A reflection on the recurrent lack of IT professionals

The telephony was a disruptive technology. Its rapid growth made voices that warned of a predictable lack of telephone operators, to attend the exponential traffic of calls that was occurring. Some quantified that artound 1960 would require that half of the female population in USA was telephone operators. However the appearance of the rotary dials in 1919 and automatic switchboards, conjured the alarm and telephony continued its rapid development with users making telephonists, dialing the phone numbers in the devices they wanted to access.

A new disruptive technology made its public appearance after World War II: the Information Technology. Applications quickly spread across a variety of fields. Towards the decade of the 70 ‘new voices alerted about the lack of programmers that could slow its rapid advance. At that time the calculation of an invoice, the classification of data lists, the maintaining of a list of products, or the confection of a letter, it needed a customized program by a programmer.

This time the wine solution for improving productivity in software development but mainly by the appearance of the PC and user tools that moved to them much of the problem, through spreadsheets, word processors of text and other productivity applications. Also by the creation of university studies, regulated in this area, and the consequent increase of professionals with more training and quality.

Thanks to the fusion of information technology and telecommunications, new technologies such as internet and smartphones appear, on a sustained increase in computing power and telecommunications. Myriads of new applications appear in new fields: from science to manufacturing, from trade to leisure or from health to culture. Again, in the early twenty-first century, appear alarming voices about the lack of professionals to meet all these new applications.

Learning from history can predict that part of the solution must also come in two different ways. First by transfer to users of capabilities that allow the execution, programming, configuration, etc. of new ICT tools focused on their specialties and, consequently, with the introduction of ICT materials in the formation of the corresponding disciplines. Second, by increasing the formation of new ICT professionals, but primarily focused on the core of infrastructures and basic components of these technologies and especially in the development of new tools to facilitate the empowerment of users mentioned above.

The insight of ICT in all human affairs, carries matched the largest technicization of society that involves deep changes in training, both users and specialists. The generational change, with an increasing number of digital natives, will certainly help this process.

Josep M. Vilà Solanes – Published in Tecnonews

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Josep Maria Vilà Solanes, member of the Qualification Committee of the AQPE