back to article Words to strike fear into admins' hearts: One in five workers consider themselves 'digital experts' these days

In what sounds like an introduction to an episode of Who, Me? Gartner has published the results of a survey showing nearly one in five workers "consider themselves to be digital technology experts". The news will delight IT administrators charged with supporting them over the last year or so and is attributed to the changes …

  1. Lon24 Silver badge
    Pint

    Time for a ====>

    This is absolutely splendid news. Can we ensure we have a register of names, telephone numbers and email addresses of these experts? Hence when they call me - I can share my outstanding list of 'issues' and redirect incoming calls from the other 80%.

    Ha, what could possibly go wrong with my plans for a much more relaxed support desk?

    1. fran 2

      Re: Time for a ====>

      As a help desk manager I'd love if these 1 in 5 experts would stop screqing up their devices

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Time for a ====>

        Yeah, but if it wasn't for those 1 in 5 you'd only need 20% of your staff, coz the "I'm an expert" brigade cause at least 80% of the problems.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Holmes

          Re: Time for a ====>

          I'd be happy, if these experts could work out how to change the default app for a file type, back to what it was supposed to be before they used their expertise on it!

          1. martyn.hare
            Devil

            IT Security & Compliance is here for you

            We got you covered! As part of your Cyber ISO Essentials 9000, we will write up convoluted paperwork enabling you to deploy your very own Final Solution to rid the world of the rogue bands of digital shadow elites!

            By the power vested in me, I say: Go nuts on Group Policy! That'll learn 'em!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Buried the lede

    The real news here is that it's so easy to be snarky about this and we all laugh along.

    This year will be the 40th anniversary of the IBM PC and the 45th of the Apple 1. In any rational world, using a computer and going online should as routine as driving your own car, and calling for help something that happens almost never, and even then only because you didn't do routine maintenance. Imagine what computers would be like if "ease of ownership" had kept pace with memory, CPU power, or network bandwidth.

    Of course, if that happened, we wouldn't have "dumb users" to kick around, and where would the fun be in that? And I know all you IT admins, jealously hoarding your hard-won knowledge like dragons sitting on your treasure, will snipe at me for this, but ultimately wouldn't you rather live in a world where you didn't have to deal with all that crap and could focus on challenging, interesting, and high-value stuff instead (or just have a lot more free time for play, whatever)?

    1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      I have met the enemy 'digital experts' and most of them are recipients of the Dunning-Kruger award! In fact I’ve started more than one new job only to find that the first six months involves clearing up the fsck ups that they’ve put in place!

      1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Buried the lede

        I’ve started more than one new job only to find that the first six months involves clearing up the fsck ups that they’ve put in place!

        To be fair, your successors may well have said the same...

        1. VBF
          Happy

          Re: Buried the lede

          Cruel, but necessary!

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      I don't disagree with any of your well made argument, but if you consider the car analogy and the increase in complexity of software, networks,etc over the past 40 years, modern cars would now have about 17 million seperate components and would grind to a halt regularly because the cheap offshore guy who built a tiny piece of one of them didn't tighten a screw correctly.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        The difference is that car manufacturers have spent many years concentrating on refining their products to make sure cars just work. The IT industry has spent years adding more an more complexity so that computers all too often continue to only just work. However, with encouraging the motor industry with aspirations to self-driving cars they seem to have found a way to close the disparity.

        1. swm Silver badge

          Re: Buried the lede

          But now car manufacturers are adding electronics that make the car very difficult to turn on the radio etc.

          1. Denarius Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Buried the lede

            <rant> radio !!! As a sufferer of multiple vehicles of mostly European origin it is becoming hard to find

            (a) how do you start/stop this b* thing?

            (b( where is the handbrake?

            (c) where is the damned gear stick?

            (d) how do I turn off those multiple beeping/honking sounds from the instruments ?

            (e) do those multiple distractions to driving actually signify anything I need to know ?

            (f) where the hell is the fuel tank cover and cap on this thing ?

            (g) why cant I turn off that foul noise previous driver has selected by total entertainment system shutdown or at very least, get it to change channel ?

            I could do all of these things 10 years ago without thought. Now every damn medium truck down to motorcycle is a RTFM manual, if one can find one before attempting entry, or use. Bring back the standard 1928 Cadillac layout that was a standard everyone new.

