More platforms than Clapham Junction : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This is how one newcomers described the set up in my one of my old installations. FI use a myriad of platforms both internally and on various client sites. In my opinion this has contributed to the y2k problem, each one has to be investigated and fixed. We have various flavours of Unix, NT, Novell, Win 95, Win 3.1, OS2 etc as well as various mainframe, mid-size systems, all requiring expertise. Whats going to happen in the future, will IT go back to using a few platforms with thin clients , as once everyone used IBM.

-- Richard Dale (, October 14, 1998


From an ecological perspective it's VERY dangerous if everyone standardises on the same system. If it has a weakness, an IT- terrorist might exploit it to cause a worldwide crash that might make Y2K look like a picnic. (Yet another reason to hate M$ !)

More probably what'll come out of this is a proper IT profession with legally controlled qualifications, just as a proper engineering profession developed out of a series of collapsed bridges and exploding boilers in early Victorian days.

-- Nigel Arnot (, October 14, 1998.

When I was studying for my British Computer Society Part I and II qualifications I was constantly derided by my colleagues, can't think of (m)any words of encouragement received, except from a contractor studying for an MBA, usually at best polite condescension. The problem is that many people in IT have no qualifications therefore do not see a need for them. The derision even at management level is a method of levelling your advantage. I would say that qualifications alone do not a progammer/analyst/manager make but they can help realise a potential. You should start off with some then develop your career by a combination of experience and vocational study. Will they come out of y2k, difficult to say. Once the dust has settled people will go back to their old ways. Bridges are a tangible structure if they fail people get killed as a direct result. Mind you I once saw the room full of programmers who developed the fly by wire software for the airbus, they looked like the usual bunch of nerds, they did crash to begin with, but it was always the "pilot's fault". Who could blame a programmer who hadn't tested a particular combination of conditions. There is obviously a need to apply programming standards much more rigorously.

-- Richard Dale (, October 14, 1998.

If we do see qualifications for programmers, a massive black market will emerge - and development underground to meet the demand. Also a good market for "fake IDs". There is just way too much demand.

I do agree, however, that most people developing software should not be doing so - they aren't suited for it.

-- Ray Givler (, October 14, 1998.

I am considered a very good programmer by everyone who has seen my code - have had many compliments about readable code and proper and logical breakdown of procedures and objects etc. Can I get a job programming? No, the companies who do programming want a kid straight out of school who will take pay for 40 hrs and work at least 80. No adult will put up with such stupid abuse, and the code the kids turn out is dreadful for the most part. This is the cause of many of our software problems IMHO.

-- Paul Davis (, October 14, 1998.

Probably should be relative qualifications and specific job authorizations: like they do for designers, draftsmen, architects, engineers, surveyors. I may know how to it, but I can't legally survey your home or business and make a plot for the county courthouse records. Only a surveyor can. An architect can't sign the same drawings a structural engineer can, and a draftman isn't legally allowed to sign any drawing. No drawing can be used for constructiiion unless it has been signed, etc.

Based on your qualifications (license, training, registration status, etc.) you are a programmer, a software engineer, or a network administrator, a service rep, a consultant, or whatever.

Until they can clearly, legally and consistently define and enforce the difference between a programmer and a software engineer, the registration is meaningless. But the idea of registration is a good one.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 14, 1998.

Yes, you would THINK that if by some amazing miracle Y2K turns out to be of relatively short-term duration, then getting control of the dubious quality of at least new software that will be written will be a big priority. And, indeed, for years all kinds of advocates of software quality of been kicking this around. But, the reality is that under this mild Y2K problem scenario, chances are nothing will change. The DOS approach -- a "quick and Dirty Operating System" -- won't die, the immediate benefits of forgoing quality and code maintainability to get something working fast, will continue to be too tempting, in my opinion.

-- Jack (, October 15, 1998.

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