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Fire Your Boss: The best place to cut IT organizations is generally at the top.

Discussion in 'News' started by wagnerk, Sep 14, 2008.

  1. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator


    Fire Your Boss: The best place to cut IT organizations is generally at the top.

    ...In 2008 we're facing cuts in IT that are prompted by economic decline. Many of the IT shops I talk to are in denial about this. Many more, while not in denial, are making bad decisions. I think this is a good opportunity to do some housecleaning that probably should have been done years ago. If you have to cut your budget by 10 percent, where do you cut? What if you have to cut by 30 percent?

    As I have written before, one of the great problems in IT management is that the big bosses typically haven't a clue what is happening, what is needed to happen, and what it all should cost. There is a role for trust here, but if the Big Guy is signing off on a budget he can't even read, much less understand, well something is wrong. Some IT departments like this, of course, just like my students liked it when class had to be cancelled (they liked getting LESS for their money), but in tough times, facing reality and speaking the truth is usually the best course.

    Because power in IT organizations tends to be based on head count, preserving jobs takes a priority. And when jobs have to be eliminated, they tend to come off the bottom of the organization when they should more logically come off the top -- or at least from near the top. A tech who directly helps users is more important than a manager who can't manage. This is especially true if that manager is making 2-3 times as much as the tech....

    Read the whole article here.

    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip


    1. Fergal1982
      Our company (not just the IT dept) began a process a year or two ago, aimed at bringing the profits of the company up. The first phase was aimed at cutting costs, whilst the second was aimed at spending money in a bid to make the profit margins better (in the long run)

      Lots of people were worried about the first stage and, whilst its true that people towards the bottom were culled as duplication in job were identified and eliminated, most of the culls took place further up the chain. A first in my experience, but a good decision.
    2. zebulebu
      Sounds like a great idea - get rid of anyone in the technical department who actually has any experience and knowledge and replace them with people who don't know what they're doing who have to call in outside help/vendors who subsequently make the company pay through the nose to fix any problems...

      In reality, the number of companies who end up actually trimming any real deadwood from their ranks (middle management who don't know a Goddamn thing about IT but have been promoted/moved sideways into the technical department becuase they were ****e anywhere else or they have simply been with a company for years and had to be promoted or fired a few years ago) is pretty much non-existent. These leeches have survived in companies as long as they have because they know the right people to brownnose - there's no way on Earth they'll let their little empires crumble. If this sort of regime comes down from on high, what they'll do is get rid of anyone who knows what they're doing and sign off on some expensive contract with a third party to do the difficult stuff because it comes out of a different pot of money (i.e. not their budget).The endgame when a company focuses on first line above all else is that a lot of people are sat logging calls with fewer people 'in the know' further up the food chain to actually resolve the problems.

      I understand that there are a lot of people on this forum in first line jobs - which is great. However, spare a thought for people who have been in the industry a while, know their stuff and have worked their way up toa position where they are pretty much invaluable to an organisation - only for some tard to spout the latest bit of management bollocks which is nothing more a thinly veiled attempt at squeezing outsourcing in through the back door.

      If I thought for one minute that this sort of thing would actually result in PHBs getting the pump I'd be all for it. Sadly, this will never be the case - it will end up like it always does - some bean counter looking over salaries every year going "HOW much do we pay this guy? Wow - how difficult can it be to administer firewalls, routers, SANs and a virtual infrastructure - lets get some kid in and pay him half what this guys earning"
      Fire your Boss:lol:

      and who's going to give him the bad news?

      I wonder if he would say something along the lines of "get out of my office and don't forget to pick up your P45 on your way out!":p:biggrin
    4. JonnyMX
      Move along folks.
      Nothing to see here...

    5. Crito
      IT is at the bottom of the corporate ladder nowadays and that's where the cuts always start. Just read what people think of IT workers on slashdot:

      We're all liars with fudged resumes. Our certifications, degrees and experience mean nothing. In fact, we're not even real professionals, let alone real engineers. And it's a privilege to be an employed IT worker, so we should all jump through flaming hoops with smiles on our faces. There are guys with Ph.Ds in India just waiting to take our place for minimum wage, you know. Grrr.... :x
    6. BosonMichael
      Not in my experience. At everywhere I've worked or consulted for, IT has been very well respected.

      I've said it before, but you must have had some bad luck to have had the horribly negative experiences you've had to leave such a bad taste in your mouth... because your view of how things are is vastly different from what I and my friends and co-workers have experienced.
    7. Crito
      Well, I posted a link to all the negativity, just to prove it to nonbelievers like you. So I'm afraid you're the one that's lost touch with reality. The entire tech industry is still recovering from the dot-com bubble bursting. Heck, the NASDAQ was over 5000 back then and it's not even half of that now.
    8. Arroryn
      Whilst I have no intention on wading in on your and BMs debate (you both have much more excessive industry experience than I do) the slashdot article you linked previously was simply a rant about having a technical exercise in an interview.

      Apologies if I have missed another link, or a link off that page to more articles (as that would make what I'm about to write an observation, and nothing more), but if someone's applying for a technical job, then having a technical examination of your skills is not a sleight at your experience. Lawyers (an example in the article) aren't "tested" in an interview as they firstly have two years on-the-job training before they're admitted. They have training throughout the year, year upon year, to retain their status, and they are hired on the basis of their post-qualification experience (PQE) and deals/major clients they have worked successfully on. That in itself is an in-depth examination of the work they do.

      My other half went for a job a couple of years ago wiring cabinets. So instead of sitting him behind a desk and blathering on for an hour, they got him to wire a cabinet. Which makes a lot more sense for the employer, surely, than sitting there and asking "Can you wire a cabinet?" ...

