They did have a few successes.

        https://youtu.be/RKs6ikmrLgg

        Поéхали!

      2. lglethal Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Soviet Union reference

        Can't see IT being a route to escaping our present pestilential pit anytime soon. Even if there were anywhere to escape to.

        I dont know... you could always say you need to check the offsite disaster recovery site that just happens to be located on the otherside of the world*...

        * for resilience purposes of course...

    2. LDS Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts"

      Only if you used it to show the supremacy of the Communist system in ways approved by the Party. If you didn't follow that, they were no nicer than Nazi and their attempt to destroy the "decadent art".

      Look at how difficult was for Bulgakov and his heirs to publish "Master i Margarita"...

      1. sev.monster

        Re: "the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts"

        The Soviets were notorious for stamping out people and their ideas that they didn't like and/or that didn't align with party values as influenced by enemy propaganda, potential enemies of the state, mentally insane, or dead.

        Something that continues in China to this day.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts"

          Thankfully here in the UK we only have a government instructing schools to remove any course materials critical of capitalism and which wants to see a reduction of left-wing comedy in favour of the much-maligned right-wing comedy scene.

      2. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

        Re: "the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts"

        Just like today in the UK your arts career will progress much better if you support left-wing causes and “politically correct“.

        1. Rich 11 Silver badge

          Re: "the Soviet Union being very keen on the arts"

          I did a search for left-wing causes and right-wing causes, to see which of each I would be most likely to espouse. The left-wing causes were mostly about alleviating poverty, reducing bigotry and enhancing equality across society. The right-wing causes were primarily freedom of speech and reduction of taxes and public spending. When I tried for more clarity by narrowing this down to charities, the left-wing ones were once again focused on alleviating poverty, reducing bigotry and enhancing equality across society. The right-wing ones were almost all reports about right-wing thinktanks abusing charitable status and far-right extremists hiding their fundraising efforts behind harmless-sounding charities.

          All told, I'm not surprised to find that I am currently supporting what you would class as left-wing causes.

    3. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: Soviet Union reference

      I have loathed the Soviet system almost since toddlerhood --- and not for the morose simplistic reasons of economics adhered to by American commentators all over the Internet who view 'Socialism' as a device of the Prince of Darkness --- but I shall admit the USSR did, to some meagre extent, attempt High Culture; unlike the USAR of today or then.

      .

      EG: Symphonies versus Sinatra's Do-Be-Do-Be-Do *; or the crass sentimentality of Hollywood versus the tedium of Soviet Cinema.

      .

      OK, you may well say Sinatra was a communist fellow-traveller [ until he had a chat with Hoover's boys ] but still not real art.

  5. Pangasinan Philippines

    Cyber gets the budget

    Where I worked before retirement.

    Anything "Cyber" was important.

    But ask what is Cyber?

    ----< Blank expression >----

    1. John70

      Re: Cyber gets the budget

      And now it's anything "Digital" that's important

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Cyber gets the budget

        Yup. The agency that put the ad together flubbed that one as well.

        Mind you, they succeeded in one respect: this is an ad which I've actually seen, even if not in the intended context.

      2. Dave559 Bronze badge

        Re: Cyber gets the budget

        I reckon it must be about time for "e-anything" to come back into fashion again?

        (And don't start me about people who for some illogical reason attempt to differentiate between "digital" copies versus CDs/DVDs, as if these were not both members of the same set…)

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: Cyber gets the budget

      "But ask what is Cyber?"

      Thus it ever was ... See my post from 10 years ago.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: Cyber gets the budget

        I just upvoted a ten-year-old post. I didn't know that was a thing.

        1. Pigeon

          Re: Cyber gets the budget

          Ooh yeah

          Can I just say this is the first time I've upvoted a …

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: What is Cyber?

      Go watch some Dr Who.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whilst I agree, we, as a country need more InfoSec bods, what about trying to retain the ones you already have?

