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IT Jobs To Drop In 2009 393

ruphus13 writes "A new Goldman Sachs IT report recently released states that IT jobs will be dramatically reduced in 2009, starting with contract and offshore developers. From the article: 'Sharp reductions likely in contract staff, professional services and hardware, and almost no investment in cloud computing.' The article goes on to say 'The CIOs indicated that server virtualization and server consolidation are their No. 1 and No. 2 priorities. Following these two are cost-cutting, application integration, and data center consolidation. At the bottom of the list of IT priorities are grid computing, open-source software, content management and cloud computing (called on-demand/utility computing in the survey) — less than 2% of the respondents said cloud computing was a priority.' Postulating a 'pointy haired boss' problem, an analyst goes on to say, '[Grid computing, Open Source and Cloud computing] require a technical understanding to get to their importance. I don't think C-level executives and managers have that understanding.' But they do control the paychecks ..."
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IT Jobs To Drop In 2009

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  • Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lemmy Caution ( 8378 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:20PM (#24281261) Homepage

    A lot of IT is an expense without adequate ROI. Huge IT support staffs were a consequence of poor products, badly implemented systems, a glut of unnecessary purchases, etc. While some IT functions will always need on-site support, better-designed systems and software (including middleware) should make it possible to reduce IT staffing costs.

    Think of all the other functions that have disappeared over the past century: typing pools, filing clerks, huge mail rooms. The armies of help desk types will go the same way.

    • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:55PM (#24281647)

      One of the age old problems is the assumption that IT for most companies is simply capital expenditure. ROI is hard to measure for IT for most companies.

      Picture a DR situation where an office is lost to fire. If the company didn't invest in adequate protection then that company is now often out of business losing entire client databases or even contracts. Now proper DR would not only save all your data so you can keep doing business but potentially you might not even have downtime as is the case with banks. This is of course federally mandated but the company I work for is a private entity and practices the same philosophy.

      Then of course comes the automation, once a task is automated it is no longer reflected in ROI even though the system is still in place years later supporting it.

      Course I'm one guy managing over 40 servers across five sites so I don't foresee a reduction in IT staffing anytime soon for this company.

      You're right though, tight times means you spend the extra time to finish your deployments instead of investing in new projects. This means your environment becomes more cohesive and the new stuff later will snap in easier since everything will be well documented by then.

      Consider the downtime a nice roadblock allowing you to audit everything you currently have to make sure you are using everything efficiently.

      Virtualization for the win, we'll utilize our hardware more effectively while increasing functionality.

      • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Funny)

        by oldhack ( 1037484 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:58PM (#24282281)

        One of the age old problems is the assumption that IT for most companies is simply capital expenditure. ROI is hard to measure for IT for most companies.

        For most industries other than software, IT is like utility, telecom, logistics, etc. I had no idea I was getting into janitorial business when I went into this field. Well, beats accounting - we also go to jail less frequently. :-)

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by leenks ( 906881 )

          You weren't getting into janitorial business when you went into this field - it has just evolved that way over time (and naturally... as more and more people used computers then it was bound to become a utility).

      • Re:Duh. (Score:5, Interesting)

        by $random_var ( 919061 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @09:46PM (#24283301)

        One of the age old problems is the assumption that IT for most companies is simply capital expenditure. ROI is hard to measure for IT for most companies.

        Too true mate - a company which I'm affiliated with but shall not name is going through a reorg right now. The reorg is surprisingly a good idea, and well-executed by the executives. However, I heard a middle manager explain it to a bunch of interns as "profit centers are called that because they generate profits, while cost centers only serve to drag a company down. That's why we're trying to minimize our cost centers as much as possible."

        What made it extra funny is that a lot of the money freed up by the reorg is going into *new* "cost centers", and this middle manager himself works for a "cost center". I myself work for a "profit center", but honestly perform more of a functional role.

        It's necessary to draw lines somewhere, and have accountants and accounting, but the fact of the matter is that some things are inherently hard to quantify. You look at the numbers but go with your gut.

    • by sgant ( 178166 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:58PM (#24281679) Homepage Journal

      Seriously....I look in the paper and it's filled with ads for drivers. That and health care professionals. And as I would rather stick a pencil in my eye than work in health care, I figure my misanthropic ways would be better shifted toward driving.

      I'm 46 and have to basically totally switch careers as there are just aren't any jobs in my profession anymore. It's over saturated. I hardly ever see an ad for IT or anything related in my area. As scary as it sounds, changing directions even this far into life may not be a bad idea.

      Even with fuel prices sky-high, trucking will be with us for a while as lets face it....everything within your eyesight right now reading these words was all delivered or transported some way via a truck (unless you're looking out your window at a tree or something).