            As for for computers, compare a late 1980s or early Sun YP network with automount and diskless workstations that got along on 10BaseT or less for the borkage of clouds, anything M$ and the huge CPU. memory loads inflicted and need for gigabit networks to slowly show that latest waste of electrons from Jacinta in HR. And dont start me on the markup language abominations with their megabloat of a 2 Kb text file to 100 Kb of web page, or worse if its all in a database, sucked out and "presented" to end user. </rant>

            1. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

              Re: Buried the lede

              Having just changed cars - 14 year old VW Passat I've been driving for 9+ years to a Skoda Octavio I agree about 9 billion percent!

              A simple RTFM would be fine but its more a game of guess if this option is actually in the car, which of the "infotainment" systems is actually fitted.

        2. Arctic fox
          Joke

          Doctor Syntax Re: "found a way to close the disparity."

          Question: What is the similarity between cars and computer hardware?

          Answer: They are both fucked up by dodgy drivers.

        3. JohnSheeran

          Re: Buried the lede

          To add to that note; the car industry is filled with ACTUAL engineers that have a formal scientifically based education with a solid standards model that isn't controlled by companies selling a product. It is governed by ACTUAL governments and must follow a lot of regulations. (I know, I know, I'll get flamed for suggesting that all of us geniuses aren't ACTUAL engineers)

          Why? Because cars can cause death, injury and significant loss of real property if they suffer malfunction or misuse. This is very basic and doesn't capture everything else involved but it's certainly foundational.

          Just for fun, imagine a world where you had to apply the same rigor that is applied to designing, building and operating a car to the IT industry. It would be very entertaining at the least.

    3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

      Re: Buried the lede

      Using a computer and going online *is* as routine as driving your own car, it's several orders of magnitude easier than it was in the 1980s.

      If your real question is either :

      why are applications a bit crap?

      why do device drivers for your printer/other device suck?

      The answer is

      1) Users don't want to pay for one that's any good

      2) The business isn't willing to pay to produce something decent

      3) The number of people willing to fight for things such as right to repair is too low, allowing unscrupulous companies (hey Apple!) to abuse their position.

      In the early 80 to early nineties :

      Computers were expensive

      Connectivity was pricey and difficult to configure, regardless of if it was a modem or network

      Word processors suitable for business were five hundred quid a copy

      Printers were also expensive

      Early operating systems were generally a real pain to use

      None of that is true now.

      I see this over and over 'why doesn't <cheap piece of tat> work with <minority operating system, or my hacked together system>?' 'Well if you pay 3-4 times the price you'll have something that works much better and keeps going for years' 'I only want to spend $not_much on <cheap tat>'.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        > 1) Users don't want to pay for one that's any good

        That's easy to say. Almost always users don't really have the choice, either because nobody asked them (you don't chose the drivers for your otherwise excellent hardware), they have no means to make an informed choice (except "likes" and "trending" lists), or simply because there isn't any alternative having the precise specs they're looking for.

        Your point #2 is definitely the right one: Companies prefer creating shiny crap which sounds great on the marketing blurb, but is barely fit for service. Unlike car makers, they don't face expensive lawsuits if their product breaks down for no apparent reason, so they always go for the cheapest solution.

        The price only depends on "coolness" and "street cred", not on quality. Smartphones are an excellent example.

        1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

          Re: Buried the lede

          If the 'excellent hardware' has poor drivers, it is not excellent hardware, the two are inextricably linked for the vast majority of purchasers.

          Yes, sometimes this means compromising on what you want or paying more to be able to have a reliable product. It also means doing the same as users of minority operating systems have done for ages if they want a working system : don't buy on spec assuming products will 'just work', look at the company's history with support, be prepared to pay for more than the cheapest options.

          Much though I'd like to trash companies for selling an image rather than quality, there is a non linear relationship between price and quality. If you pay more for a smartphone you'll receive higher quality components up to a certain point. Beyond that there are also issues with economies of scale and company size. Especially in the mobile world, the smaller manufacturers simply don't have access to the same components as the major players as all the supply is funneled to the largest market.

          1. nintendoeats Bronze badge

            Re: Buried the lede

            Which I well know, as a Pro-1 X backer :/

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

              Re: Buried the lede

              Oh you poor sod :(.

              Have you thought about cancelling and getting a Unihertz Titan?

              I was a Pro-1 backer, thinking of selling it, since I got the Titan I've barely switched it on, and haven't really bothered with the alternate OS yet, should really.

