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Businesses The Almighty Buck Technology IT

Tech-Savvy Workers Increasingly Common in Non-IT Roles (betanews.com) 124

An anonymous reader shares an article: IT professionals are becoming an increasingly common presence outside of the traditional IT departments, new research has found. According to CompTIA, it seems executives are calling for specialized skills, faster reflexes and more teamwork in their workers. According to the report, a fifth (21 percent) of CFOs say they have a dedicated tech role in their department. Those roles include business scientists, analysts, and software developers. There are also hybrid positions -- in part technical, but also focused on the business itself. "This isn't a case of rogue IT running rampant or CIOs and their teams becoming obsolete," says Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. "Rather, it signals that a tech-savvier workforce is populating business units and job roles."
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Tech-Savvy Workers Increasingly Common in Non-IT Roles

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  • Well, yeah. (Score:4, Informative)

    by HumanWiki ( 4493803 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @03:28PM (#54465033)

    Computers and technology aren't the scary dark areas that they once were. "Tech" is everywhere and now that a couple generations have grown up on it, they don't know a world without it. Of course more and more non-IT people are going to be tech savvy.

    • IT department tends to be the low tech department in many companies. Seriously, there was tech outside of IT before anyone coined the acronym. IT departments formed in order to centralize management of computers (in corporation's hands instead of department's). Remember, R&D and IT are not the same thing. Even a company that uses skills and products very similar to IT still puts the R&D in a separate department.

    • That is not what it says...

      IT professionals are becoming an increasingly common presence outside of the traditional IT departments,

    • by methano ( 519830 )
      Business Scientist? What the hell is a Business Scientist?
  • When, if ever, will we reach the point where the executives themselves need specialized skills?

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @03:30PM (#54465053)

      When will we reach the point where we don't even need executives?

      Fixed that for you.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Never.

        If you have ever seen how a company without strong leadership works you will realize the issues. I would take strong but incompetent leadership over a group of highly intelligent people who each have no authority (real or implied). The former MAY result in disaster but lower level employees can try to prevent disaster. The latter WILL result in disaster (or more likely a bunch of nothing happening) and the only way to advert disaster is basically for a de facto "executive" to materialize... resulti

        • by chihowa ( 366380 )

          It sounds like that's a job that's ripe for automation, then. You say that the requirements are even highly generalized and not domain specific. If you could only just remove the propensity of executives to put their own interests above the interests of the company, you've already got a winner. If the executive program (maybe a machine learning implementation, but probably just ceo.pl) makes fewer irrational decisions, then all the better.

          And without the need to pay the CEO and upper management, you've got

          • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

            While many CEOs are overcompensated, what a lot of folks don't realize is that they're compensated for bringing in new business. You get that by networking, having a big ego/personality, by golfing with other executives, etc., etc. That's not going to be automated anytime soon.

      • I'd like to mod that up as "BRILLIANT".

    • by DogDude ( 805747 )
      Oh, that's cute. Executives don't have skills. Is that a Trumpian way of saying that you'd really like to be an executive, but aren't qualified?
      • Oh, that's cute. Executives don't have skills.

        Many executives have proven that they in fact do not have skills, nor an understanding of the business they are in, nor the market into which they sell their products or services. That's why companies go under and get bought out by a superior competitor all the time.

        • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

          Not disputing, but...

          M&A (mergers and acquisition) is intentional, and done to "grow the business". Many smaller companies are set up with the express purpose of making them buyout candidates in order to enrich the founders. We see a lot of this in the defense industry, where connected military officers retire from the service, start a company, getting preferential business as veteran/small business owned, and then sell that off to the major contractors after just a few years. This gives the larger c

  • What you want?

    Be bogged down in ~85k mid-to-senior dev position,
    Or ~85k mid-to-senior analyst position?

    On the first one, you will be doomed getting shit from MBA types for the rest of your career,
    On the second, you will be giving shit to MBA types for the rest of your career

  • I wonder where virtual ditch diggers fit in with all this?
    • Blizzard is going to add that job class in the next update. Undead has a racial boost, too.

    • I wonder where virtual ditch diggers fit in with all this?

      I recently watched some show whose identity I forget which had a segment on a company developing self-driving trucks. The company had one driver. And a company developing a backhoe that trenches for you is going to need one operator. They're going to find the best operator they can find who can fit within their corporate culture, and then they're going to put the human operators out of business.

      Of course, that's a complex job and we're farther away from having that than self-driving OTR trucks. But perhaps

      • by creimer ( 824291 )

        You might even be allowed to carry less insurance if you use an automated trencher that checks with the utilities automatically before it starts any trench, and which does that kind of sensing to back it up since the maps are commonly wrong anyway.

