Keynote address: Endangered species? The single-skilled information worker
There is no doubt of the necessity for educating more software engineers and information technology workers. The successful performance of complex, large scale systems and the competitive strength of the United States as a global power depend on the growth and cultivation of this type of brain power. Yet, this initial and continuing education is incomplete if it concentrates solely on technical matters.
Battalions of narrowly focused information technicians are becoming obsolete. Information technology innovations such as automatic code generators, reusable objects and code, and CASE tools are increasingly being advocated and used. These innovations can reduce the number of people and improve the quality of work involved in the production of goods, systems, and services. Concurrently, offshore software and information technology labor markets will continue to flourish because they, too, are productivity and bottom line enhancers. Lastly, the world of information technology is changing. Everyone is becoming a computer literate end user and distributed computer/communications networks coupled with decentralized operations and decision making are causing large software design and information technology centers to become remnants of the past.
Ironically, the very technical brilliance which creates these better ways of doing business also demands of its communities constant change and renewal. As corporations and governments restructure and rightsize, those individuals who are multiskilled and multitalented will survive best. Therefore, the “value added” of the software engineer or the information technology worker is not solely in her or his technical prowess but in the total person package that individual brings to the immediate job and the strategic goals of the organization.
KeywordsSystem Thinking Leadership Skill Chief Information Officer People Skill Automatic Code Generator
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