              My most recent failure of purchase (and not taking my own advice) was buying an AMD RX Vega 56. I've always thought AMD have substandard engineering/insufficient funding but if you want to run a modern desktop GPU on open source (non Linux) recent Nvidia offerings weren't supported (the situation has improved slightly since, but video decoding is still unsupported).

              The 'correct' method here is to have a modern Windows system for gaming with an Nvidia card, and another system with an older Nvidia or known stable AMD card for your non Linux minority OS, but this is several hundred pounds more expense, not just buying a better card.

              End result : drivers were crap on Windows for a year and a half, stability mostly achieved 2.5 years into the card's lifetime just as it was being replaced. I'm hoping Intel's new GPUs are a good enough replacement. AMD's driver releases still contain warnings about adaptive sync failures, and the RX57xx series had a very rocky start driver wise. They haven't learned, don't buy AMD GPUs, stick to the CPUs.

              1. nintendoeats Bronze badge

                Re: Buried the lede

                There was something about the Titan that put me off, I don't remember what exactly. I think it was a combination of screen size and weight.

                1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

                  Re: Buried the lede

                  There's no denying it's a huge weighty phone with an substandard camera, and that the screen orientation leads to application incompatibility (he Pro 1 isn't any different when placed in landscape mode).

                  It occasionally reboots (so does the Pro 1, that's probably worse). The built in soft keyboard isn't great, and hacking on the Blackberry keyboard only takes it up to acceptable levels rather than excellent.

                  It's rugged though, and half the price of the Pro 1. Until Unihertz release the Titan Pocket or if Blackberry release a really decent phone that isn't nose bleedingly expensive it's all a tradeoff at the moment. What's needed is a more modern Priv which is rootable, has better build quality, and extended security patches support.

                  1. nintendoeats Bronze badge

                    Re: Buried the lede

                    You have described the dream phone...

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Buried the lede

            > If the 'excellent hardware' has poor drivers, it is not excellent hardware

            That might be true from a general point of view, but since the spec sheets rarely mention "crap drivers" as a feature, the buyer doesn't know before trying. All right, you say one should rely on company history, but that's also a mixed bag. Most companies have varying quality; Let's take one big Korean company for instance: Their phone I have is excellent, their Blu-Ray player I have is substandard at best (yet expensive). Might be that another model of that brand is much better, but as I said, I can't really know unless I try.

            .

            > there is a non linear relationship between price and quality

            Yes, usually expensive means better quality, but the key word here is "usually". Example: A well-known German car manufacturer who was known for the quality of their cars, and I can confirm since I've had two of them, some 30-40 years ago. Except that somewhere around the turn of the century their previously rock solid and reliable cars became fragile crap constantly breaking down. Their price didn't go down though, they are still expensive, but now unreliable.

            Unfortunately it's complicated. It would be so much easier if you could know for sure what to chose.

            1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip

              Re: Buried the lede

              That's why I said 'don't buy on spec', don't be the first person to buy it, always read the reviews and trail the leading edge otherwise pain is usually involved.

              I'm not denying it's complicated, and even with your best efforts sometimes it still ends up being a failure.

              However, the situation is still mostly better than it used to be in terms of product quality, and there are more resources to help you make an informed choice.

              Speaking of which, I need to go and order some hair clippers. I checked the reviews and user recommendations last night and lost the will to live. More effort required to find the least worst choice.

            2. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

              Re: Buried the lede

              All to often expensive means the brand name has been overpriced into the BoM

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: Buried the lede

          I bought a new printer/MFD recently. I avoided the cheap "consumer" printers and bought a professional office printer, which is supposed to have a heavy duty cycle. One of the upsides of that is that the drivers "just work".

          A week later, a lot of people were complaining about how crap the drivers were and how hard it was to get it working with their PC... The difference? They had bought the cheap models, from the same manufacturer, built down to a price that precludes QA and thorough testing, but extra cash for the coloured pencils department to make it look cool.

      2. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        Exactly, most things are built down to a price and that means cutting corners. Especially in testing and quality control. Hey, it's modern and agile, the users will tell us if it doesn't work!

        It used to be that over half of the development cycle was testing and debugging. Nowadays, you are lucky if it is 20% on many projects.

