ICT in Belgium : help wanted

The new employment figures for ICT in Belgium came through yesterday: 6500 jobs created in the past year.  In that same year, the number of job openings grew from 14000 to 14250.

The BI consultant in me is rubbing his hands with glee when I read such news.  The fact that good people are unavailable to do projects simply means more failures in BI projects and more opportunity for us real BI consultants and real BI companies to pick up the pieces later.

No, I don’t have any numbers to prove that of-course.  76% of all statistics is made up anyway, including this one.  However, my experience tells me that there are more than enough people out there willing to take on work that they know nothing about.  No offense to my esteemed wood-be colleagues, but in 2008 there is still an astounding number of people that think that building a data warehouse in 3NF is a great idea.


4 thoughts on “ICT in Belgium : help wanted”

  1. Hi Matt,

    Try explaining data warehousing to management though. Its like 3rd normal form is the holy grail or something anything less is well less than perfect.

  2. From my personal experience, large part of the problem lies with the recruiters. Like many a civilised geek, I have no fancy degree. When I was looking for a job, about 80% of the time (another made up stat, of course), I was told to fuck off as soon as they realised that I had no degree. The other possible employers at least had the decency to have a chat with me. Two of those made a big deal out of the fact that I don’t drive. “But what if there’s an emergency”, they’d say. In one case my response was “It’s a 10 minute walk from my doorstep, lighten up”. I was certainly capable of doing all the jobs I applied for, but was turned down for not having a piece of paper. No wonder that they’re having a hard time finding people if they’re looking at the wrong criteria. I know plenty of lesser geeks with IT degrees who couldn’t write a Hello World program if their life depended on it — but of course, they‘d make a much better candidate for those jobs I tried to get!

    Seriously, employers need to lighten up and look at their candidates more closely, especially in IT. Either that, or they should stop bitching :).

    I did, in the end, manage to land my first job. My lack of degree wasn’t an issue. They said “You’ll get ample opportunities to prove yourself and gain experience.”. Not driving wasn’t an issue either. They said “how you get to work is your problem, not ours!”. Some people do have common sense. I love it.

  3. To be honest Garry, I had to fight over this in more than 50% of the consulting gigs I did in the past 10+ years. Mostly I was successful in convincing the customer that a requirements driven approach to data modeling is the best approach, but there was this one customer (one person) I couldn’t convince and I walked away from that job. Nothing good could have possibly come of it.

  4. Hi Bram, it depends on the job of-course. For a normal desk-job, I don’t think anyone could be in their right to make a fuss over a drivers license. For a consultancy engagement where you would have to visit customers all over Belgium, mobility is a key requirement. I’m sure a lot of people in ICT like to think that doing work from a distance (from home or from the head office) if the ideal solution, but as far as BI for example is concerned, it’s not. Requirement analyses, short increments, keeping in touch with what your customer feels on the floor is not possible from a distance. In some cases, you learn more during lunch hour than in the board room.
    I do have a (minor) degree in Informatics, but I honestly can’t recall anyone ever asking me about it. Given the enormous amount of BS and off-topic courses I had to go through to get it, that makes perfect sense. 🙂

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