Nobody, but it sure does help…
Some local outfit that goes by the name of the “Computer Power Institute” has been putting these ads up around Auckland (quite large ones, in bus stops and the like):
I really have to laugh. I understand in a way why an educational business such as this would want to target people who wouldn’t typically have an interest in the field, but it’s my firm belief – born out by the evidence I encounter again and again – that the best (i.e. most competent, efficient, knowledgeable, creative) people working in information technology as we define it are those that are geeks. That is, those for which it is more than simply a day job, and for which it is a passion and a lifestyle.
I think the analogy of a car mechanic is a suitable one here. Imagine BMW or similar advertising something to the effect of “who said working on our cars was for enthusiasts?”. Well, I sure wouldn’t want anybody like that working on my wheels, and if they did then I would expect the job to be completed to an entirely average standard at best. On the other hand, if I just wanted the spark plugs replaced in my used Toyota, I probably wouldn’t mind – but that hardly requires any skill.
I think if this institute is simply looking to train people to (ahem) “repair Windows”, set up Outlook clients, and run AV products on infected laptops, then fine. You don’t really need a geek to do that, and it’s not exactly taxing anybody’s intelligence nor creativity in problem solving or designing solutions. If they are looking to attract the best of the best however, then it makes far more sense to target those that have a genuine love of technology – and not those that spend more of their waking hours watching sporting events.
Customers certainly deserve far better, given the generally abysmal state of technical service out there.