        Security? We are a startup, lets get something out the door! If it catches on, we can think about security at a later date! Security best practices? Who has time for that, that just costs money! (Until the fines and legal actions come pouring through the door, but let's just hope that that is cheaper than actually fixing things properly.)

      3. LybsterRoy Bronze badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        In my view part of the problem is to much choice and variety. If the choices were more limited maybe (ok they won't) companies could concentrate on building good quality product rather than adding umpty new features.

    4. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: jealously hoarding your hard-won knowledge like dragons sitting on your treasure

      "ultimately wouldn't you rather live in a world where you didn't have to deal with all that crap and could focus on challenging, interesting, and high-value stuff instead"

      Ok, if the user is left to their own devices, the company would run on a zillion spreadsheets, which require endless support of various permutations. By intervening and setting up a proper company database which deals with all those islands of data, you are getting what you aspire to, which is to focus on challenging, interesting, and high-value stuff, with less tedious support calls - if designed and (the killer) be allowed to implement it correctly.

    5. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      "Imagine what computers would be like if "ease of ownership" had kept pace with memory, CPU power, or network bandwidth."

      It did. However, computers also gained extra functionality. You can have a really simple computer if you only want it to do a few things. If you're interested in it doing lots of different ones, things get more complicated. Just like you can have a car which is easy to drive, but if they made one that could also fly and sail on water, you'd expect some more buttons on the dashboard and items sticking out the sides.

      "Of course, if that happened, we wouldn't have "dumb users" to kick around, and where would the fun be in that? And I know all you IT admins, jealously hoarding your hard-won knowledge like dragons sitting on your treasure,"

      Now really? I'm not in IT (programmer), but I have done my share of admin and support and I don't want to guard my knowledge. If people stopped coming to me and asking me to fix their broken stuff, that would be great. If there was a miraculous way to never have problems so I could just write my code, I would really like that. There isn't. There won't ever be, because when people try too hard to get it, they break things silently and then the users come to the technical to fix it. For example, Apple really likes hiding information from users to make things easier. This meant that, when they changed the filesystem they wanted to use and their computers didn't complete the change correctly, the users had no clue what had happened or why. They brought them all to me for me to fix the partition disaster and perform reinstallations as needed. By the way, I would be very happy if Apple didn't make any mistakes and I didn't have to do that.

      "ultimately wouldn't you rather live in a world where you didn't have to deal with all that crap and could focus on challenging, interesting, and high-value stuff instead (or just have a lot more free time for play, whatever)?"

      Yes, I would. And when you have a way to get there, let me know. Until you have that though, there will be a need to keep users from making security holes or operating critical activities on unreliable systems.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        Precisely.

        Working in administration and support, I spend the extra time to explain what I'm doing to sort out their problem and explain how they can avoid it next time.

        Also, most of our users never call, the systems "just work" for them, until they don't, which is very rare.

        Most of the calls are either a user has disconnected from the terminal server and still has a key transaction open and it needs to be closed, or they ask whether the email they received is real or fake.

        To be honest, I'd much prefer to answer those types of calls all day long than be constantly disinfecting the network of malware.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      ... should as routine as driving your own car

      Well I for one have driven my car about five times this year. I rarely leave the house, and when I do it is to go for a local walk just to stretch my legs. Concerning technical support isn't it all becoming automated. Whether it is for work or contacting some company because I have issues or want to query something, I rarely get to talk to a real person. Even the 'chat' sessions are fucking machines.

      It won't be long before there aren't any real people offering technical support at all -- woo hoo says businesses everywhere, look at how much we have reduced our costs.

      I've seen the future and it's shit.

    7. veti Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      People, by the thousand, demand help on a daily basis with "driving their own car". You don't notice them because you're not the AA, but it happens.

      You also don't notice the millions of computer users who successfully manage their own gear for years on end without needing the help of an expert of any sort, because they don't call you.

      Funny how that works.

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Buried the lede

        exactly , the more smooth and reliable system get , the more they increase number of customers per support staff to keep them entertained all day.

    8. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      Have you actually seen other drivers?

    9. mmonroe

      Re: Buried the lede

      "This year will be the 40th anniversary of the IBM PC and the 45th of the Apple 1."

      There-in lies the source of these "experts". When I was a young, spotty faced programmer, working on various Big Irons, you really had to know what you were doing if you wanted to use a computer. When I was doing my Computer Science degree in the 1970s, we learned about logic gates, truth tables, DeMorgan's Laws, etc, all things which has been the foundations of code I write. Ask any of these "experts" about this stuff and you'll draw a blank.

