Keeping the young guns

Show me a boy at seven and I'm not too sure if I can show you the man. Show me a twentysomething IT professional, however, and I'm pretty confident I can give you a glimpse of how technology will be managed within the next decade. And that's precisely what this week's cover story does.

Dubbed the e-generation, a clever lot of IT young guns, who breathe, eat and sleep IT, tell us what makes them tick. More importantly, they give IT managers a few pointers on what it will take to keep them ticking.

Not only are they smart, ambitious and packed with drive, they're also determined to still "have a life".

And despite an overwhelming desire to learn, they take the traditional workplace ethos with a pinch of salt.

One other thing: frustration creeps in when their capacity is underestimated. As one up-and-coming IT star professed: "Don't be afraid to give us things you don't think we can handle. We want to grow into that. Let us know your goals and the company's goals and we can help you get there."

This week's cover story is not only a good read, it also gives senior IT professionals insight into what kind of characters will take charge of the industry within the not too distant future. And if this group of hot shots is anything to go by, the future of IT is resting safely.

Here's a snapshot of some of the colourful quotes that grabbed my attention. Turn to page 16 for the full lot.

"I need a new problem every day. Something I've never seen before and that I can figure out" - Sohil Shah, 22, Java programmer.

"My boss gives me the business problem and I have to figure out how to solve it using Web technology. It gives me a chance to be creative." - Ingrid Eikinas, 27, assistant VP.

"If we come up with an idea, listen to us. We have a different perspective. It may take a fresh look to see what's been there all the time." - Lorraine O'Connor, 24, systems analyst.

And . . .

"We don't know any of the old rules, so we do things differently. We may make mistakes, but give us the freedom to go wild with our ideas. They might be refreshing." - Amy Younggren, 23, IT management associate.

But my favourite would have to be: "I don't live to work, I work to live," Jackie Geraci-Barbanente, 22, an associate systems analyst.

She might be new at the game, but the attitude is spot on. At the tail end of being a "twentysomething" myself, I couldn't agree more.

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