Y2K stuff (Re: smokers - victim/victorious)

Sandor Spruit (Sandor.Spruit@let.ruu.nl)
Wed, 27 Aug 1997 12:15:41 +0200

Ron Resnick wrote:

> duck wrote:
> > Also in this issue -
> >
> > >The Wall Street Journal's "Work Week" column reveals a new and
> > >surprisingly lucrative job category: Year 2,000 conversion worker.
> > >It turns out that the need of business to change mainframe computers
> > >so that they don't freak out when they come across the millenium is
> > >so wide and so pressing that folks are getting hired on at a minimum
> > >of $30,000 a year immediately after completing a six week training
> > >course, with others in the field making twice that much. The column
> > >reports that in a survey of 128 large companies, 60% say they are
> > >hiring more Y2K (the hot new acronym, apparently) staff.
> This stuff drives me crazy.

OK Ron. This time I'll swallow the bait :) There's just to much stuff in
here that I feel I should respond to, he he :)

> y2k is hardly a new buzzword. Most serious IT companies have 'VP
> of Y2K Strategies' these days - they have for a year or 2 now.

True. But the fact of the matter is - at least over here in Holland -that
most companies - especially smaller ones - outside of the IT and banking
sector are not doing anything at all !

> Besides, the whole thing is a crock. Yes, a lot of things are probably
> going to break on Dec31/99, stroke of twelve. So what? A lot of
> things break all the time! Software sucks garbage the
> way its being done. We all know this. Y2K is 0.01% of the overall
> legacy nightmare we're in - tops.

Suppose it is a 100% crock. I don't really believe it is; heard and read
too many horror stories about elevators, airconditioners, heating, planes
and so on, I guess. Even if it is, this whole Y2K thing illustrates (1) how

little influence IT guys generally have on the people in charge (2) how
difficult it is to explain something as simple as this to anyone who's not
in the IT business and (3) how incredibly widespread computers are in
today's society. A very frightning combination, I think. [Ron: remember
that massive power failure in Holland I wrote about on dist-obj ?].

Are you really going to trust (there's that word again!)

> the legacy patches on top of legacy
> patches all these '6-week training, 30K/year' folks are going
> to stick on top of your bank's management systems?
> Would you trust a doctor to slice you open on 6 weeks training,
> $30K/year? Or a pilot to fly your plane?

> The whole bloody mess is broken. The Y2K industry is snake oil
> salesmen. The software industry is snake oil salesmen.
> But you knew all this. I'm just ranting.

The computer (and anything that depends on electricity in fact) is vital
to our society, but people do not realize how important they really are.
The recent power failure over here clearly demonstrated how little we
can do when there's no electricity and computers are out of order. So
even when the Y2K problem is just "0.01% of the nightmare", even a
minor breakdown in 2000 might serve some important purposes, such
as to help demonstrate the implications of the real nightmare :)


ir A.G.L. Spruit, Utrecht University, the Netherlands
"...just another village, burning in the hills,
 Saw it on the tv, just another thrill,
 Someone else's problem, someone else's grief..."
(from Fish, "The perception of Johnny Punter")