      Putting a computer on every desk was a double edge sword. Democratising computers was good; creating these "experts" very bad. At the college where I work, most teachers, whether they teach Biology, Mathematics or Languages, consider themselves an IT expert. They will discover a random piece of software on the Internet or have it recommended by a friend, and then find they can't get it to work. They think a quick call to IT support will help. Nup! We don't support random bits of software, only stuff that we approve of. Trouble is, the teacher then goes crying to the Principal pleading "I really need this to teach" and we in IT lose countless hours trying to get whatever piece of carp to work.

      When I first started out on the long and frustrating road of a Computing career, my first boss told me the definition of an "expert". Ex - a has been, Spurt - a drip under pressure.

    10. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Buried the lede

      Imagine what computers would be like if "ease of ownership" had kept pace with memory, CPU power, or network bandwidth.

      Imagine if speed of operation had kept pace with that!

      It takes me longer to load a spreadsheet than it did 30 years ago!

  3. DJV Silver badge

    Yeah, I've met some of these "experts"!

    One who thought using a word processor meant she was "programming" the computer.

    Another who managed to wreck 3 computers in one year. One of the three was where that "reset" switch on the back certainly reset the computer from (nearly) working to a heap of smoking junk when the PSU was unexpectedly switched from 220/240 to 110 volts! I managed to rescue some of the data from the hard disk.

    The guy (back in the mid 1990s) who, despite being told not to, upgraded Internet Explorer 3 to an early version of IE4 (with that new-fangled and decidedly shonky Active Desktop stuff fully enabled), requiring his PC to be rebuilt... TWICE!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah, I've met some of these "experts"!

      Those 240/110V switches were a stroke of genius. Not the good kind of genius, but still genius.

      "Hi, here's your new piece of company-owned kit that cost more than your month's salary. Don't move that switch or you'll destroy it. Bye!"

      "Wait, which switch?"

      "The one round the back next to the power switch. Bye!"

      "What do you mean next to the power switch. Won't I need to press the power switch a lot?"

      "Not at all. Only when it crashes and you need to restart it."

      "How often will it crash?"

      "Not often. Maybe once or twice a day. Don't press the other switch, and you'll be fine."

      "Which switch?! I can't move the PC tower, as the lead for the keyboard is too short. Is it this one? Hey, he's gone."

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge

        Re: Yeah, I've met some of these "experts"!

        Thank goodness for autoswitching supplies...and superglue.

  4. IGotOut Silver badge

    Does the one in five...

    ...include Gartner?

    They are forever making tech claims that turn out to nothing more than marketing bullshit they churn out year after year for the technological illiterate elite.

  5. KittenHuffer Silver badge
    Facepalm

    To err is human ....

    .... to really fsck it up you have to be a 'digital expert'!

    Just glad that I'm no longer in the 1st/2nd/3rd line support chain.

  6. Spanners Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Experts from the Dunning Kruger Institute of Technology

    Which causes me the most stress?

    1. The self taught expert who feels he knows more than me

    or

    2. The person who feels superior because "all that c4ap is for grunts" because he got O Level Latin and is therefore classically educated.

    1. Mr Humbug

      Re: Experts from the Dunning Kruger Institute of Technology

      Oi! I have O-Level Latin AND I know which end to hold a soldering iron (after the first time)

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Experts from the Dunning Kruger Institute of Technology

        I learnt (some) Greek as well and I know not to try to catch a falling soldering iron (after a few times).

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: Experts from the Dunning Kruger Institute of Technology

          Fucking hoi polloi.

      2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: I know which end to hold a soldering iron (after the first time)

        Did you get an O-Level in Anglo Saxon? It is mandatory for first time handling of soldering irons.

        1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: I know which end to hold a soldering iron (after the first time)

          Errrrmmm extremely hung over, fixing things in hotel room at a trade show, I picked up my soldering iron on the wrong end.

          In my defence I had actually unplugged it before lunch & wasn't expecting it to be hot, it was the hotel chambermaid that plugged it back in instead of the mini-bar after she had finished hoovering.

          Some years later working in a electronics factory, heard the tale of a wiring & assembly operator that tested her iron for it's readiness by holding it up to her mouth, until the day she turned her head in response to a question while doing so.

