[nycbug-talk] MSNBC on the decline of technology jobs

George R. george
Wed Jun 22 14:49:16 EDT 2005

Sorry to blow away the last post from this thread. . . but like all talk 
threads, I've followed this closely and want to dump my $.02. . .

Like many of you, I watched technology crash in 2000-2001.  I knew a lot 
of good people who were out of work for a long while, and some intended 
to stay in technology, some just wanted out.

There were many I knew who wanted out, and I was happy.  Nobody likes 
those who don't take their trade seriously and just wants the options or 
whatever. . . so many eyes were just on money.

There was a massive contraction among technical jobs, and it was so 
drastic, that it went far beyond those not interested or unqualified. 
Alex, there are some people we know in common who you would agree are 
more than qualified and driven who were hit hard. . . we can talk at 
some point about that. ..

(my situation was fine. . . my firm went under, and I was employed until 
April 2002 for the liquidation of the assets. I *wanted* to consult, and 
actually didn't take some full time offers.  No regrets, but it was no 
cake walk)

Many of those who wanted technical jobs, but couldn't find anything, 
weren't just fools or idiots.  Hundreds of thousands of jobs 
disappeared.  Even without looking at the raw numbers, there was a 
massive demoralization when so many lose jobs at your firm and beyond. 
Particularly when being in technology meant being treated like a 
demigod.  Then you were just seen as overhead that wasn't and never will 
be a profit center.  There was also resentment from management in many 
cases, who felt like the technology people had pulled a fast one with 
Y2K and the general atmosphere.

Anybody who doesn't see the very real trajectory from 1999 until today 
is missing something. . . too isolated from the larger picture.  Which 
is probably good.

I had seven or so in my IT department.  And the most talented just left 
the industry.  Of the others, only one is still in technology.  Were the 
others meant to be there?  Maybe, maybe not. Some didn't have the 
passion or drive, but we're not paratroopers.

On the individual level, we should learn the clear lessons about 
continuing to improve skills and experience, personal networking, etc.

But the fact remains, technical people created neither the dot com boom 
nor the bust.  It was the speculation of the investors and the relevant 
industries that did.  Nevertheless, it was technical people who were hit 
disproportionately hard in terms of employment.  Of course, I'm not 
talking about the millions whose retirement equity disappeared, usually 
through no fault of their own, as they had invested in mutual funds, 
401k's and union pension funds. . .

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