      • by stewbacca ( 1033764 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:08PM (#24281791)

        And as I would rather stick a pencil in my eye than work in health care,

        Keeping up the high demand for health care professionals since 2008!

      • by Brigadier ( 12956 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:20PM (#24281911)

        let's see;

        never being home ..check
        illiterate CB Radio Banter ... check
        wonderful stereo type (see above) ... check
        spending nights on the side of the road ...check

        being able to work in your uderoos ...pricelss

      • Surviving in a saturated market requires standing out in some way. If you succeed at it enough, you'll be surprised at how many recruiters will come to you (assuming you have a web presence, of course... but if you're in the IT field, you should). Now, I'm only half your age and consequently at a much earlier stage of my career, but I don't see why this wouldn't generalize.

        But do what you feel is best. If you think truck driving is a good career, great!

        Also, healthcare is not only direct clinical practice.

      • by gad_zuki! ( 70830 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:47PM (#24282171)

        There are ads for these positions because:

        1.They have a lot of turnover.

        2. Newspaper ads attract certain industries. For you, you should be looking at dice, careerbuilder, etc.

        Employers dont really expect IT people to be looking at dead tree medium for jobs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bucc5062 ( 856482 )
        Two words...Ice Road truckers...okay I mean three words...World's Deadliest catch.

        As a 47 year human, 28 year vet of the IT industry I can feel your pain. However, the road is long and he who lives in the mind can easily go batters on the mind numbing crawl that is the highway.

        If possible, reinvent the skills and sell the hell out of the fact you got more life experience then those snot nosed zombies coming out of college factories (with minimal respect to current graduates). If that does not work,
        • by smoker2 ( 750216 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @09:24PM (#24283127) Homepage Journal

          However, the road is long and he who lives in the mind can easily go batters on the mind numbing crawl that is the highway.

          Tell it like it is.
          I just quit driving for a living 2 weeks ago. You get a fair bit of abuse on the road, and after a while it gets very difficult to externalise it. So I was going mad, bit by bit. Can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em. So the best thing for all concerned is to stop doing it.
          Currently trying to "re-invent" my old IT skills, but I'm a long way back. Better than driving though. It may be better in the states, at least on long runs.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by somersault ( 912633 )

            Weird. I'm 24 and working as an IT manager, but I used to think that if I was going to do anything else, it would be driving (either delivery, or possibly part of the Royal Logistics Corps) because driving is one of the few other things that I enjoy other than computers. Any abuse I have ever had on the roads was due to my own (mis)conduct - apart from one strange time a couple of months ago where this guy came flying onto a roundabout in front of me, and immediately looked over and gave me the finger as if

      • I was thinking of a big higher scale, my thinking though I have no stats to prove this is that trains are being looked at more seeing as it's a greater economy of scale. I figured train engineer school might be the best place in light of high fuel prices, thoughts?
      • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @10:12PM (#24283483) Homepage Journal
        "I'm 46 and have to basically totally switch careers as there are just aren't any jobs in my profession anymore. It's over saturated. I hardly ever see an ad for IT or anything related in my area. As scary as it sounds, changing directions even this far into life may not be a bad idea."

        When you say looking for IT jobs in an 'ad', are you meaning the local newspaper? They're not there anymore. Try, or other places. There are tons of jobs out there in IT across the country. Ok...maybe in your particular might not find lots of opportunities, but, the days of staying put for a job for life are gone, in just about any field. You may have to broaden your search and be willing to relocate.

        If you have 46+ years experience...look into contracting!! Good bill rates...and if you play it right, you can work 6-12 months...take off for 3-4 months and enjoy life.

        If you don't wanna work indie at first (if you do PLEASE incorporate, look into a "S" corp and the tax benefits of it), look into working for a contract house. YOu are a W2 employee for them, and they send you out to gigs. This is a great way to ease into the thing. Also, if you get lucky...maybe you can get into a DoD gig this way...and get a clearance. You get will definitely help you get future jobs.

        Don't give up...there are IT jobs and money to be made at it, but, you may need to change your views on how and where you work.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          "I'm 46 and have to basically totally switch careers..."

          If you have 46+ years experience...look into contracting!!

          He's 46 years old. He probably has 40 years of experience, tops.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Seriously....I look in the paper and it's filled with ads for drivers. That and health care professionals. And as I would rather stick a pencil in my eye than work in health care, I figure my misanthropic ways would be better shifted toward driving.

        You're an IT professional, and you're looking for employment opportunities in THE NEWSPAPER...?