          Icon - Hair of the dog\Also the name of the next small coastal town along where most of the factory workers were inbred from.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I know which end to hold a soldering iron (after the first time)

          A tragic dullard here. Almost no swearing in English is Anglo-Saxon ("turd" is the only one I can remember off-hand). It all came later.

  7. 42656e4d203239
    Mushroom

    Digital experts....

    I have one here, who has a husband who sells.... not exactly black market, shall we say greymarket?, iPads.

    Digital Expert: <sends Boss man a list of excuses* to buy a few iPad pros>

    Boss man to me: "Why not?"

    Me: <explains at length>

    Boss Man: "Ah ok. It's a no then."

    Digital Expert: "Why won't you buy my husbands iPads"

    Me: "Becasue they have to be managed. If they are already managed they can't be used on our network. If the original owner hasn't released them from their management system we can't manage them here."

    Digital Expert: "I don't understand why they have to be managed. Why can't you buy my husband's iPads?"

    Me: "Becasue they aren't from Apple or an Apple aprroved reseller"

    Digital Expert: <sends boss a whinge-o-gram>

    Boss: "DE is getting one to see if you can make it work on our network"

    FFS!

    And that is only the most recent Digital Expert problem...

    * excuses not business requirements; everything listed was an "I Want!" and at the end of the list was an implied "or I will thcweam and thcweam and thcweam until I am thick!"

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Digital experts....

      "until I am thick"

      That should curtail the length of screaming.

      Actually, the best way to kill this particular issue would have been to murmur something about auditors.

    2. marcellothearcane
      Pint

      Re: Digital experts....

      For the William Brown reference (well, Violet Elizabeth Bott, really)

  8. wolfetone Silver badge

    Everyone's an IT expert until Google goes down.

    1. jgard

      Sarcasm aside, As someone employed as an 'IT expert' with 20 odd years experience, I would be screwed without a search engine. All the other 'experts' I know would too!

      1. Mr Humbug

        I keep a handy printout of https://xkcd.com/627/ just in case I forget how anything works

      2. FlamingDeath Silver badge

        It’s just quicker to google

        As opposed to trawling through comprehensive documentation

        No problem should ever be solved twice

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          i used to tell my Dad that when he kept printing out incredibly lengthy instruction manuals for things like mobile phones "to make it easier to read"

    2. Cynicalmark
      Devil

      Amen brother.

  9. hitmouse

    This will surely pur "digital expert" into the same bucket of resume euphemusms as "proficient in Microsoft Office" = "can type".

    1. nintendoeats Bronze badge

      We had some intern resumes recently that listed "navigated the internet with ease", "Skilled at navigate[sic] the internet" and "Ability to use social media such as LinkedIn".

      Under normal circumstances that would be bad. We are a high technology company hiring SE and CS students. Yeah, you had better be able to use the internet. And given that this is a writing position, you shouldn't have typos in your resume.

    2. Horst U Rodeinon
      IT Angle

      'This will surely pur(sic) "digital expert" into the same bucket of resume euphemusms(sic) as "proficient in Microsoft Office" = "can type".'

      Several years ago I was approached by the local branch of a state university about teaching a course in "computer science". I was almost interested until I read the course description: The student will learn advanced concepts using Microsoft Office programs Word and Excel. I guess "advanced concepts" meant they already knew how to type.

  10. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    It all depends how you interpret the words

    If by "digital technology expert" you mean "knows how to apply their digit correctly to the on switch on some piece of technology", then I'd guess that yes, maybe one in five can get it right (on a good day).

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: It all depends how you interpret the words

      They're probably very proficient indeed in the digital technology that they use every day. Step outside of that comfort zone though...

  11. TimMaher Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Andrews suggested “...software programmes...”

    Tells you all you need to know.

    Unless the div was thinking of a collection of predicated events.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cat $article |sed "s/Digital Expert/Outsourcing Vendor/g"

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      UUOC

      sed "s/Digital Expert/Outsourcing Vendor/g" $article

  13. ThatOne Silver badge
    Angel

    Lusers vs. IT Gods

    Now that is all very funny when viewed from the admins and IT bosses' point of view, but there is also the users' one. Let me tell you a short tale:

    Back in the start of the century my department needed to move huge amounts of data from strange, non-PC devices, around a rather big building. Our CIO clearly didn't want us on his shiny Netware network and dragged his feet as much as possible. After having waited in vain for a year, we eventually used our own budget to build a parallel TCP/IP network (including pulling our own cables around the building). The two networks were completely and totally separate, and we promised to never requested IT's help for our network (and we indeed didn't - not that we've ever had any problems).

