Expel the IT bodgers, says Microsoft
If you can't stand the heat, you'll get thrown out the kitchen
IT bods should be struck off if they create too many dodgy computer systems, according to Microsoft's UK national technology officer.
Speaking to ZDNet yesterday, Jerry Fishenden, Microsoft's key government liaison, said something needs to be done if the IT profession is to earn the respect of normal people.
"If you look at what you regard as the traditional professions — doctors, teachers, lawyers — their professional bodies can fire people, can investigate complaints, can impose penalties, and the ultimate sanction is to remove them from the profession so you can't practice any more," Fishenden said.
It's an idea that's circulated once in a while, but indications are that it's still some way off.
BCS chief executive David Clarke said in the same report that employers were more interested in finding people with specific technical skills than with membership of a professional certificate (such as its own Chartered IT Professional qualification).
Furthermore, there would be no public demand for IT spods to be legally certified, all the while their cock-ups caused no more harm than wasted tax money. How far would Harold Shipman have got with a modem and some crack codes?
The professionalisation of the IT workforce is going to take a while to boot. Take the government's efforts to professionalise its 50,000 techies. It was only in March that e-skills UK launched the IT Professional Competency Model, a template of skills the Cabinet Office expects IT workers to guide their career.
And anyway, if the industry was going to start expelling brothers and sisters who implement dodgy computer systems, how would the witch-hunt fare in Redmond? ®
GPL no guarantee either
The GPL guarantees absolutely nothing in terms of either software quality or your ability fix it. I think it's section 11 of the GPL that says whatever happens, no matter how bad, you're on your own. As far as Microsoft are concerned it isn't just them, it's every software company that will not accept liability for their software. Sun go even further with Java and say you must not use it on safety critical systems. Say what you like about Microsoft there is no doubt they take security orders of magnitude more seriously than they did five or six years ago. If developers write poor software that undermines the OS, they're hardly to blame.
Culpability in Software License Agreements?
If Software License Agreements didn't systematically close every conceivable loophole of culpability, maybe developers would take this issue more seriously.
As it is, we see that MS and most other companies expect people to click 'agree' under a document which says "no matter what happens, it's not our fault". (GPL and the like are obvious exceptions, where it's more like "no matter what happens, anyone can go ahead and fix it").
That contributes to the kind of "shit happens" attitude which would be unacceptable in professions like medicine, teaching, law and so on.
If MS is serious about this, they should lead the way and take responsibility, instead of just blaming their developer community.
Does this also apply to software giants like Symantec. Check this out!
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I was seriously less than impressed to read yesterday that millions of Chinese PC users have been hit by a faulty AV software update from Symantec.
According to reports from the Chinese state media last night, an automatic update to the Chinese version of the Norton anti-virus software sent out last Friday identified two critical Windows XP files as malware and deleted them.
As a result, millions of Chinese PC users have had to re-install their operating systems or, if they have planned ahead (and are lucky), used the RESTORE function from the XP emergency recovery menu.
China Daily says that many companies are threatening to sue Symantec for large sums of money for lost working time. Symantec has reportedly made formal apology on Wednesday.
This isn’t the first time Symantec/Norton applications have caused serious problems for punters. It happened to me three years ago (along with many other users) forcing me a re-installed of the operating system.
It’s one of the reasons by I don’t use Symantec’s IT security bloatware. The other reason is that the software seems to seriously hog system resource.
This latest escapade only serves to confirm the logic of my previous decision to ditch Symantec’s IT security bloatware