    • There is also the case of a maturing market, There is less of a motive to keep producing new apps that basicly do the same thing. So if it does the job in one second and a new version can do it in 1/1000th of a second, the speed difference doesn't matter and give value worth the cost vs. the last update where that one second wait took 15 minutes. Most (custom) application that businesses use are not that intensive that take advantage of the newest and greatest. So as these apps mature and become common use

  • that offshore jobs will go first. They're cheaper than local jobs.
    • Re:I doubt.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Foofoobar ( 318279 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:47PM (#24281545)
      Well having to have had to manage a team in the Phillipines, miscommunications, missed deadlines, inability to follow instructions, redundant programming, lack of teamwork or cooperation, poor scheduling and more makes the low pay only part of the cost when the overall expense of the project eventually becomes 5-10 times what it needed to be had we hired local developers.

      Outsourcing only pays off for VERY well managed and VERY well organized 3rd party organizations that you can trust 100% and as a rule, they don't exist because they don't exist ANYWHERE. You need to have an onsite presence much like IBM and Microsoft has in order for offshoring to really payoff. Otherwise you are not saving anything and may even be paying more... regardless of what some pitchman may tell you.
    • Re:I doubt.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      that offshore jobs will go first. They're cheaper than local jobs.

      Only in the short term. What's happening now (based on my anecdotal evidence, which is all one really needs here on /.) is that a lot of large companies are realizing this. Difficulty in communications, poor timing (What, you need that fix now? Sorry, you'll have to wait until tomorrow morning), and some of the shoddiest work you've ever seen are all contributing factors.

      On the surface ,it's a very appealing model: you write up some requirements, communciate them to your offshore team and wow! magic! they return to you a finished product.

      But here's what they don't tell you in the brochures (again, based on my experience managing and working with offshore vendors): a) if you don't spell out every single technical detail - almost literally to the point of writing the software yourself -- , you can't rely on them to do it right. b) you can't rely on them to communicate to you the things that they need clarification on, unless you are ready to spend a lot of time asking for t. c) the code you get back wll be virtually unmaintainable, with no thought given to refactoring, common functionality, or future mainitenance d) most of the development seems to be done by people with low experience (just out of the schools, which don't seem to teach anything relevant to the real world) and little skill e) if they have issues, do not expect to learn about them unless you constant ask for them. DO expect them to sit idle and not take any initiative if an issue occurs.

      So all of this goes to say: it looks too good to be true, because it is. The old saying is that you get what you pay for -- and it still holds true. And after many years of budget overruns and software that doesn't do what it's supposed to do, companies are finally beginning to realize that.

  • Integration (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:21PM (#24281273)
    If there was ever a semi-mindless task that brings home the bacon, integration is it.

    Make this work with that and that work with this.

    *scratches ass*
    *does it*
    *gets paid then laid*
  • bad article (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jgarra23 ( 1109651 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:21PM (#24281275)

    I didn't see any reasons backing up these postulations. Especially the downturn in contractors. Is this yet another case of these companies reporting something just so they can report something?

    • Re:bad article (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:53PM (#24281617) Journal
      The report was based upon a survey. So, the reason for the reporting is "Most CIOs we interviewed expect to reduce expenditures for contractors and discretionary IT spending". If you want reasons, you'd probably need to contact the CIOs that were interviewed. But here's my guess: pressure from owners/the board to reduce costs in the face of lower forecasted revenues.

      Take the article for what it is... not an analysis of why and how companies will reduce spending, but instead the results of a survey.
      • Re:bad article (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Vancorps ( 746090 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:04PM (#24281759)

        Yeah, our revenue stream was less than expected for 2008 so they decided to start slashing budgets. One would think a 16% reduction in revenue would result in a 16% reduction in budget but I actually had mine cut by more than 50% and IT isn't alone here.

        Executives like to use the times are tough argument to carve out more money for themselves thus making times tougher. It's hard for me to believe cash flow is low when private planes and houseboats are being bought instead of the owner reinvesting back into the company like he had already done. It's his right to do so of course since it is his money. Of course I know the ole times are tough argument is simply BS.

        • Re:bad article (Score:5, Insightful)

          by aeoo ( 568706 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:28PM (#24282585) Journal

          Well said.

          I think "times are tough" means "times are tough for you, stupid worthless little peons, but not for me -- I'm the fat cat who passes through everything to the customers and to the employees".

          Of course I don't think any job is worthless. Even simple jobs need to be done and done well. The fact that our corporate kitchen often stinks after it's been mopped doesn't contribute anything to productivity, to put it mildly. Every job is important and should be respected. It's too bad execs do not understand this well these days.

