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Geeks On a Plane Proposed To Solve Global Tech Skills Crisis 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the smart-flight dept.
judgecorp writes "British Airways' Ungrounded project proposes to shut 100 Silicon Valley 'gamechangers' in a trans-Atlantic plane and ask them to solve the world's tech skills crisis during a 12-hour flight to London. On arrival, the passengers will head into a conference where they will present their ideas to, among others, the UN. From the article: 'Ungrounded, as the project is called, will bring 100 “innovators” (Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists) on a private BA flight from San Francisco to London. During the flight, they will take part in a “global hack” run by Ideo, a design firm which has made mice for Microsoft and Apple.'"
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Geeks On a Plane Proposed To Solve Global Tech Skills Crisis

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  • by kthreadd (1558445) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:11AM (#43300441)

    Put at least Stallman, ESR and Torvalds on that plane.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Two things wrong with that idea: Firstly, it would put people that actually matter there, making it a high risk operation. Secondly, they don't want people who care about contributing to society interfering. By the way, what bloody crisis? There are plenty of people with skills, just recognize them and people will aspire to acquire skills too (because what we need is access and personal motivation). It still annoys me that Gates got the wrong honorary doctorate (technology, should have been business).

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by garaged (579941)

        Just remember how much money Gates spent on a self declared failed education project....

        They might be damn good at making money, but they are not as good or dont even care wellbeing for the majority... After all they are represent the best of what is making the world be as it is, socially speaking.

        • by fatphil (181876)
          The problem is they clearly don't have the best of the best boffins - such as these guys:
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUbjpwyesk0
      • by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:16AM (#43301113) Journal
        Good that you mention aspiration. Today, our brightest kids are thinking about the career to pursue, and are faced with the following choice: coast through law school and get a job that pays well and is well-respected (I meant by regular folks, not us). Grab a masters in business school and be a high earning manager or hot shot consultant. Or slog your way through a masters in tech, which is generally far more difficult and often takes longer as well, after which you'll have a job that earns you little respect and pay to match (that's not a coincidence, by the way). The find out that companies mostly offer only sucky career progression, often having no way up except going into middle management, where you end up at a level which your buddy who went to business school got right out of the gate, more or less. What the hell kind of choice is that?

        Back when I was deciding which uni to go to (in the late 80s), people already said you'd have to be mad to pick a career in tech, and since then things haven't improved any. I went anyway, as I prefer to do the things I love doing.
        • by T-Bone-T (1048702) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:49AM (#43301477)

          Coast through Law School? The only people I've heard of coasting through Law School never made it all the way through or stopped coasting after the first quarter. You know how some movies show law students running on treadmills with their books in front of them so they can study at the same time? That actually happens in real life all the time.

        • masters in tech. The school system needs to change.

          It's to long / way to much upfront with out hands on work parts.

          Tech needs some like of apprenticeship system that is not tied to 2-4+ years of pure class room.

          • I think that depends on whether a student is pursuing a computer science degree or a software engineering degree. Unfortunately many schools don't provide such a distinction, but there's no reason why a true computer science student should have to do an apprenticeship. Software engineering is about using tools to create systems and products and solving real-world problems with software, so an apprenticeship would be much more applicable for software engineering students.
    • by kasperd (592156)

      Put at least Stallman, ESR and Torvalds on that plane.

      I think it is quite limited what you can get all three of them to agree on. But once they do agree on something, chances are it will be a really good idea.

    • by erroneus (253617) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:27AM (#43301159) Homepage

      Uh. No. I'm kind of hoping that plane crashes.

      Thing is, what made silicon valley what it was is a bunch of people trying all new things without the encumberance of a colon-full of patents and lawyers to spread them around. (See what I did there? It was intentional... let the image sink in.)

      Want the "good old days" back? Remove the kings of the hill and let's see a new scramble to the top. It wasn't WHO got us there as much as that there was a place to go. In the race to the top, there was less effort in trying to keep everyone else down and more into trying to rise to the top.

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:37AM (#43301427) Journal
        When were these 'good old days'? There's a story from shortly after the founding of Sun. They got a visit from IBM with a set of patents that they claimed Sun infringed. They sat the patent lawyers down and explained why for each patent it was either invalid or didn't apply. The Nazgul replied that they were probably right, but they could come back with another seven patents that Sun did infringe, and fighting them in court would be far more expensive than Sun could afford. Sun signed a cross-licensing agreement with IBM. This was the early '80s.
        • When were these 'good old days'?

          Like all "golden eras"... they never were.
           
          I just got done reading a book on Edwin Land [wikipedia.org], and one of the things the book covered was how careful he was to get his stuff patented and protected as far back as the 1920's. One of the reasons why Polaroid had essentially a monopoly over instant cameras for so long (essentially from the late 40's to the late 80's) is that they patented the hell out of every detail. Or, one can go back even further - one of the reasons Electric Boat [wikipedia.org] took such an early and commanding lead in submarine construction is that back in the late 1800's-early 1900's they held several key patents on submarine design features. Even after the patents expired, the "grace period" they provided allowed EB to build up such a reservoir of capital and experience that by the 1920's they were virtually the last man standing.
           
          The "golden era" of Silicon Valley wasn't so much about lack of patents, as it was the rapid growth of the electronics and computer industries during that time. They were very lucky in that there were several booms, mostly overlapping each other... but the boom times are gone now that industry is more-or-less mature. However, that hasn't stopped them or others from treating such boom times as $DIETY-given right.

