Readers weigh in on . . .

Re: Canadian e-Biz Initiative sees dearth of talent for SMEs (May 1)

I came to the IT world later in my career. When I graduated from a small rural high school in New Brunswick, a

good calculator cost what a low-end computer costs today. A computer related career was certainly never contemplated. I happened to land a job as an account manager for a small networking company. One day the owner came in and said, “”We have a contract to build seven computers. Anybody want to learn how?”” That was nearly 10 years ago. In that period of time I have taught myself, JavaScript, ASP, HTML, Flash, Dreamweaver, SQL, MS Access.

Prior to that I had 15 years’ training experience, and acquired network certification for Microsoft and Novell.

I have spent time as a business management consultant, was an IT project manager for a call centre and took a stab at running my own business.

I left the IT business and now sell life insurance, because I couldn’t make enough money. When you learn on the job, you don’t get those nice certifications or degrees. Also I don’t have a specialty. I simply know a little about a lot of different technologies and business practices. I have applied for many positions. Either I don’t have the right certifications, the right specialties, or I’m too old. If I happen to get an interview, then I’m over qualified.

I wonder if the problem is lack of talent or a lack of understanding what that talent looks like? Maybe if looked beyond university degrees and industry certifications we might find we are not as bad off as we thought.

Gordon Wilson

Re: Canadian e-Biz Initiative sees dearth of talent for SMEs (May 1)

SMEs want it all. They think they can do it themselves (to save money), but they can’t so the projects fail. They’re scared of ASP solutions. They want cheap labour and they compromise on every front. And finally, they don’t see the value in technology solutions that extend beyond Microsoft Office. So thanks for a great article but maybe you need to talk to some of the SMEs that I have to deal with on a continual basis to find out that is not a lack of talent after all.

Kerri Groves

Re: As hard as ABC (April 24)

Like many other readers, English is not my first language. Can you imagine how hard it is for us to guess what an acronym means? Journalists (especially in the IT world) should not take for granted that everybody gets it the first time.

Jocelyn (Joe) Roy
Senior advisor, call centre technologies

Re: As hard as ABC (April 24)

Could this be done on purpose? In France before the War, newspapers were encouraged by the government to use as many acronyms as possible in their articles. The rationale: German intelligence wouldn’t be able to figure out what was being said.

Gerard Rejskind

Re: As hard as ABC (April 24)

It’s a lost battle. Acronyms are very usefull but people do not use them the right way. The only acronym I can remember is PCMCIA (People Cannot Remember Computer Industry Acronyms) or is it Personal Computer Memory Card International Association?

Maurice Theriault

Re: As hard as ABC (April 24)

It was always customary to mention the full term once with the acronym in parentheses before using the acronym in any article, e.g. Subject Matter Expert (SME).

However, many articles dispense with this custom, expecting the acronym to be familiar to all. Furthermore, an acronym may mean different terms as you already pointed out.

Knowing that acronyms will not go away, it is better to make use of the above custom to avoid confusion.

Zahir Topan
Technical support manager
Cct Design

Re: Passport? Please! (April 11)

Please stop confusing training, certification, intelligence and experience. They are completely different and not related. Your passport can record the first two which really means absolutely nothing. I have been down the Microsoft path and some of the people that are certified should make Microsoft ashamed of the MCSE they tout so loudly.

I was programming in Pascal while you were in grade school and have worked with mainframes as big as your house (with about as much RAM as your watch) and am a network specialist today in the PC world. Every time you cop out, which is exactly what you are doing, things get worse. If you want to find out how much a user or an IT pro knows try communicating with your lips, ears and brain. You will be surprised how much you learn in 30 seconds. Hiding behind passports and email is exactly that, it is not communicating, it’s dealing with the world through a pair of rubber gloves.

Michael Mills

Shane Schick responds:

I was not advocating the passports, but discussing why the company that came up with them thought they were a good idea. My point is not that far removed from your own — that observation and communication is a much better way of assessing what people know.

Letters to the editor must include the writer’s name and company name along with an e-mail address or other contact information. All letters become the property of Editors reserve the right to edit submissions for length and content.

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