Feeds

Skills shortage: it's mind over matter

Aptitude beats experience

Security for virtualized datacentres

The IT skills shortage is like global warming - you either believe it exists or you don't. Either way, one thing's for certain - the debate refuses to lay down and die.

For those who believe there is a shortage, there is plenty of evidence to support their argument. And for those who believe the shortage is a myth that's perpetrated by businesses to justify sending skilled jobs to less-expensive regions or hire in inexpensive immigrant labour, then there appears to be plenty of supporting evidence, too.

The reality is somewhat more complex especially in software development. The software skills required by the IT industry and in user departments at any one time constantly change so there is always going to be a shortage of some skills some of the time.

The demand for SAP skills, for example, is expected to be high in 2008. Demand for skills in new areas such as open source, Linux, Web 2.0 and AJAX are almost certainly bound to be high next year too. And surprisingly, there is a growing demand for good, old-fashioned mainframe skills as the Baby Boomer generation retires and leaves a gap in supporting legacy systems.

Constant change has always been a problem in regard to skills for our sector, and is often the cause of perceived shortages. It has made it hard to define exactly what fundamental skills are important to developers. The scramble is always for this month's fashionable programming notation, operating system or database technology rather than on the underlying skills that define a properly qualified programmer, as SlickEdit's Scott Westfall points out.

Good programmers can learn fast and adapt to changes in technology relatively easily - provided they have good basic skills. Hiring teams would do best to pay attention to the late, great Edsger Dijkstra who wrote: "A competent programmer's most important assets are - perhaps in this order - an excellent mastery of his native tongue and a considerable mathematical maturity."

The worry should therefore, not be that there is skills shortage - but that the next generation of workers is either not interested in IT as a career or simply does not have the basic skills to train for the job.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
Yes, Virginia, there IS a W3C HTML5 standard – as of now, that is
You asked for it! You begged for it! Then you gave up! And now it's HERE!
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.