    Do I consider myself a "digital expert"? Definitely not! (That title only says "I'm full of male cattle's excrement" anyway.) But I can claim to be an expert level user. This allows me first and foremost to know my limits, and while I can make vaguely informed choices, to implement those correctly I still need and request the experts (or at least their input). It just happens they can't pull the wool over my eyes that easily...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

      How long did the CIO lag before moving the "official" network to TCP/IP - or just to yours?

      1. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

        Never did, at least not before I left, couple years later. Note we had chosen TCP/IP because it was something all our devices could handle, but IPX/SPX was still the go-to LAN network protocol at that time, and it worked just fine for all the others.

        And no, our network was too important to let the pencil pushers at it. The total separation wasn't as much so we don't contaminate the "official" network, it was also to avoid the official network contaminating us.

    2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

      (That title only says "I'm full of adult, uncastrated male cattle's excrement" anyway.)

      Completed it for you ;)

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

        Are you expecting a pat on the head now?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

          Only if the cow is particularly large.

          1. TRT Silver badge

            Re: Lusers vs. IT Gods

            That's a lot of bull.

  14. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    The news will delight IT administrators charged with supporting them

    So it should: "You're an expert now. You fix it."

  15. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Having to deal with outsourced support, I would be glad if one in five would be a digital expert

  16. Cinderellaphant

    Medical Expert

    I can totally relate. Web MD has made me an expert in all things medical. I am even thinking about firing my doctor and canceling my insurance.

    1. julian.smith
      Pint

      Re: Medical Expert

      Thank you for your contribution to species improvement.

      1. Alumoi Silver badge

        Re: Medical Expert

        woosh!

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Medical Expert

          woosh!

          you mean "whoosh" ?

          also: Whoosh!

          1. Alumoi Silver badge

            Re: Medical Expert

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

  17. keithpeter Silver badge
    Flame

    Just wondering...

    >> "CIOs," said Andrews, "should extend worker-to-worker lateral mentoring and training to ensure that no employees are left behind as technology mastery becomes the expectation." <<

    In a College we had student mentors helping out with *use* of interactive whiteboards and the VLE. Was useful for (tactful) support of less enthusiastic teachers.

    Any mileage in use of (suitably selected) peers to reduce IT support requests?

    Or would that be icon?

  18. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

    Digital Technology Expert

    I can count to 10 using my fingers (or 1024 using an alternate base).

    1. Charlie van Becelaere
      Headmaster

      Re: Digital Technology Expert

      More properly 1023 before moving to other body parts. (Not grammar exactly, but at least I am being pedantic.)

  19. nautica Bronze badge
    Happy

    That number is way too low.

    "...one in five workers "consider themselves to be digital technology experts".

    Based on following the comments on popular technology sites (such as one dedicated to 'Hackers'), I'd say this number extremely low. Seriously.

    Observations indicate that at least 50% or more of the numbskulls who have no technical training at all consider themselves to be engineers and scientists. And interaction with the general population suggests that a lot of people consider themselves to be a 'computer expert' simply because they can USE a particular program on a Windows or Mac machine.

    Have a heaping helping of Dunning-Kruger Effect.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: That number is way too low.

      I can make usefull prgrams in c#

      .

      But what i'm actually doing is just "using" a whole host of software from visual studio , and dotnet runtimes to Windows OS, and probly a whole buch of little incorporated snippets and libries from every corner of IT for the last 30 years.

  20. Muppet Boss Bronze badge
    Happy

    Can we have the survey questions please?

    It's a tad difficult to establish context without the questions.

    What if the 'digital technology expert' question was, 'Are you able to confidently read the digital clock?'

  21. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    One in Five

    Do I detect a subtle insult in that phrase about users being compared to vegetables?

  22. Gomez Adams

    So they really mean they are "expert users".

    We used have a team in our IT department called End User Computing which the rest of us took as their mission statement rather than their name. :)

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Is it their job to test that work is still productive when bottom end users are slapping randomly at the keyboard whilst spilling stuff into it?

      sounds like a good gig!

  23. trevorde Silver badge

    What I read

    Gartner is one of the one in five companies who "consider themselves to be digital technology experts".

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