    Having worked for the Government most of my life, I have watched graduate after graduate, start a job, get tens of thousands in training before leaving to join the private sector, because the pay cheque is 2-3 times what we are paying them. I don't fault the workers, I fault the pay structure. If they wish to retain the brightest and best to protect our countries digital systems, we need the pay to reflect the role.

    As a separate issue, the InfoSec degrees need overhauling. They are woefully inadequate/unsuitable.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The reason the pay structure is what it is is because the public sector workforce wants it this way. In the private sector, performance-related pay is common. Age-related pay is not a thing. There are no "spines". The lazy can be managed out, and the hard-working can be rewarded. Skilled technical specialists can be paid more than the generalist, mid-level administators they report to (nothing wrong with mid-level adminstrators, but they are much easier to find). These are not conditions imposed by government, they are conditions voted for by the majority of the workers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not like that in local government. Age related pay? That makes the assumption that when you reach the top of the "spine", you get bumped up to the next pay grade - you don't. I've been on the same grade for 15 years, doesn't matter how well I perform, what national awards I've won for my work, by working in a really tiny IT department there is no promotion, and no way of getting a payrise.

        Skilled technical specialists don't get paid more, the computer software used to decide the pay rate for a job seems to mark specialist skills down - that's not just in IT, that's across all specialisms.

        1. jake Silver badge

          "I've been on the same grade for 15 years, doesn't matter how well I perform, what national awards I've won for my work, by working in a really tiny IT department there is no promotion, and no way of getting a payrise."

          Anybody who sees themselves in the above, get thee to night school and acquire an MBA!

          Free advice for new sysadmins: Take as many business related courses as you can stomach. Haul your ass[0] to your nearest post-secondary school that offers night courses and talk to a career counselor. Tell 'em that you are a techie, but are interested in management. You want to take courses that can be applied to a future MBA (should you want to go that route later).

          If you already hold a four year degree, and you can code fluently in one or more upper level languages, chances are you can snooze through an MBA in two years (or less, if the classes line up right). Lest you think getting an MBA is difficult, think about all the feckless idiots you know who hold one ;-)

          I realize that not all of us are cut out for management ... the objective isn't necessarily to become a manager, but rather to learn their lingo. It's amazing how fast long-closed doors open once you learn to talk to Moneybags in his/her own language. On top of that, an MBA will better prepare you for when the time comes to strike out on your own and become a consultant.

          [0] Or arse, depending on which side of the pond you Hail from ...

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "Skilled technical specialists don't get paid more, the computer software used to decide the pay rate for a job seems to mark specialist skills down - that's not just in IT, that's across all specialisms."

          Unsurprisingly nothing seems to have changed since the 1980s. Promotion from SSO to PSO depended on responsibility but that was defined as management responsibility. The fact that in my speciality there was the individual responsibility for giving evidence that might put someone away for life didn't count.

          I bailed, went into IT and the money started going up and up. I think it came as a slight shock to my former employers but from what I heard, not enough to do anything useful. However, entirely coincidentally, I was offered the promotion to PSO without any of the normal procedures as soon as I handed in my notice.

        3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Why don’t you find another job, if you think you deserve a pay increase and a promotion?

          This is what the rest of us in private sector do.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Utter bollocks.

        Civil service pay has always been less than the private sector, theres bugger all fringe benefits, and the pay progression that was contractually agreed was never delivered. On top of that the government doubled pension contributions unlawfully. Dont believe me? The FDA got the courts to agree. Now the cabinet office is procrastinating about repaying the stolen money.

        Seriously, don't believe everything you read in the daily fail.

  7. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    You mean "faux outrage"?

    Perhaps the wet wipes would have been happier if it was suggested that she retrain as a career Barista, or as a seamstress in a gingham factory?

    I don't really care about who is upset about this to be honest, but young Fatima here doesn't have a divine right to any job just because it is in the "Arts".

    If this global pandemic really gets a hold, and then the next one hits... then this faux liberally minded outrage will be the last thing that you'll all be concerned about.

