Happy New Year ... from a Bitter, Cynical Engineer

  • Do not take any vendor-specific certification tests. Certification tests represent the deterioration of computer and software work from a profession to a trade. If you wish to be a machine operator then by all means, you should be certified for the equipment. I'd prefer to solve the difficult problems that require application of engineering principles and experience.
  • Do not accept a job title with information technology in the name. Apparently the term data processing acquired a 1980ish mainframe overtone and so had to be retired. Thus a new--and vacuous--title was needed, and information technology was invented. Same as it ever was.
  • Do not abandon the field. Times are tough for technology workers. You know that, but unless you are a technology worker you probably don't realize how tough. The IEEE is reporting that when their older members lose their jobs, it is taking over a year to find a new one. Younger engineers are reporting an average of 30 weeks unemployment. Experienced people are being driven out of the technology field and young people are being deterred from entering it. America is incubating a technology crisis right now, and those of us left around will be in extraordinary demand. Eventually.
  • Speaking of which, maintain my IEEE membership. Spectrum rocks, and lifelong learning is a requirement in this profession. Even more important, IEEE-USA is the only voice I'm aware of that advocates the policy issues that are important to engineers. I'm not sure they are making a lot of headway on issues such as H1-B reform and portable pensions, but it's damned good to know somebody is out there making the case.
  • Work to promote good stuff like open source software. Seek to vanquish evil stuff like the DMCA. Strive to make technology a force for good in people's lives.

We'll see how well I do keeping my resolutions. Check back in a year.


Comments have been closed for this entry.

re: Happy New Year ... from a Bitter, Cynical Engineer

Nice list!

This is going to be a fun year, I think (particularly regarding your 5th resolution)!

Let's go get 'em.

re: Happy New Year ... from a Bitter, Cynical Engineer


In the end virtue will be rewarded.
IMHO, technology and computer stuff
in particular provides the most power
for the least investment; we are in a
position to improve the world and ourselves.
Of course, don't expect anyone to

re: Happy New Year ... from a Bitter, Cynical Engineer

flushing a stinking carp down the toilet will only succeed in backing up your toilet. You must first fillet the carp, then drop it in strip by strip by strip.. :)