Half of IT professionals are useless according to Paul Knapp of Aussie contractor site Brainbox.
People in IT often complain about recruitment agencies and third-world professionals, but rarely raise a voice in protest at the real blight on our industry. That is, the many useless people who work in it. Half of IT Professionals are useless.
I’m talking about the developers that can’t program and the network engineers that can’t design a topology. At a guess, I’d say half of those working in IT are completely useless.
They’re good at making themselves look useful by producing documents and calling meetings, but really they’re just dead weights. These are the people who’ve killed off business interest in IT and given the rest of us a bad name.
I bet 90% of the failed IT projects you hear about have these con-artists behind them.
The Worst IT Professionals
The worst IT Professionals are Business Analysts, Project Managers and those above them. Some are knowledgeable assets to their organisations, but the vast majority haven’t even bothered to learn the basics of their trade.
I’ve met people in charge of internet projects worth millions who don’t understand the basics of web development. I’m talking about guys who don’t even know what HTML is, let alone how it works. Yet they’re the ones calling the shots! No wonder so many projects fail.
Most Project Managers and BAs are little more than internal middle-men. They know less about the business than the business client and less about technology than the techies. Yet they’ll make damn sure the two sides never meet face to face.
IT professionals like Project Managers rarely invite the techies who built the product to demos, preferring to pretend that they produced the entire thing.
The amazing thing is that many of the useless millions are university educated in IT.
Never Written Code
There was a story in the Australian about a woman, who was an IT professional, who’s had a successful IT career at one of Australia’s largest companies openly admitting that she’s never written a line of code.
Can you imagine a partner in a law firm bragging to the national press that he’s never bothered to learn about reading and writing legal documents? How about a Chief Financial Officer admitting that she’s never been bothered with arithmetic?
Yet at all levels of IT management it’s a badge of honour to admit that you’re not technical.
Ms O’Connor uses the typical excuse of the non-technical “technical” person: “She is interested in how technology can get users to where you want to go – the technology is not the end in itself.”
If I got into a taxi and the man behind the wheel told me he’d never learnt to drive because he was interested in discovering “how the taxi can take you where you want to go – the driving is not an end in itself”; I’d have to restrain myself from becoming violent.
Isn’t offering to solve customers’ technical problems using a limited understanding of technology a little like offering to operate on a patient using a limited understanding of anatomy?
In the same issue of the Australian, there was a report that Telstra will be cutting 10,000 staff over three years. Presumably this is because they’ve been disappointed with the return on investment from IT. I’m not surprised if they employ people who think that knowing the basics isn’t important.
The people making the big decisions about technology in business have no idea what they’re talking about. In fact they admit as much! Then senior management wonder why their IT strategies aren’t working.
If IT professionals and their customers made real efforts to cut out the 50% of con-men (and women) that have infiltrated our industry, we’d go a long way towards restoring confidence and growth.
Unfortunately, in the present environment, admitting that you’ve can’t be bothered to learn the basics is likely to get you promoted.