    Downvote away.

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

      I did find it slightly hypocritical that the same people on twitter who'd been mocking the government for trying to get people back into the office to save workers at Pret and the like, and saying they could get new jobs suited to the post-covid economy, were then outraged when the government suggested people could get new jobs suited to the post-covid economy... It was almost as if they were the kind of people who'd criticise the government regardless.

      Still nice to see that we're still allowed to make the stereotype that all girls want to be ballet dancers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

        "Still nice to see that we're still allowed to make the stereotype that all girls want to be ballet dancers."

        Doctor, Zoo Keeper and Ballerina - I think that my 3 daughters have all the stereotypes covered!

    2. Arbuthnot the Magnificent

      Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

      No, she doesn't have a "divine right to any job", what she does have though is a reasonable expectation that the government she has paid her taxes to will not throw her and the culture of the country under a bus. Even the arch-Tory Churchill himself said: “The arts are essential to any complete national life. The State owes it to itself to sus­tain and encour­age them….Ill fares the race which fails to salute the arts with the rev­er­ence and delight which are their due.”

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

        I think the government's superspreaderforecaster-in-chief is quoted as saying, with respect to support for jobs, "the f*ing ballerinas can get to the back of the queue". The art and entertainment sector makes up a significant part of the economy and it's not the "faux outrage" of the "lliberals" that's astonishing, but the political opportunism of the right that would like to see its permanent destruction regardless of the economic cost because it doesn't tend to support their world view. That seems to be the new political correctness and it's no better than the old one.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          >The art and entertainment sector makes up a significant part of the economy

          Does it? When they claimed here that it was some x% of the local economy - they were including peoples cable TV bills as part of the local "arts economy"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          "the f*ing ballerinas can get to the back of the queue"

          What, so it IS cybersex?

      2. monty75

        Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

        It's brought to you by the same people who will sell you a degree to make you a better worker. They can't get into their heads that anything could be worth doing just for the joy of it rather than to make more money.

      3. m4r35n357

        Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

        Well the "Arch-Tory" wanted a United States of Europe, so I don't expect he is particularly in favour these days . . . .

        1. SkippyBing Silver badge

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          Didn't want the UK to be part of it though.

        2. SundogUK Silver badge

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          The "Arch-Tory" wanted a United States of Europe but didn't want the UK to be part of it. Looks like we're almost there.

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          Well the "Arch-Tory" wanted a United States of Europe,

          He also said "We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked but not combined. We are interested and associated but not absorbed."

    3. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

      How about the government not steal a photo off instagram, but actually hire a photographer to create an original. That would put money in the pockets of a photographer, a model, a venue owner, and probably a few other local people as well.

      Nope, just steal a photo off the internet and send that money into some managers pocket instead.

      Thats where the real rage should be...

      1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

        Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

        I don't think the article said the photo was stolen, just that it was from Instagram. The ad agency probably searched online for photos, saw it, asked to use it and paid the owner a license fee that was a lot less than it would have cost to contract a photographer, model and studio, thus saving the tax payer some money.

        1. SloppyJesse

          Re: You mean "faux outrage"?

          The picture has been identified on unsplash, a royalty free stock imagery site, thus saving the tax payer agency some money.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sci-Fi author Charles Stross

    spewed his Ultimate Wisdom upon us. I'm surprised the ad wasn't attacked because it shows [a female] [of colour], which is an indication of offense being meant! (cause, like, it CLEARLY implies that dark-skinned women are lazy / think they can get any job, including ballerinas?! Get a job man!)

    Is there ANY career ad for anything that's not offensive to the Masters of Social Media these days?

    p.s. and I just love some comments here, about how ballerinas wont' want to become cyber-whatevers so wtf is this ad about?! :)

  9. James12345
    WTF?

    Twats

    Faux-outrage bollocks.

  10. Mr Dogshit
    FAIL

    Yeah

    What we need in IT is more ballerinas.

    1. James12345

      Re: Yeah

      Perhaps that is exactly what we need. Or is it men only in Dogshit world?