          Also, a decent company exec tightens his own belt when the times are tough and leads by example. Decent company execs, where the fuck are you? Do you exist anymore? I sure hope so.

        • "It's his right to do so of course since it is his money". I think 2000+ years of human history has proven that given the chance a small group of individuals will hoard everything and leave the rest killing each other for scraps. Why should we let that happen? Why is it OK for Carly Fiori to buy a private plane when my single mom neighbor is about to loose her home because her ARM shot her payments way up?
  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:22PM (#24281281) Homepage Journal
    but, will they really drop globally ?

    AND, since, our area, i.t., is a field that is kinda the originator of the concept of telecommuting, wont many i.t. people in u.s. be able to find work overseas, working through telecommuting ?

    i dare not say demand for i.t. people will go down worldwide. its kinda impossible, since i.t. revolution is on full steam right now - we, as a civilization, are little far from trying to integrate our toilets to computers and internet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jgarra23 ( 1109651 )

      I agree. Especially with the industry becoming more commoditized, developers and IT staff are a necessary evil these days, like the plumber or the electrician. Maybe the article means it will be harder for shitty IT staff to get work :)

      • even shitty i.t. staff can take on small stuff from small businesses and make a decent living these days.
    • Not quite (Score:3, Informative)

      by dreamchaser ( 49529 )

      It is taking fewer and fewer people to do jobs that used to take more people to do them. Cuts in the overall number of IT jobs will continue for quite awhile. This is especially true in front line jobs like IT support and Help Desk. The former are fewer because hardware has become more redundant and commoditized; it's easy to just plop a new box down or have your redundant drives/servers take over the load while you get around to fixing it. The latter are fewer because more and more organizations are mo

      • but the opportunities are also increasing. 15 years ago there were high wages for i.t., today lower, but we have elance, rentacoder and a lot of area of interest i.t. communities. people come and post when they look for some certain professional.

        whilst i.t. was a corporate playground, today it has become the daily life. so people may find themselves coding an estore to a grampa from ohio nowadays.
  • PHB gets it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:22PM (#24281285) Journal

    Grid computing, Open Source and Cloud computing] require a technical understanding to get to their importance. I don't think C-level executives and managers have that understanding.

    In my country, we have a saying: "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?" In this case, the milk is open source software and the cow is the developer.

  • Plainly, they just "don't get it". Hah! Remember that one?

  • Now that mosix is dead, what sorts of "general use' open source 'clouds' exist now?

    I also can see a legit use for root kits like this, just make all your PC"s appear like a VM server and spread the load around.

  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:27PM (#24281337) Homepage Journal

    This doesn't surprise me too much. There's been a bad recession on the horizon for quite some time now, and it looks like it's coming home to roost.

    For the first time since I graduated college, I'm not getting called for interviews, even for positions which I'm eminently qualified. It's getting tougher for people to find jobs, regardless of what they do. I've heard Republicans say that we're going to be in the worst recession since the Great Depression - which means that we're probably in quite a bit of trouble.

    Perhaps I'm speculating a little too much here, but I'll bet the money that would have gone for IT salaries, etc... is now going into the coffers of the oil companies. Because our economy is so dependent upon oil for everything we do from growing crops to power generation to transportion, any rise in the price of oil is going to have a ripple effect.

    Perhaps GW and Co saw peak oil coming and thought if we could just take Iraq, that we'd have enough oil. Perhaps they didn't understand that the loss of Iraq's oil on the world market would drive up prices - or maybe they did...

    • Or we could see a rebound propelled by technological innovation in green power and technologies.

      But speaking from personal experience the oil companies are spending on IT. Now if they'd only spend on exploration or R&D.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheCaptain ( 17554 )

      This doesn't surprise me too much. There's been a bad recession on the horizon for quite some time now, and it looks like it's coming home to roost.

      I wonder if your exact area of expertise or geographic location is a factor in that? I haven't been looking for work in months and still get occasional calls to see if I am looking for work. (The most recent one was just last week, and they were looking for a 1-2 year commitment.) I've heard of some people having a hard time, and others are up to their eyeballs in work.

  • Pund-IT? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer ( 890720 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:27PM (#24281339) Journal

    Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT Inc., said that such hot-button technologies as cloud computing deployments may slow down. "The message here is CIOs are looking primarily to tested, well-understood technologies that can result in savings or increased business efficiencies whose support can be argued from a financial point of view," he said.

    I'm sorry, but it's hard to take your message seriously when your company name is Pund-IT. From the name, I think you'd have been better off with Pun-dit. Or Pwnd-IT, which is pretty much what a lot of consultants are going to be feeling like next year.

