I would like to see the term broadband used correctly [“UCITA Backlash,” Washington Watch,
April 15, 2001]. Of course, when our outgoing FCC chairman defined broadband as any transmission service over 1Mbps, I knew the term had lost its meaning forever. Defined correctly, broadband refers to transmission media with discrete channels for individual users or sessions. Baseband is transmission media with a shared channel. The last run of cable in neighborhoods where multiple households share the media is baseband. DSL?like its cousin ISDN?is broadband.
White Plains, N.Y.
Staffing and Ageism
I disagree with the theory that there is a staffing crisis [“The High Price of Age Discrimination,” May 15, 2001]. Our company has surveyed the job market during a period of two years, particularly the IT sector, and we have determined that it is indeed a buyer’s market?but not a crisis. We maintain business relations with more than 20,000 IT staffing companies. Through these contacts, we are given daily requirements for candidates. On the average, we receive nine candidates for every job, which is not as bad as we suspected prior to our survey.
Many companies were in a big rush to go public, not for the sake of money, but more for the prestige and status they would have. The IT sector was hit the hardest when fools finally had to admit they were not worth billions. Another factor involved was the budgets established in 1999 to handle Y2K. Many budgets were disrupted because of the market crash. Managers now have the accounting approval to move forward on the projects stalled by the media’s attempt to crash the market.
President and CEO
Alle Von Technologies
I am just 69, but there is no way that after more than 30 years in the role of a CIO another company will hire me as a CIO.
I teach IT part time at a university, work full time as a systems analyst and do some outside IT consulting, but I have hit the ceiling?it’s a fact of life.
I feel that CEOs look for a CIO who is strong in technology. They then have top managers without management ability. I prefer hiring an individual who is an expert in managing experts.
Senior Systems Analyst
Woodland Hills, Calif.
In February 2000, I filed my last job application. It was to the San Francisco office of Ask Jeeves, which was planning to open an office in Sydney, Australia. The recruiter was in London.
An enthusiastic young man called and said he never thought he would find a candidate like me. He explained the interview process: six interviews, the last of which would be by videophone. Then I would be in San Francisco for three months of training. He told me if I didn’t have a passport, I should apply for one, because I was an absolute certainty for a position.
Several nights later I received a second phone call from an irate woman who told me I should never have been called in the first place. She said Ask Jeeves prefers to hire men age 22 to 28.
I just turned 51. My degrees include postgrad librarianship, with an emphasis on computing. I bought my first computer in 1980, so I have a fair bit of experience. I also have a rŽsumŽ that I’ve been told is intimidating.
Today, everyone is short of young, cheap coders. The estimate of staffing needs is wildly inaccurate and misleading. One estimate of IT staffing needs included 150,000 call center personnel?hardly a degree-qualified position. These staffing surveys are based on the fantasies of recruiters boosting their own importance in the food chain.
I have spent most of the last six years applying for jobs?and with some satisfaction?with companies that hit the wall precisely because people like me weren’t hired. I still believe my experience to be worthwhile, and like many a boomer before me, I plan to rely on self-employment.
The Information Coach
I applaud “The Truth About CRM” in the May 1, 2001 issue. As you suggest, CRM packages have been sold for years, primarily as departmental solutions with ill-defined goals, nonexistent business-user buy-in and suspect executive involvement.
Two points made within the article, however, appear inconsistent. Vendor accountability, as defined by Liz Shahnam of Meta Group, should be immediate, not within one year. For the application providers and the systems integrators, customers deserve accountability for mismanaged expectations and solutions that fail to deliver value.
Second, the trick to successful CRM implementation is more than simply working with qualified and certified systems integrators. A better approach is to carefully choose consultants who understand the importance of defining and managing end user expectations and who will achieve management buy-in and gain executive sponsorship.
Executive Vice President Financial Services Division
I actually agree with most of the article about bringing in the FBI [“Outbreak,” June 1, 2001].
I have been watching articles on denial-of-service attacks for quite some time now. I have only one thing to comment on. Too many smaller companies or websites fall way beneath the $5,000 damage mark that must be realized before you can get help from the FBI.
We are rapidly approaching the point where something must be done, though. Sooner or later one of these hackers is going to hit not just one but two or three major crossroads of the Internet at the same time. It would not take much to coordinate such an attack if the perpetrator had the patience to wait until he had enough bots under his control. What happens then?
John P. Harper
The Value of Print and Web
I have read CIO since it arrived on the scene, and it’s one of my favorite professional publications.
I really like that you place the full text of the print editions online. I read CIO, Darwin, Fast Company and at least 25 more cover-to-cover. I also send no fewer than four articles via the online “send this page” feature from each magazine to literally dozens of associates, colleagues and clients each month.
I know many have subscribed to the magazines and have become regular readers of the websites, and I am now receiving gifts of textual wisdom from dozens of my former electronic disciples each month.
If you had any doubts whether it is worth putting the same material online and in print, the ROI in doing so is invaluable.
J. Leslie Booth
Interactive Multimedia Research Consortium
West Lafayette, Ind.