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Yeah

      Well, it's well known that Ballerinas are strong as fuck, so they'd probably be pretty handy at getting heavy servers into the top of a rack.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: Yeah

        And looking graceful while doing so.

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Yeah

        > so they'd probably be pretty handy at getting heavy servers into the top of a rack.

        Most server rooms seem to have been designed assuming that the average sysadmin is about 6" deep and can lift their legs over their head

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah

      What we need in IT is more ballerinas

      It's fine, I work in IT and have colleagues who are ballerinas.

      OK, officially they're called the sales & marketing department, but they can produce more spin than Anna Pavlova...

    4. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Yeah

      One of my colleagues has a degree in Mathematics and is a dance teacher in his free time... though he never brought some ballerinas in the office....

      1. Ken Shabby
        Coat

        Re: Yeah

        I expect he got a tu tu.

  11. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
    Flame

    Those raising issue at the outrage.

    Are missing the point, it takes years of hard graft and dedication to become a dancer, and it's not going to be a spectacularly long career anyway.

    But if you've dedicated your life to something, trained your body to a honed perfection to do a job. Only then to be told, sorry we forced you out a job and that we've destroyed your livelihoods. But it'll be all fine, just dedicate yourself to a job that you've got no experience or desire to do and you'll be right as rain.

    It's as condicending as having a manager get you to service his new electric car "because it's all just computers anyway".

    It's also sadly, par for the course from our elected leaders being so out of touch they're in space.

    1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

      Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

      An honest question from someone whom can't see (literally) what the NSFW part is about.

      What's NSFW about a ballerina & why is there so much uproar?

      I know I'm missing something, but I honestly for the life of me can't figure out what.

      Please enlighten this old fart?

      Thank you!

      *Hands you a tall tankard in hopes it encourages a civil reply*

      1. monty75

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        I suspect it's the F word on the included satirical versions of the advert.

        1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

          Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

          Ah, ok. That would explain it.

          Thank you & enjoy a pint when you feel up for one.

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        @Shadow Systems

        My eyesight is good for my age and I can't see anything remotely NSFW unless a pic if a ballerina putting a shoe on is now considered risque.

        Mind you, I can't see what any of the fuss is about either, my impression is that ad implies that anyone no matter what their current work is, can consider retraining to work in IT.

        I don't get the Faux Outrage™, or the outrage about the faux outrage, I guess it's a quiet day with not enough to be angry about.

        All this getting angry over nothing makes me angry!

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

          The only thing outrageous in this advert is the lengths to which the SJW's/Woke crowd will go to create another scandal...

          The often forget that people actually do have to work to get things done whilst they go on about the latest trend in outrageousness.

          They truly are a bunch of tedious, spoilt children..

          1. phuzz Silver badge

            Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

            You sound outraged...

            1. Khaptain Silver badge

              Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

              "You sound outraged.."

              Outraged , no. I am just depressed at the fact that "Social media" has now managed to create the largest divide that any modern civilization has ever seen. Things were getting better and better until social media ramped up....

              Division is on the increase and it's not likely to stop. Twitterati/FaceBook SJWs and Wokesters becoming smugger and prouder of their destruction. They haven't yet understood that they are making things worse for themselves and more importantly for those that they pretend to protect..

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: "Social media" has now managed to create the largest divide that any modern civilization

                I'm glad I'm the only tin-foil who thinks the social media is THE underpinning cause of all the (faux and real) problems people are making these days in order to solve them, at huge cost. Yipee!

              2. Dan 55 Silver badge

                Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

                I agree with you somewhat but as the Tango Orange Man said there are "very fine people on both sides" and you appear to have forgotten one of them.

                1. the spectacularly refined chap

                  Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

                  It took a moment to understand that reference. When you referred to Tango Orange Man in the context of social ills I thought of that Tango ad campaign from the 90s with the slap on the cheeks. The one which had to be pulled after children started to suffer punctured eardrums. Harmful influences didn't start with social media or his Trumpness.

