Friday, June 18, 2010

Lack of Respect for IT Staff

Seems like it's a trend everywhere and it's not restricted to Singapore. There is a lack of respect for IT staff and as a result, many people are leaving the line. Every little problem, be it IT related or politics related, IT staff usually gets the brunt of it.

For example, I find it quite interesting that when a user clicks on the wrong button that as a result execute a wrong function, the blame goes to the IT department that designed the system. Funny thing is that other users have absolutely no problems with using the system. Try to use this analogy on a car. If a person steps on the accelerator instead of the brake and caused an accident, whose fault is it?

IT jobs are one of the few jobs in the world where it is rare for people to acknowledge you if everything is working fine. As a result, we rarely get a sense of achievement and many are leaving the line. However, some employers are not really worrying. One of the reasons is that they have a misconception that as long as you know how to use a computer, you can do IT work. That is not exactly true. Just mention black box and white box testing and I guess most people will give you a blank look.

I've seen many such examples of non-IT trained staff heading IT projects. One of the examples I feel is the iToday app in the Apple AppStore (personal opinion). If a person trained in IT is testing the application, they would detect that there is a memory problem and the app will crash if the user reads too many news items. The bug is so obvious, at least to a person trained in IT.

Anyway to resolve this brain drain? As long as employers do not recognise that it pays to have trained IT staff managing their systems, more and more IT staff will leave the line. Who wants to work in a job that bosses/customers do not acknowledge a job well done? We are all human.


Anonymous said...

Simple, they'll just hire a PRC or Indian to fill the vacant IT post. So they definitely won't be missing the IT person who left. Plus, if the guy was a Singaporean, you bet the company will be happy they managed to get a PRC/Indian to do the same job for half the price.

chantc said...

Well, it is really up to them if they want their business to be known for its quality and scalability, or known for its high turnover.

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