    At any rate, anyone who has been around business through a down-cycle or two would know that this is common sense. New programs, new ways of doing things, are saved for when the budget Gods are feeling generous with surpluses, not when eveyone is tightening their belts. There are, of course, exceptions to this... but anyone who thought that, in general, discretionary spending would increase over the next year really needs to have their head examined.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by metlin ( 258108 )

      I'm sorry, but it's hard to take your message seriously when your company name is Pund-IT.

      Indeed. Also, I'd definitely like to read the original GS report that the article is supposedly based off of.

      Pund-IT may be crap, but Goldman is not, so it would be interesting to see the original report.

      Or Pwnd-IT, which is pretty much what a lot of consultants are going to be feeling like next year.

      Contractors, maybe. Consultants? Not very likely.

      • Well, it's anecdotal at best, but I've seen a severe reduction in consultant expenditures over the past 6 months, and I don't think that's going to improve over the next year or two. Depends on the nature of the consultant of course... but most consultants are contractors.
        • Re:Pund-IT? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by metlin ( 258108 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:02PM (#24281739) Journal

          Well, as someone who is in consulting, we tend to use the term consultant to define someone who comes in, provides a solution, and goes out (e.g. strategy consulting, management consulting etc). Typically, the purchasers involve C-level execs (or other top execs) who want to define a strategy (short term or long term, business, finance or tech etc), oversee an M&A deal etc.

          An example of a top tier consulting firm would be McKinsey.

          Contractors are people who are hired to actually do the job (e.g. a coder who is brought in to code) rather than consult. A tech consultant in my experience would assist the architects with defining the technology strategy and choosing the right vendors, SOWs, SLAs etc, but would not be part of the implementation process. A PMO consultant would assist with the program management process, but not necessarily manage the program per se. A marketing segmentation consultant would analyze the right market segments and tell you what markets to pursue and how, but not actually do it for you.

          If the economy is doing badly, people need consultants to optimize the organization, help them with the layoffs, assist them with restructuring etc. Also, bad economic conditions are perfect conditions for companies to swallow their competition and other smaller companies, so more M&A deals and an increased demand for more sales etc.

          Just my two cents!

          • I see your point... and definitely agree, except for a small nitpick, which is why I lumped consultants as a subset of contractors.

            If I hire a consultant to consult for me on a contract basis, then the consultant is a contractor. I've dealt with McKinsey, with E&Y, with (showing my age a bit) Deloitte Haskel & Sells, and with JH Cohn on this basis.

            If I hire resources to serve my clients on a contract basis, then the resources I engage are subcontractors... I'm the contractor.

            In the past, I've
    • I figured their name might be "Pun'd it", given the humorous nature of their comments.

      But then I actually read their comments, and they are right on the money. Why on earth would most CIOs care about "cloud computing"? It's an idea whose time will probably never come, at least for most people. It's just another grand architectural vision, with lots of consultants talking about it and a few big companies signing up to offer facilities, but where would the real demand for it come from even if the money were a

  • by Debased Manc ( 1313649 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:29PM (#24281355)

    Can't speak for the US, but in the UK we're ideal for economic downturns.

    We don't cost holiday, pension, bonuses or sick pay, we don't have loads of employment law red tape and we can be brought in for specific projects and timeframes and tend to come with much shorter notice periods.

    Plus the public sector loves us.

    We'll see a freeze in rates, maybe even a reduction, but if anything economic downturns signal a bad time for those in permie jobs.

    Bob the permie coder might be on half my hourly rate, but if he's only got three months work in a year he's going to cost you more than twice as much as bringing me in for 3 months.

    • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

      So why don't companies use contractors for everything?

    • by bigbird ( 40392 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:41PM (#24282111) Homepage

      Of course they'll start with contractors. I contracted in the UK for almost 10 years and economic downturns always resulted in contractors getting cut.

      That's the whole idea behind having contractors - flexibility. Large numbers can be quickly shed without paying redundancies and without lawsuits.

      I might add that the rates I was earning in 2000 in the UK (just before the huge IT cuts post Y2K) have not yet been reached again in the UK in the 8 years since.

  • There are companies who aren't constrained by money as much as by electricity. There are colos with plenty of space, yet do not have the juice to feed racks and racks of units. Asking individual servers to do more, and looking at green solutions not so much for the environment but for making the most out of the least juice makes a lot of sense when your potential growth is constrained by available resources. In these cases there's no threat to jobs, if anything it's the opposite, allowing for growth by m

    • by Dan667 ( 564390 )
      I'd rather have 1 rock star coder than 20 mediocre ones. If you rock, I would hire you permanently as I would get more for my money than trying to get 5 to 10 middle of the road programmers to get the same thing done. And it would be cheaper.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by stewbacca ( 1033764 )

        I'd rather have 1 rock star coder than 20 mediocre ones.