                  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                    Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

                    So nothing should be done about social media's obvious failings?

                    The other day Facebook decided to ban posts about holocaust denial worldwide. Imagine that. They're really pushing the boat out there. We can truly leave social media to police itself.

                    Oh, but they also said "enforcement wouldn't happen overnight", just in case we were under the impression they were going to do something about it.

                  2. Khaptain Silver badge

                    Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

                    "Harmful influences didn't start with social media or his Trumpness."

                    Agreed but the Social Media and MSM have certainly amplified them to an unbearable extent.

                    We were once able to talk and discuss. Now it appears as though shouting and screaming at a deafening level are quite standard. No one listening or trying to learn, you are either with them or against them. A dichotomy of extremism led and fueled by the Social Media platforms who are making millions from the unrest...

      3. teebie

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        It may be related to the f word in the bottom twitter screenshot.

        (It's hard to give a civil reply when the answer is 'fucking')

      4. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        Maybe the flesh tone filters on a corporate firewall would go off at that pic. Ours did when I emailed a holiday snap to my work account to use as my desktop background. "It's just my wife in a bikini eating a hotdog with mayo" I complained.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

          If "eating a hotdog with mayo" is a euphemism, I can see why you might not be allowed that photo as your work desktop background...

    2. Symon Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

      "not going to be a spectacularly long career anyway."

      Indeed, you can take a pension early from that job. Here's a list:-

      https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2005/3451/schedule/2/made

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        I was going to say, not many 60 year old ballerinas. (And I think someone said this campaign, if not this ad, was running before anyone mentioned lockdowns. I or they could be wrong.)

        So it's maybe not just "Re-Educate the Intellectuals" as it looks (and didn't Communist China have ballet anyway, I think Clive James wrote about it, however I think he thought it was rubbish)

        It's not age 60 now though, they changed the standard UK pension age for women and changed it hard. And... got away with it, I think is a concise way to say how it went.

        They did change it to the same as for men. And they changed that too. It's not totally unjust, far too many people are living long enough to get pension apparently. Because we're not smoking, I suppose.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

        "Indeed, you can take a pension early from that job."

        I wonder how much actual pension they can have built up before they need to retire. I doubt there are enough teaching and choreography jobs to move into.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

      I'll translate this ad for you:

      OPEN. YOUR. MIND

      that's it.

    4. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Those raising issue at the outrage.

      Same with pilots - it is a long journey to become a pilot and now they lost their jobs.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A fine example of the offensiveness of anything

    Oh no! They didn't doxx someone who is essentially a model in a stock photo!

    Oh no! They used a stock photo showing body diversity in ballet!

    Oh no! There was an undertone that someone in a troubled industry might want a more reliable source of income!

    Oh no! How dare they suggest that cybersecurity isn't a career only for nerds!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A fine example of the offensiveness of anything

      It's offensive because it exists... Somewhere on this planet of 7 Billion souls there is an individual who has become triggered by the extremely poor background choice, which just by it's existence is obviously racist, homophobic, trans-phobic, inter-sex-phobic, xenophobic or one of the other million phobics that now exist. It's obvious an attack by the far right, really just look at the intent... It's anti-antifa......

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A fine example of the offensiveness of anything

      "Body diversity"? She looks like any other modern ballerina to me. They usually have well-built muscular thighs due to rigorous use, just like any strength training / body building. You can't judge anything else about her torso with the way she's sitting. The fact that anyone would consider this lady "overweight" has a standard of beauty that's WAAAAY too skinny.

      (Personally: BMI charts say I'm already obese and I need to lose 40 pounds / ~18 kg just to get under "pre-obese" back to "overweight". My hypertension is controlled and my cholesterol is great, and I've actually LOST 20 pounds during the pandemic by getting off an antidepressant and getting back to a daily 3/4-mile walk. I admittedly have a ways to go but I'm on the right track and in pretty good health, so take your "ideal" charts and shove it!)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: A fine example of the offensiveness of anything

        BMI is a completely useless measure of anything except the intellect of the person who thinks it is useful. For example, according to the BMI Arnold "da Governator" Schwarzenegger in his T-800 body is morbidly obese.