        You're supposed to call 811 in Northern California two days before you start digging to have the utility locate the lines for you. Of course, that's for the known stuff. My father and I were doing a construction job in Chinatown (San Francisco) in 1989 when the backhoe operator broke into a ceramic sewer pipe. Took a few days to figure out the status of that the sewer pipe. Contractor cut out ten feet of sewer pipe and pumped the opening with concrete in to seal it off.

      • I see $11k for ground radar. If the price falls like thermal imaging did, it shouldn't be too long before it's an available accessory for rental excavators. I look forward to the day when they can sense the bucket position in relation to the cab, so that the control handles can be for horizontal and vertical bucket movement rather than how much oil goes to a given cylinder.
  • by wierd_w ( 1375923 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @03:46PM (#54465157)

    --Or is that "being the oblivious"? Maybe both?

    Seriously-- ever since the CTOs and other higher ups put moronic HR people in that cant tell a wall power outlet from an RJ45 receptacle, and the endless pressure those drones have had toward ever increasing levels of "FUCKING ABSURD" they demand for entry positions, (you know, that whole "perfect fit" requirement bullshit?) IT people have been leaving IT in droves, and moving into other positions.

    They dont just somehow forget how to be IT people though. So, naturally, those IT skills are going to start showing up all over the damned place.

    But of course, those idiots cannot put two and two together. Rather than realize, "Hey! Look at all this tech savvy that is showing up all over the board!! Maybe our strict requirements for IT related positions REALLY ARE bullshit, like our IT people have been telling us for almost a decade now! Maybe there really *ISN'T* an IT labor shortage after all!!" like a sensible person who actually pays attention to what their employees tell them would-- they instead go full retard, and give bullshit answers like this one. "Oh, it's this YOUNG generation! They are just so naturally tech savvy!! We can just abuse this to fill the BLEEDING RAGGED HOLES in our IT chains, without paying extra for it!-- Naturally, that means our policies about excluding older workers are totally correct! GENIUS!"

    Even though, the very people that are causing this shift in other professional roles, ARE THE VERY IT PEOPLE THEY HAVE BEEN LIQUIDATING, JUST TRYING TO FUCKING FIND JOBS.

    It never dawns on them that this thing-- People with scary IT skills showing up doing other, totally non-tech related jobs-- is directly contra-indicative of their endless sob-story about why they "Desperately NEEEED" to keep bringing in H1B visa holders from professional diploma mills in India. You know, the whole "We can't find qualified applicants!" sob story? Yeah, that one.

    Because nothing quite says "Lack of qualified tech applicants" quite like "Drowning in tech savvy non-tech workers."

    • by DontBeAMoran ( 4843879 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @03:59PM (#54465245)

      We can't find qualified applicants!

      If they were searching for applicants in the non-IT world, they'd be asking for NASA-certified brain surgeons who can operate on farming equipment.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It's also the requirement that IT only deal with IT stuff. If it's not got an RJ45 on it, you can't touch it!
      IT is a cost center, so it's budget must be squeezed, but that means they can't do any projects for anyone else without a big cross department committee. Best thing to do therefore is to get that guy who left IT two years ago to have a stab at it, on a purely internal budget. Sure it probably won't be pretty, but after they've hacked it together on their own while carrying on with their normal work l

    • by Anonymous Coward

      So this is what is going on.

      Old school sysadmins and programmers are brutally meritocratic people and they have to be. IT is a field where your imagination can run away with itself; there are no physical constraints to how complex a program can get except memory and CPU cycles. Since there are no physical limits like pounds of concrete in civil engineering or pounds of steel in mechanical engineering, you don't have straightfoward inputs to the design process, or outputs. Producing a cost optimal widget

  • by Anonymous Coward

    a report says that more people than those IT roles need to buy what CompRTIA is selling ??? am I reading this right?

    how many generations now has CompTIA created pay-to-play artificial barrier to entry in the technology industry? burn them with fire

  • by rbrander ( 73222 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @04:05PM (#54465301) Homepage