        The article is about IT. They don't do code.

  • This is nothing new. there have been reduction in the job market before - they've always come to an end and been followed by new investment, more jobs and sexy new technologies.

    The same thing will happen again. If there is going to be a tough time (and we're certainly talking ourselves into it) then all it means is that new stuff will be delayed a bit. However, during that time we'll be able to filter out all the froth and hype, leaving us to get on with the good stuff when the money returns.

    It's not the

  • by gamanimatron ( 1327245 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:38PM (#24281453) Journal

    Until someone with the correct technical understanding can actually go to their manager and (with a straight face) say, "I'll use cloud computing to solve this problem because that'll save us money and time" there's no real reason to expect anyone to get it.

    Successful blue-sky projects are mostly run by strong companies in good economic times. So, not so likely right now. Someone who's playing with their own money could well take advantage of this lack of understanding or vision or whatever, but that's not really a bad thing. Unless you're stuck in cubicle land and still want to play with the latest, coolest buzzwords.

  • by $criptah ( 467422 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:44PM (#24281503) Homepage

    If you are a seasoned IT professional or somebody who is starting out, things are looking bright for you as long as you have what it takes to be an engineer. I welcome any sort of clean up or a downturn in IT economy because most of the time it means that the bottom of the IT-wannabes will be laid off. This will benefit everybody in the long run.

    First of all, engineering, unlike being a pizza delivery person, requires some knowledge and a certain set of analytical skills that one is born with. You can train people to deliver pizzas and punch cards, but it is hard to train people to resolve problems or come up with elaborate solutions. While books and schools may help, you either get it or not from the very beginning. Downturn in IT will mean that people who were there just for the sake of it, will probably lose their jobs or move on. This is great for the folks who -- while being good peole -- are simply not suited for jobs in the field of information technology.

    While we all cry about off-shore development labs and cheap labor around the world, we are forgetting one thing: Americans are cheap now. Due to the falling dollar it makes less sense to run costly operations overseas. With China, India and Russia on the rise, people in those countries may see little in jobs and environments that make them work for the global companies (aka capitalist pigs).I would not be too concerned about wages if I were you. In fact, bad conditions in the U.S. sent many people who are currently employed via visas overseasas. Several friends of mine have moved back to their home countries alrady because "There is nothing to do in the U.S." This happens because while U.S. economy may go down, the world's economy is still expanding and there are plenty of things that have to be done in Moscow, Mumbai and Beijing. Good fore those who go back home and establish companies there. Good for the rest of us who are here.

    And finally the loss of IT jobs should not be seen as the judgement day. I found that many people with engineering and business skills are more than capable of starting their own businesses and running their own shows. If you do not belong to the first group of people -- the ones who were not doing anything productive -- and you're not on a visa -- and you cannot go back home to start something new -- use the settlement to start something new. Many large companies are losing business because of the bad decisions that were made across the corporate ladder. A bust is only a bust if you think this way. In reality, it is a great opportunity for improvement for those of us who would like to grab the bull by its horns.

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:49PM (#24281567)

    Software development isn't something you do as a businessperson because you want to pay for people to work on computers - it's something you do because you want something made or done.

    Businesses will still want things made, and they will still want things done, because they are still going to be responding to a changing market, and they still want to be able to make new stuff, or change the stuff they currently make.

    Software may be expensive to develop and test, but it's still one of the cheapest things you can mass produce, and one of the cheapest ways you can modify an existing product line to expand your market.

    The emphasis will certainly be on return on investment - and there will be very nice plans on exactly how to spend the least possible, but the moment the competition has a feature that looks to harm the product line, *gasp* - suddenly the design for the product will have to be retrofitted, testing will have to be expanded, or the product release cycle will have to be accelerated to get that new feature in!

    I completely understand this survey though - while companies do care if they end up spending more than they initially estimated, they just need to estimate low costs now, thanks to economic pressures to show the illusion of fiscal improvement and concern for the shareholder's resources.

    So to show productivity when all you have are plans, you plan to make better features, spend less, and beat the competition - then ask for more money when you have more to show, which would only go to waste if you stopped now.

    What this illusion accomplishes is a bit backwards though - there simply won't be as much open planning of large software project, and more emergency dollars and small contracts. You end up spending much more - much like the shift towards low cost estimates, but then using contractors and emergency spending in the Iraq war. It's the way the game tends to be played in poorly planned business and government - and it's very alluring if you only care about a small set of things going into it.