        1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

          Re: A fine example of the offensiveness of anything

          The T-800 apparently is made of steel or something space age (aluminium?) so probably is heavy as for-goodness-sake.

  13. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "This is not something from @DCMS & I agree it was crass"

    Whether it was created by a third party or not. It was clearly done with permission from them. Don't you love how when the shit hits the fan they disown it and pass the buck to a someone else. Yet it this had been widely praised they would be happy to take the positive press for themselves.

    Plus did the ad agency get permission to use the photo from the American models Instagram page? Just because someone posts a picture on a publicly viewable website DOES NOT mean its public domain and you can use it in your crappy ad campaigns without express written permission. (and it it were my photo a big fat cheque for the privilege)

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      It would be as well to remember that the campaign will have been put together by an agency dominated by arts types who probably know no more about law than about IT (and probably not more about dance either).

      It does occur to me that the working life of most ballet dancers is probably short. What do they do when the body can't cope any more?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Teach ballet.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          The career of a teacher is probably longer than that of an active dancer. If they all went into teaching there'd be more teachers than dancers.

  14. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    Terminator

    Pearl Mackie is a British actress, dancer

    & her new career is in...

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EkIea-ZWoAI22hJ.png

    1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Pearl Mackie is a British actress, dancer

      I am suffering from Poe's law. Is this satire or genuine? Her character in Dr Who had far more experience of cyber than she wanted

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Pearl Mackie is a British actress, dancer

        I think that's the joke, she met the Cybermen and they were us.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Carry on up the cyber pass

    My Dad worked in Cipher in the Cold War, Atomic Test program.

    No ballerinas were harmed.

  16. David Roberts
    Mushroom

    Initially passed me by

    I was seeing the indignant reaction to this on Twitter with no idea what it was about.

    Then I remembered that I had blocked HMG on Twitter because I didn't need reminding all day every day that I needed to update my export procedures by this December.

    Given that I don't export anything.

  17. wjake
    Facepalm

    A common refrain

    Joe Biden, Dec. 2019:

    Biden said, “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well... Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”

    1. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: A common refrain

      Biden said, “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well... Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”

      I'll say anybody who can do this can replace Donald Trump.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        A gerbil can replace Donald Trump.

        And the world would be a better place.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "A gerbil can replace Donald Trump."

          And a three legged stuffed mouse could replace Biden.. Albeit he would think that he was a toaster.

    2. David Woodhead
      Facepalm

      Re: A common refrain @ wjake

      Biden said, “Anybody who can go down 3,000 feet in a mine can sure as hell learn to program as well... Anybody who can throw coal into a furnace can learn how to program, for God’s sake!”

      If this is the best they can put up against Trump, another four years of the GOP awaits. It's Hilary Clinton all over again.

  18. NiceCuppaTea

    Im offened

    That the Ad's all imply that im not "special" being in IT and that anyone can retrain to do my job. It implies that its a simple and easy process! Am i really that thick that its taken me 20 years to get to a poistion that 'swell paid and technical?

    1. Commswonk Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Im offened

      Am i really that thick that its taken me 20 years to get to a poistion that 'swell paid and technical?

      Well... whatever your "poistion" and its accompanying remuneration I fear that your spelling and grammar could do with some work.

      See me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Im offened

        Shouldn't there be a comma between "remuneration" and "I" ?

        1. Commswonk Silver badge

          Re: Im offened

          Shouldn't there be a comma between "remuneration" and "I" ?

          Woe is me! Mea maximum culpa.

          Caught out by Muphry's Law; I will go and don a hair shirt.