      So the article you've linked, IMO, doesn't really make a point of relative negativity to the IT industry at all...
    9. Qs
      Having just read the article myself I'm tendning to agree with Arroryn.

      In all honesty, who the hell cares if they ask you to demonstrate your skills in an interview environment?

      It's proof that you can do what you say you can.

      If I was holding an interview I'd rather know that someone can perform a technical skill than the applicant just saying they can.


      Everyone's entitled to their own opinion I suppose...
    10. Crito
      Well, then just read the news on any given day. Todays news:
      Hewlett-Packard to Cut 24,600 Jobs

      And who's butts get canned first?

      "Corporate overhead positions like information technology, human resources, marketing, real estate, legal and finance will be hit especially hard when the job cuts begin; HP employees have reportedly been warned. "

      IT is first department on the list.
    11. Crito
      I didn't link to the article. I linked to the messages posted in response. And the reason we need additional testing is because of the low opinion upper management has of IT workers.
    12. dmarsh
      There are many aspects covered by the various points, one being that IT workers are not respected like some other workers.

      Sure some people get tested, however many professionals get minimal testing, HR, legal, Marketing, Middle management, Senior management. The burden of proof seems far higher in IT than in many professions, also the forms of testing can also be inappropriate for a professional.

      I agree that employers have been burnt by poor IT people, but those same companies that might grill IT people will often employ useless managers with minimal due diligence.

      One point is prior testing is undertaken in other professions, well whats a Comp Sci degree and a bunch of certifications ? Another point which was made is we seem to suffer from not having a single approved body to accredit individuals and prove competence.

      Is it really ? Isn't it subject to the same problems as management and IT experience ? People can work on a team and not contribute and then spin their experience. However in other professions this type of interview is fine, not in IT.

      Theres many arguments, if I employ a pilot do I make him land a Boeing 747 in the interview ? or do I give him a probation period and check his qualifications ?

      I'm a contractor, my time is money, and I'm going to interview more often than most, going through a 3 stage interview process for a job costs me, one client gave me a pre interview assignment that took best part of a week, I didn't even get an interview, another client made me sit a three hour test, some clients get you to solve all their problems in an interview as a free consultant !

      Its really not that simple, as the posts pointed out, its a two way process and both sides should respect the other side.

      In the UK its well recognised that in many companies the technical career path hits a brick wall and to progress you must go into management. The UK is not great at management or at rewarding engineers, there are countless examples, look at the development of the Jet Engine, the UK space program, there are countless areas where we pioneered and led the world but where are we now ?

      As a side point I interviewed at Leeman Brothers about eleven months ago, boy am I glad I didn't take that job !
    13. Arroryn
      Ah. But more importantly, they hired Trip. Sorry to detract from the seriousness, couldn't resist :oops:

      I'll re-read - I apologised in advance for anything I may have missed.

      At the moment the economy as a whole is depressing. I feel for the friends I have through my sister, who *used* to work at Merrill Lynch.

      I suppose IT gets put up at front for the chop as, for some reason, IT is still often seen as a luxury expense... I'll have something more constructive to add later, but I'm not disagreeing with your points Crito. Just took the link at face-value as being to the article itself. Apologies.
    14. Crito
      I think a lot of it has to do with the metrics management uses to gauge productivity. Bad admins are often praised for working hard to put out fires they themselves created and good admins are often considered deadwood becuase they aren't running around like chickens with their heads cut off all day. :dry

      In any case, like dmarsh said, respect is a two-way street.
    15. Arroryn
      You really didn't read my post much, did you. Trust me. Lawyers don't get minimal testing.

      It's a fair point with regards to the technicality of the job, and how far do you take practical testing. Your example of a pilot is a good one, but I'm guessing even an experienced pilot doesn't get plumped right behind the main controls on their first day - maybe co-piloting a flight or two first.

      Perhaps the burden of proof is more with IT, because the further up you go, the more you are expected to know. I think it's wrong that the impression of technical knowledge lies at the lower levels. I know how to troubleshoot XP systems, the software our firm implements, and do basic server admin. Our third line guy is expected to do network design and maintenance, server builds, network security, router and switch configuration, Citrix admin... as well as having to put on a support hat if our team is down on strength.

      Careers such as an electrician, a pilot, a lawyer or a dentist focus your abilities in one given direction, allowing you to specialise in that discipline, and that discipline alone. Depending on the size of your company I suppose, the amount of technical knowledge you are expected to retain and implement in IT is phenomenal...

      Again, is that because of the range of disciplines some roles expect you to excel in? Certs only go a certain way to proving that you can do the job... the rest you have to prove yourself.

      In many respects, IT is a thankless career. Which is why we tell newbies to the forum to ensure they're embarking on their careers out of love, not money. Because after the late nights, the early mornings, and the blood sweat and tears, there's not much money to be had...
    16. Arroryn
      Love both of those analogies... completely true.
    17. dmarsh
      Yes I did read your post, once I'm a qualified solicitor how much testing must I do ?
    18. Arroryn
      You have to attend seminars and courses to attain 16 CPD (continuing professional development) points each year to retain your practising certificate. The certificates are reviewed and reissued every 12 months by the Law Society. If you haven't kept up a suitable level of industry-relevant tuition throughout the year, your practising certificate isn't renewed.

    19. Qs
      Ahh but what if you don't work more than 32 hours or more per week eh? Then you don't qualify so are not reviewed.

      Ok, I'm runnin', I'm runnin' :p

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