    Ryan Fenton

  • Oh no! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by TheDarkener ( 198348 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:50PM (#24281583) Homepage

    Someone in the media said I.T. jobs are going to drop next year? They *MUST* be able to tell the future! =p

    On a serious note, I'm glad I.T. jobs are going to decrease. Hopefully it will align with I.T. jobs demanding more expertise and more actual work getting done, instead of having a "cloud" (or "grid", if you will) of Windows-only support drones reading scripts to you over the phone while you try to get support for a purchased product.

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:57PM (#24281669)

    Goldman Sachs IT, eh? Yesterday it was Gartner. These are guys with funded track records of largely failure, IMHO. I wouldn't give them much creedence. The industry is ripe and rife with change, be it the blossoming of mobiles/cells to the enormous competitiveness of online commerce platforms, incredible changes in entertainment delivery systems, etc.

    There's a small problem in the US economy that will actually be improved no matter who is elected US president, as it always is a honeymoon between investors and the new government every four years. And it's very likely that with a new regime will come a drastic cut in oil prices.... further spurring money back into tech, where we've made the most gains in the past few decades.

    Gotta love a doom sayer; it's done so they can by the stock cheaper now, then sell it higher later. This is called capitalism, and the propaganda is called marketing.

  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @06:59PM (#24281709)

    Well, I think I should prepare to jump the IT ship pretty soon. My friend, with whom we were in this IT sector, jumped to the health-care field.

    His Bachelor's and two Masters degrees in the IT sector at age 37 helped him get admission into one of the most coveted Nursing courses. He now practices as a nurse manager, earning close to US$80K. This does not include part-time work which he has to run away from.

    This fella makes close to US$145K. I envy him. Guys, the health-care field is booming. Reports say nurses are in short supply and this will be the case for another three decades!

    I am seriously considering jumping ship before it's too late.

    Question is: Am I wrong?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Happiness isn't money. Happiness is doing something that you enjoy during your 8 hour workday. I'd MUCH rather make a lesser salary than your nurse friend and solve problems for 8 hours a day than changing people's IV's and checking people's medical charts. Yes, I'm over generalizing the nurse... but my point is that if a career like that sounds equally as enjoyable as your IT career to you, then by all means... jump ship.

      • I worry that I might be pushed off the ship at some point not far from now. Since I must have some form of income to survive in today's America, I thought that being pro-active and NOT being reactionary is better, when the inevitable happens.

        By the way, I agree with you that happiness is not money - how can it be? For many, including yourself I guess, money is an important part of happiness.

        If you can be really happy with zero income, accept my apologies.

    • by Surt ( 22457 )

      Do you want to be a nurse, do you want to be in IT, or do you not care and want to optimize for maximum likelihood of having a job, or do you want to optimize for maximum earnings?

      If you want to be in IT or optimize for maximum earnings, stick with IT and get good at it. If you can't get good at IT, go for nursing.

      If you want to be a nurse, be a nurse.

      If you want to optimize for maximum likelihood of having a job, be a nurse. Specialize in elder care. There is a huge segment of the population that is goi

    • by JerkBoB ( 7130 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:08PM (#24282391)

      Well, I think I should prepare to jump the IT ship pretty soon


      Question is: Am I wrong?

      Answer is: Depends.

      What do you do? Are you a helpdesk monkey? A Winderz admin? Are you competent?

      If you're coasting, then you're likely to be RIFed. Deadweight gets trimmed. If you're deadweight, you'd do well to jump somewhere before the cuts -- looks better in interviews ("I felt that I wasn't being challenged enough, and began to look for somewhere else to <strike>coast</strike> excel.").

      If you're competent, then you'll be fine. You might have to move to where the jobs are, if they dry up around you.

      Another important question is: Are you happy in IT? Or are you just there for the money? If you're just there for the money, you're likely to be deadweight, and you might as well jump to whatever the current fad is, or, possibly to something that you like doing.

      I was in IT for a decade. I excelled, didn't want to become a PHB just yet, and looked elsewhere. Took a few years, but I found a way to leverage my skills and experience as a sysad into a development career. I've thought about med school, but I'm just too used to a six-figure income to think about going back to poverty for 8+ years.