    2. Naselus

      Re: Im offened

      Yes, this is the bit which got me really. Infosec positions tend to be highly technical and typically require a fairly large amount of general IT experience as a background before you can really break into them, which is one of the main reasons why the gov's desperate attempts to close the skills gap in the field over the last five years has had no noticeable impact. Most politicians and senior civil servants remain locked in the mindset that any job aside from the 'classic professions' can be picked up from a three week course at the job centre.

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

        Re: Im offened

        Obligatory Dilbert PHB quote: "Anything I don't know how to do is easy, so... (insert doomed-to-fail project / timeline here)"

  19. chivo243 Silver badge

    Horse, meet cart ahead of you!

    nothing like being paid in advance for your troubles! Seems like someone got paid before they produced anything, and didn't care what the outcome looked like?

  20. Nifty Silver badge

    Perfectly factual advertisement, what's the fuss?

    "Janet Carolin (or Caroline) Hughes was born on 4 March 1921. She... attended Miss Ironside's School for Girls in Kensington, trained as a ballet dancer, and was admitted to the Royal Ballet School..."

    Moving on a little:

    "...in 1940, at the age of 18, she was interviewed by senior codebreaker Stuart Milner-Barry, and joined the secret codebreaking project at Bletchley Park"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Fawcett

    After the war she packed in Codebreaking for a more fulfilling career with a long term future... as an opera singer.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      Re: Perfectly factual advertisement, what's the fuss?

      Interesting find ...

      After quickly reading her biography on Wikipedia, it appears as though Miss Hughes was quite the intellectual and as such probably more destined to be a codebreaker rather than a Ballet dancer...

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Perfectly factual advertisement, what's the fuss?

        It's not an art form I follow but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that ballet also had intellectual demands.

        I'm in favour of big changes of career. It gets you out of a rut and there's nothing that says you can only be good at one thing.

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          Re: Perfectly factual advertisement, what's the fuss?

          "It's not an art form I follow but I wouldn't be surprised to discover that ballet also had intellectual demands."

          Everything that we do has intellectuals demands but we tend to focus on that which we favour as it is generally beneficial to the desired result.

          Undoubtedly I could learn to be graceful and have the strength and dedication of a ballet dancer but it is not one of my desires therefore I would create a negative impact on my eventual capacity.

          You have to want to be a ballet dancer or a C++ developer. You don't normally simply enter into either profession haphazardly ( well usually not). They both require dedication but in general that dedication is by choice...

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Perfectly factual advertisement, what's the fuss?

            "Undoubtedly I could learn to be graceful and have the strength and dedication of a ballet dancer"

            Good for you, I certainly couldn't. What I did do was make a few sideways changes, one out of my preferred branch of biology into another which claimed to offer a career and another out of that into IT when I decided it really didn't.

  21. richardcox13

    Some improved versios online

    https://twitter.com/haveigotnews/status/1315621064039424000

    The replies are perhaps even better.

  22. tiggity Silver badge
    Joke

    cyber

    Does Only Fans count as cyber work?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: cyber

      I could breeze in with a joke, but you'd probably think I was putting the wind up. Perhaps I should attempt to draft a flurry of puns instead ... Blow that, I'm blasting out of here before all y'all start squalling about one tempest in a teapot or another ...

      That off my chest, one of the first Cisco AGS+ routers allowed out in the wild was known as "Breezy" because of the racket her cooling fans made ... She ran nearly non-stop for about 15 years, only to be scrapped in the Y2K overhaul. Mid '80s tech was big, bulky, heavy, slow and loud, but it got us to where we are today. I apologize profusely for my small roll in what became today's clusterfuck known loosely as TehIntraWebTubes.

  23. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    IT Angle

    I'm a little confused here...

    Shouldn't the fact that Fatima knows that Excel isn't a fucking database stand as a reason that she SHOULD consider a career change to IT? I mean, it obviously puts her ahead of numerous decision-makers in the UK government and its usual IT vendor base.

  24. Dinsdale247

    Sure thing

    Cause you know, over weight, 30 year old women that spent their life pampered enough to think they could be professional ballerinas would make the BEST infosec people.

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