[LINK] Intellect

Bernard Robertson-Dunn brd at iimetro.com.au
Thu May 21 09:14:50 AEST 2009

Paul Brooks wrote:
> Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>> I'll ask the (rhetorical) question again:
>> What is it with the IT industry that we have so many people in senior 
>> positions in industry bodies, vendors and user IT departments with no 
>> formal qualifications in Electronics or Computer Science?
> I have no formal qualifications in such things, but will hazard a 
> guess....
> Could it be because qualifications in electronics, engineering and 
> comp. sci. tend to be focussed on the *doing* of the subject matter 
> rather than management and business.
> People in senior positions are generally not themselves picking up the 
> soldering irons - they are developing business cases and budgets, 
> staffing levels and government relations, and reports to the board, 
> and employing people with the technical qualifications to actually do 
> the work work.
> Sure there are many counter-examples of people that have successfully 
> made the transition between technical engineer and executive 
> management - but as a very broad generalisation these two roles are 
> attractive to  completely different  types of people.
I'm certainly not arguing that all/most people who work in the IT 
industry should have highly relevant technical qualifications. There are 
many aspects to information systems that have very little to do with 
technology. However, especially regarding technology vendors, IT 
industry bodies and other organisations primarily concerned with 
technology (as opposed to the business aspects of technology use), I 
would have thought that there would be far more technically oriented 
people in senior positions than there seem to be.

I would have thought that the best background would be a relevant 
technical education/qualification followed by experience and practice in 
management/business/sales. It is the first bit that seems to be either 
missing in the IT industry. It is when you get a Chief Technical Officer 
on a major government IT infrastructure project with a degree in 
politics that I start to ask myself questions.

And notice that I am asking a question, not making a statement.
> To use your question as an example - would the person who could best 
> answer your question have a qualification in electronics or HR?
My question is about organisational effectiveness, not IT, so I don't 
think either qualification would help much.


Bernard Robertson-Dunn
Canberra Australia
brd at iimetro.com.au

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