Every police officer's nightmare is to be wounded on the streets -- alone. So when the Orlando Police Department pilot-tested new Global Positioning System (GPS) units, which let the central office track officers' locations, you'd think the officers would have been grateful.
Stories by Geoffrey James
For many CIOs, being asked to serve on an outside board of directors is evidence that they've finally arrived. And why not? Board membership is public recognition that a CIO has experience that another company craves. It's also an opportunity to network with the bigwigs that populate most boards. Then there's the extra compensation, which can run into five figures, even without stock options.
I know a host of IT professionals who have left big companies to join dot-com startups. A few have made big bucks, but most are hopping from firm to firm, hoping to find the one that will make them millionaires. Even the financial problems encountered by the business-to-consumer dot-coms haven't dampened their enthusiasm much, as many have followed the trend toward business-to-business Web firms. The quest for financial freedom isn't always a bed of roses, though. One friend ended up working for a Web infrastructure firm where the founder flipped out when the investors wanted to install a more experienced CEO.
When I managed IT projects, I remember being incredibly annoyed with the human resources department when it tried to "help" me find programmers. My experience wasn't unusual, according to top headhunter and best-selling author Nick Corcodilos, whose Web site (www.asktheheadhunter.com) is something of a mecca to high-tech job seekers. In a recent conversation, Corcodilos described the worst mistakes that's he's seen while watching dozens of companies struggle through the hiring process.
Good Lord! According to a recent Associated Press story, even Microsoft Corp. is having trouble attracting top programmers, as the scarcity of IT talent reaches truly epic proportions. Statistics indicate there are well over 200,000 IT job openings in the U.S. but only about 25,000 new college graduates available each year to fill them.
Think you can attract top IT talent by dangling a big salary? Think again. With e-commerce becoming the hottest technology trend since the PC, many candidates are looking for more than just a job - they want a piece of the action. And that means IT managers will need to develop a whole new set of skills for themselves.
After the denial-of-service attacks this month on several major Web sites, it turns out that the Internet is far more fragile than anyone in the computer industry had been willing to admit. There are real, substantial problems with security and stability that should have been addressed years ago. But they weren't. Why? Because everybody was focusing their time and energy on a largely fictional problem: the so-called Y2K bug.
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