  • The statements that Cloud Computing, grid computing, and open source software are not priorities is ludicrous. These are tools that are used to solve problems. It's like saying a hammer is a priority rather than building a house. No C?O will ever say that these are priorities while they may say that virtualization is a priority because it is often considered a project to virtualize as much as possible for DR and to cut costs. If spending on IT does dip we all know that only the bottom 10% will get their
  • Not what I've heard (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lilfields ( 961485 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @07:21PM (#24281915) Homepage
    My sister is in the higher-ups of a large healthcare corporation, and she has just told me a few weeks ago that they are actually short of IT personnel and are going to start hiring them straight out of college, when normally they would require previous work experience. Then again, Goldman Sachs seems to talk their own books, not to say they aren't a great firm...but, they aren't always right but seem to cause a significant short term impact on markets.
    • IT is like any other industry. It will have its ups and downs with the economy, though some sectors and some companies will go against the trend. In my neck of the woods, the biggest problem is a lack of experienced technical staff. Colleges seem to be pushing out lots of guys with pieces of paper, but what a lot of businesses want is people who have actually demonstrated abilities. I can well believe that the shit-end of the profession; that is the call center guys and the other assorted bottom rung $1

    • by PPH ( 736903 )
      Perhaps Goldman Sachs is planning on doing some IT hiring and they are trying to drive the market down prior to making offers.

  • This suits me just fine. Every couple years or so, the industry gets fat with those who don't really deserve their position, due to a variety of factors (dumb, lucky, know the boss etc)

    The first to go will be the fat on the bone, which, as the subject line suggests, suits me just fine.
  • by Danathar ( 267989 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:04PM (#24282343) Journal

    Companies with foresight and vision will investigate those technologies that can increase their productivity AND the bottom line profit. Patching the dam only keeps it from breaking until later. You have to build a better one at some point.

    Grid computing works. It's used in science research quite effectively. Cloud computing is coming no matter what people want.

    There was a time when companies had their own power production facilities, now they don't (for the most part). As networking becomes faster (both latency and bandwidth) it will become cheaper to run your software somewhere else than running it in your building.

  • Once you start outsourcing applications and virtual servers, you get by with a fraction of the number of people you had before. IT budgets can shrink, and there are fewer jobs.

    Of course, that's exactly why IT managers hate it.

  • I contract for a defense and manufacturing company and previously they to were gung-ho about virtualization but virtualization was sold as a magic bullet that it is not and we're scaling it back after real-world experience.

    It works for many things that are relatively low impact/low risk but if you try and virtualize a core business application - even something as simple as portal/sharepoint/app servers you very quickly realize the limitations & issues thereof.

    What used to be a measure of ROI / Cost Bene

  • by walterbyrd ( 182728 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:26PM (#24282567)

    At least for IT workers in the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada.

    Occam's razor: off-shore labor is a lot cheaper, therefore employers will off-shore every possible job. If you do your job sitting in front of a computer, then your job can probably be off-shored - if not now, then certainly in the near future.

    Furthermore, the simple laws of supply and demand dictate that the few jobs that are not off-shored, will have a glut of qualified applicants. The experienced developers who have their jobs off-shored, will clearly try to leverage their existing training and experience into the few remaining IT jobs that can not be easily off-shored. This causes a glut, and drives down wages.

    The IT worker glut may be increased even more by improved automation of information system maintenance, standardization of software, and non-IT specialists who are increasingly sophisticated with information technology.

    There can be nothing to stop this devastating trend, due to the following:

    1) Corrupt USA politicians
    2) USA IT workers are not willing to organize (please note: I am not suggesting a union)
    3) Influential corporations have effectively distorted the issues

    So there you go, it's as simple as that.

    IMO: this trend is presently in it's infancy. The present trend has very little to do with the present economic slump. In fact, when the US economy recovers, this trend will accelerate even faster. The present situation for US IT workers is much better now, than it will be five years from now.

    • by Senjutsu ( 614542 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @08:43PM (#24282747)
      Don't extrapolate the US's crappy economy to countries you know nothing about, thanks. If you're avoiding the IT field in Canada, you're avoiding a field where, in parts of the country, there are more jobs than people and IT companies are very desperate to hire someone, anyone, with remotely relevant experience.

      Our economy is just fine, thanks.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by PMBjornerud ( 947233 )

        Don't extrapolate the US's crappy economy to countries you know nothing about, thanks.

        Agreed. Come to Norway with a nice skillset and hold up a poster saying "IT dude want work" at the airport. Headhunters in 3, 2, 1...

        With the current exchange rates, the salary might also be pretty decent.

  • by jth213 ( 795679 ) on Monday July 21, 2008 @10:53PM (#24283843) that they only asked Fortune 1000 CIOs. Where do the majority of IT people work? I'll give you a hint: it ain't in F1000 organizations. I'm an independent contractor working in the small business sector. My clients have 50, maybe 100 total employees, $1-$10 million in revenue and no programmers on staff. Yet they need, or want, custom systems built. I have to turn away business and I see no end in sight.

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.