Spooks snubbed and oldies fight back

Grey haired revolt

I was thrilled when I opened my e-mail this week to find that instead of my usual in-box clutter, there was plenty of letters from readers.

In between 109 canned press releases, 18 product pitches and two offers to buy Viagra at a special 20 percent discounted rate, I found a goldmine of fiesty feedback.

I could hardly contain my delight as I clicked open my mail from readers bemoaning our "ageist" coverage of life in IT.

A snippet of the fiery fanfare appears in Computerworld magazine's Forum section on page 17 (October 25, 2006).

Do I need to even reference these stories? I know you read them.

And I know you squirmed in your seat when Gartner analyst Mark Raskino described senior IT managers as "middle-aged, sedan-driving, middle-income, middle-class, middle-of-the-road, midlife-crisis, mid-sized managers, who carry a little bit too much weight around their middles".

Mediocrity, is it so bad? It's only adolescents that have a profound fear of the ordinary, clutching to that youthful dream of being special.

The article pointed to the consumerization of IT and how the tech agenda is being driven by a younger generation questioning whether IT professionals are up to the challenge of the digital age, particularly unified communications.

When it comes to new means of collaboration, Gartner believes older IT managers need help.

What an insult! As one reader rightfully pointed out, many of the midlife characters Gartner refers to were using the Internet when today's generation was still learning the alphabet.

Technology is technology and Computerworld readers have been implementing it for decades.

The other story that created a firestorm was entitled Grey hairs slowing convergence uptake, which appeared on October 4, 2006. Mention grey hairs and not surprisingly, there is a revolt.

While grey hair is one of the joys of ageing, the other is developing a great sense of humour.

Despite the sensitivity surrounding age, readers relied on humour to make their point in every single letter that I received.

The message is clear - humour improves with age.

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