I’ve been on this ride before. More than once, since 1980. Usually I only realize it when I start recognizing pieces of the landscape: jobs dissolving by the millions, genuine fear in people’s eyes, lots of phony money dematerialized.
On this particular circuit through the theme park, though, some things are different. Usually a few things are, every time around the track. It’s nice to see the changes are positive.
I’m talking about the economy in general and working in IT in particular. To be fair, it’s true I group a lot of things under the heading of IT. As I see it, the work involves a particular skill set that can be applied across a lot of endeavors. I’ve helped track nuclear waste for the DOE, built GIS applications for the State, and supported Unix research networks for the VA, just to name a few. Code and computers and data equals IT.
IT particularly was a whipping boy in the last recession. As if they were taking revenge, companies large and small laid off technical staff, and took a few years realizing that they’d made a mistake.(They made the same mistake in the early 1980s.)
By then enrollment in computer-related studies had tanked. American kids, not clueless in the least, stayed away in droves from the jobs they’d seen fleeing to India. As I write in July of 2009, that trend is showing signs of reversing – some seven-plus years after the 2001 recession sank in.
That’s a heck of a hole, folks.
I for one plan to continue to fill it: by building networks, developing software, running servers and applications, and particularly by helping to educate the smart, motivated people who are entering the field, or rising within it.
If you’re one of them, welcome to IT work in New Mexico. It’ll be nice working with you.