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1997-01-13 00:00:00


Managers Still Don't Know!


Some people think that managers are on top of the y2k problem. Consider these reports from Canada and New York.

> >Date: Tue, 07 Jan 1997 21:08:47 -0500 >From: Vikram Kulkarni > >>Date: Fri, 3 Jan 1997 18:22:00 -0500 >>From: _Stein, Gord_ >> >>Greetings: >>Our firm, Contractors Network Corporation, provides I/T professionals on >>a contract basis from our 4 Canadian and 1 American branch office and we >>currently have over 600 working at client sites. Incredibly, only 3 of >>them are working on Y2K projects. Sitting on the bench are 4 Y2K project >>managers and numerous P/A's. Surprisingly, we haven't seen any type of >>demand as yet for Y2K workers. Seems like most firms in Canada haven't >>really launched into their Y2K initiatives yet. I agree with the other >>metrics for Human Resource utilization. >> >>Gordon Stein >>VP Business Development >>Contractors Network Corporation >>

> >I live in New York and the situation is no different than in Canada. I >interact with a lot of computer people and I hear some talk about Year 2000 >problem, but the situation is very different from what is being depicted on >this mailing list. I have the following interesting observations and some >unanswered questions- > >1) I went to the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and asked how many books >are there on COBOL. They had one! There were hundreds of titles on Java >and HTML and people were buying those books like crazy. If COBOL >programmers were making $100 per hour, don't you think these people would >be reading COBOL books instead? Designing web pages pays only $40 per hour >:-). > >2) There was one book on the Year 2000 problem and they had sold 5 copies >of it in the last 6 months. In New York, where people are constantly >looking for the next big thing, this is not supposed to happen. > >3) Vendors are supposed to be overextended and are refusing jobs, right? >Then why is the list of vendors on the site larger than ever >before? Also, why are all the major vendors spending thousands of dollars >renting booths at the major y2k seminars and exhibitions? Also, why are so >many vendors hiring Business Development Managers? Don't they need >programmers instead? > >4) I have several friends from India who are working in America doing y2k >work and they definitely are not making the kind of money that is being >discussed on this list. There is a lot of wishful thinking on the part of >programmers, but the reality is quite different. > >5) If banks and insurance companies have a big y2k problem, why are their >stocks trading at such high prices? Why is Dow Jones doing so well? Is >the market missing something? I know the problem is very serious, but why >would the market neglect it for so long even after so much publicity? Do >we need a _celebrity failure_ to convince the market that the problem >really exists? > >6) 1996 was the time when some financial institutions with 4 year time >horizons were supposed to run into problems. 1996 came and went. Nothing >happened. These institutions might have found a way to work around the >problem. What about 1997? Except for a small problem at Brussels stock >exchange that was solved in 3 hours and which may or may not be related to >y2k, nothing has happened in the last 7 days. > >6) Does anybody have any direct experience with a company that is facing >problem hiring >COBOL programmers after paying decent salaries? I am not talking about >those companies that are located in the middle of nowhere and are paying >less than $50,000 per year. I have read many people complaining about >trouble finding good programmers, but they cleverly forget to mention the >details. Are you offering them good pay? What about work conditions? >Benefits? Future prospects? Companies like Microsoft have no trouble >finding programmers who are willing to work 80 plus hours a week and are >ready to sacrifice their entire youths. In fact, Microsoft gets swamped >with thousands of resumes every month from the most talented people in the >world. Does Bill Gates know something that we all don't? > >7)One last question about the military. If American military could spend >millions of dollars during the cold war to find out the minute details >about Soviet computer systems, how can we assume that they would neglect >their own information systems? Russians have also spend millions gathering >information about Americans. If Americans don't have time to do inventory >of their own systems, maybe they should pay Russians for all those secret >reports. Cold war is over anyway :-). > > > > ****

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