At least in the blue collar world. At least in Chicago.
My wife and I are looking for a new handyman for our buildings, which we seem to need to do every couple of years for one reason or another.
Same as last time, in April of 2008, my wife composed an ad, placed it on Craigslist, then pulled it down ten minutes later because our phone ringer and email boxes couldn’t take the strain.
There may be some glimmers of hope for a recovery. The tech sector in Chicago seems to be heating up. Who knows how long that will last, but if I were a company that used the recession as an excuse to abuse my tech employees for the last two years I would be worried right now.
Nonetheless, if the blue collar environment in Chicago is any indication, large parts of our economy (and large numbers of people) are still in a world of financial hurt.
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I really liked J. Schwan’s blog on Oscar and Albert. It’s a workplace parable about overcoming (or denying) the realities of off-shoring.
Sometimes it’s difficult to admit to ourselves, but in IT we are judged by more than how we do our specific jobs (even when it’s hard to find anyone who can do your job better than you). Honing our skills beyond a certain point (and to the exclusion of other, newer skills) can make us less competitive in both our local and global marketplaces.
This is not so much about a .Net programmer learning Ruby (although that certainly can help until Ruby becomes old hat). It is about a programmer taking a greater role in requirements definition, usability, user training, or any other area that enables him (or her) to build his capabilities and deliver value at the business level.
Tomorrow’s rewards will be won by the IT workers who focus on broadening their perspectives and adapting their skills. They’ll use this mindset to identify and satisfy the numerous new value opportunities created by our evolving global marketplace. Far from being out-sourced, many will get wealthy doing it.
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