This problem is easily predicted. The closer we get to the year 2000, the higher the bids (wages). Good programmers will quit and go elsewhere. This threatens every organization's date of compliance estimate. The bidding war will threaten the survival of many companies among the handful that are today actively engaged in making the repairs.
This report appeared on a discussion forum of professionals who make their living writing y2k repairs in COBOL and similar languages.
Let me remind you of an important principle in programming circles:
"A downsizing in a high-tech organization is like a shipwreck: the best swimmers usually leave first because they know they can make it to the other ships."
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There's another quick theory out there which might be of interest.
While we all are aware that 1998 will be a difficult year for all of us, due to the massive amount of work involved (and hopefully in process at that time) with Year 2000 conversions... there may still be an additional inhibitor.
It is quite possible, if not LIKELY, that a large number, if not the majority, of CIO's at significantly-sized corporations CHANGE JOBS in 1998. There is a theory that these CIO's will perceive at least a possibility that their company will NOT successfully transition into 2000. The market for I/S leadership will be strong, and rather than stay and share BLAME for an unsuccessful Y2K project, they will LEAVE to pursue a higher paying, similar job at a new company, where the Year 2000 liability (though likely the SAME) is NOT PERCEIVED AS THEIR FAULT!
There are legal issues which still may hold the DEPARTING CIO accountable for eventual problems at his previous employer. But this issue aside, I strongly see the possibility of 1998 (1997?) being a "musical chairs" year for CIO's (and CIO turnover is already at a high rate!), MAKING THIS TEMPORARY LOSS OF LEADERSHIP a serious impact issue on the ability to acquire and deploy resources for the Year 2000 project.
Given the time and effort it takes to select and transition CIO's, this could be devastating on the morale and progress of Year 2000 projects.
Just a theory...
Mike Cohn MDY, Inc. Atlanta