    I got an engineering degree and certification, then was tossed out of work by a major recession. I went back for a CompSci degree and managed a low-level job in the then-new field of PC support, won a promotion to IT "coordinator" (manager w/o staff, because they were all rented on a project basis from the IT department) with the Waterworks for several years.
    Then Waterworks remembered my engineering degree after 100 reminders and took me in as a construction-planning engineer, but I found my IT skills were key to the engineering job. I handled the drafting and GIS systems, was a lead on the project to bring in the new work-order system, was developing small solutions (tiny web apps, fancy VBA spreadsheets, etc) practically ever day. Heck, just knowing real SQL rather than trying to coax complex reports out of Business Objects was a vital skill for construction and maintenance management. It wound up being the last 20 years of my 30-year career.
    I can't recommend this career strategy enough; it's more interesting than either IT or the base profession alone, and more secure than either, too. The hardest thing in IT is getting across the real user needs to the developers - and an IT-savvy member of the customers is always going to be the guy that's either handling the IT specifications, and usually the IT project management from the user side; or just throws their hands up at the IT bureaucracy and develops the solution themselves. (Some of my "small solutions" would up taking weeks of time and growing over years into >1000 lines-of-code; hated to do it, but IT bureaucracy would have taken even longer.)
    So I tell people interested in IT careers to first become a nurse, accountant, engineer, technician, even lawyer - any profession that USES a lot of IT. Then add in IT, and you are practically guaranteed an interesting and lucrative career.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )
      When I worked at a video game company, I got tasked with building out the hardware compatibility lab: setting up three benches, building 30 workstations and a server, and running cables. Since the QA department and IT department hated each other (IT had a Diablo server they wouldn't allow the testers on), I became the liaison between the two departments for the 10BASE2 to Ethernet conversion and upgraded the NICs for 60+ computers. When I became a lead tester, I got my certifications and went back to school
    • My company used to have a dedicated position for things like this. It was an "Engineering Methodologies" group. It was a small group of people in a department that would determine what areas the department was struggling with the most. They would look for tools that could be purchased, and if none were available they would write it in house.

      The sad thing about these positions is this is really something IT should be doing. But with most of the IT department outsourced overseas, they can't provide this
  • we're getting squeezed out of traditional tech roles by H1-Bs. Most of us are clever enough so we move on to other roles. Same thing happened to engineers when all the factories went overseas.
    • by dcw3 ( 649211 )

      While I despise the abuse of H1-B visas, a quick google will show that there are over 5 million IT jobs in the U.S. That puts the percentage of H1-Bs pretty low among the population.

  • It could also be that filtering by technical degrees is more fine-grained than filtering by all college degrees, or even all relevant college degrees. If there's 100 applicants that are trained in business analysis, and 10 trained in engineering/CS, that could probably pick up business analysis pretty quickly, you just cut down your choices from 110 to 10 (instead of 110 to 100). I've heard anecdotally of engineers being given preference in patent law and finance. In these cases, there's a glut of people wi
  • Tech Savvy? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by acoustix ( 123925 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @04:27PM (#54465497)

    Is this what we're calling people who are security nightmares for organizations now? The script kiddie who thought it would be fun to store data in Excel/Access files outside of company control and outside of the ERP? They thought it would be cool to store vital company data in multiple spots, so none of it matched and meant that all of the reports conflicted with each other. Is that what we mean by tech savvy?

    Cool. Let me know how that works out for you cause I'm done cleaning up those messes.

    COO: Hey did you know that Andy has a really cool report that shows our operational KPIs?
    Me: Really? How's he doing it?
    COO: I don't know but it's really nice.
    Me: [goes to employee] Andy, how are you getting those reports for management?
    Andy: Oh, I just setup a little Excel/Access/DB over here on this site and then I copy/paste some stuff into from application ___ and then manually fill in some of the other info as I get it.
    Me: Oh, so you're violating company policy by storing that data separately and even outside of company control?
    Andy: Yeah, I guess so.
    Me: Well, I'd like to run a consistency check on the data against our DB. Can you get me a data dump?
    Andy: Sure.
    Me: [runs checks against production data]
    Me: Hey COO, most of the data in Andy's reports are crap. There are serious data integrity issues. You shouldn't base any decisions on those reports.
    COO: what? You need to fix this.
    Me: No, I already provide the reports as you have requested. Those reports are based on the actual data in the system. Not something copied half-assed by a kid with no DB experience.

    • Re:Tech Savvy? (Score:4, Informative)

      by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday May 22, 2017 @05:58PM (#54466167) Homepage
      You forgot the part where Andy gets promoted to management because he always gets his numbers.
  • doesn't mean you understand the material. Unless certs have changed all of a sudden...
  • I am sure there are lots of jobs that IT people ended up taking when the bubble burst...

  • Every walking grannies in a suit and Facebook loving officers are really secret IT's.

    They install Linux, use encryption, browse through security channel and most of all backup their files all the time!

If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke

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