    • by jewens (993139)
      Would that be the second plane, which by total coincidence is also the first scheduled to leave?
  • suckers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eviljav (68734) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:18AM (#43300465)

    They'll be great at brainstorming innovative ways of suckering gullible investors out of money, not sure what else "Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists" can do though.

    • It will be a 'mile high' orgy.. with coke and blackjack

      • It will be a 'mile high' orgy.. with coke and blackjack

        It will be mostly dudes.

        • It will be a 'mile high' orgy.. with coke and blackjack

          It will be mostly dudes.

          Hey, he never said it would be a good orgy.

    • by hughbar (579555)
      Agree, this is dot.froth to coin a new phrase and tld isn't it? Important problems aren't solved by 12 hour hacks even using 'world class experts'. If things [world hunger, war, disease, space travel] were that easy, we'd all have our togas, flying cars and vacations on the moon now. Get over it.
    • They'll be great at brainstorming innovative ways of suckering gullible investors out of money, not sure what else "Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists" can do though.

      It's a sly pun on the "Snakes on a Plane" theme.

  • by dredwerker (757816) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:18AM (#43300469)

    I can solve this on ten seconds. Stop asking for every stupid little skill on the job ad and people would match. A good programmer is a good programmer.

    End of rant :)

    • by preaction (1526109) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:27AM (#43300509)

      To expound on this:

      Stop asking for 100% demonstrable skills up-front. You may need to spend some time on-the-job training.

      Stop paying executives so much so you can afford better workers.

      Old people are not outdated. Experience is actually worth something. Use some of that money you're saving by not having golden parachutes for C-levels.

      This entire crisis is manufactured.

      • To expound on this:

        Stop asking for 100% demonstrable skills up-front. You may need to spend some time on-the-job training.

        Stop paying executives so much so you can afford better workers.

        Old people are not outdated. Experience is actually worth something. Use some of that money you're saving by not having golden parachutes for C-levels.

        This entire crisis is manufactured.

        Thanks for the expound :)

      • by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:15AM (#43300719) Homepage

        Exactly. There are plenty of people with plenty of skills out there. If they accept the simple logic that unless they are willing to hire some people with less than X years experience in ABC, there will eventually be no people with X or more years experience left, they can make sure there will be plenty of skilled people for the future as well.

        The final bit is that they'll have to understand the old adage that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

        If there was REALLY a serious shortage, they would either raise pay or offer better conditions (like 40 hour max weeks in the contract w/ more vacation time).

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by bzipitidoo (647217)

          offer better conditions

          Yes! We don't mean silly little perks like free snacks, we mean fair management. Something superficial like free snacks sours real fast when crony packed bad management chooses and guides projects poorly, falls for the bullshit artists' cons, hires incompetents instead of good job candidates over stupidly discriminatory reasons such as age, demands death marches in a desperate attempt to get back on the insane schedule they created and should have discussed more before committing to it, then successfully

          • college for all needs to be replaced with more vocational education and Apprenticeship programs

            http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2012-05-27/opinions/35456501_1_college-students-josipa-roksa-private-colleges-and-universities [washingtonpost.com]

            That’s why college-for-all has been a major blunder. One size doesn’t fit all, as sociologist James Rosenbaum of Northwestern University has argued. The need is to motivate the unmotivated. One way is to forge closer ties between high school and jobs. Yet, vocational educatio

      • non degree qualifications need more respect as well.

        There are lots of boot camps, tech / trades schools, non degree classes offed at Community Colleges, hands on learning / skills you can only really pick up on the job.

        To much theory leads to skill gaps and in tech Experience is big as well more hands on classes.

      • by jonwil (467024)

        I am in Australia and have been applying for job after job without even getting an interview. I have a computer science degree and great skills in a number of technologies but no-one is willing to give me any "commercial experience" (in fact, it wouldn't surprise me if my last job doing VB.NET, SQL Server and SQL Server Reporting Services work at a state government department isn't being counted as "commercial experience" by the IT recruitment people who see my resume in the pile of other resumes)

      • by jythie (914043) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:38AM (#43302257)
        Well put. The crisis seems to be deeply rooted in HR practices from the 90s designed to remove as many people from the running as possible.

        A few weeks ago I had been applying for a job that I was well qualified for except that I had not used their development language in something like 6 years. I explained that and the people I was talking to had no problem with that, in fact they had two groups and I might work with the one that was using a language I had never used.

        However, as part of HR, I had to take an online exam in the language I had not used in half a decade... with a timer on each question, going over gritty little syntax details of the language. Naturally I did poorly and that was the end of the process. Another job I was doing well at applying for the HR person (final stage) decided I just didn't think in the 'XYZ way', so even though the local VP wanted to hire me, HR nixed it. Both were cases where the people actually thinking about the work felt I would be a good fit, but HR filters said no.
      • I, too, was wondering what this 'tech skills crisis' was. I have yet to see it.

        I see plenty of bloated ads requiring nuts skills for things I could do in my sleep, but that's hardly a crisis - that's just moron HR people copying other companies' ads out of laziness, or not really understanding the job they are hiring for.

  • "Thinkers?" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Stiletto (12066) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:20AM (#43300485)

    What do venture capitalists and CEOs know about innovation?

    • Re:"Thinkers?" (Score:4, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa (526365) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @06:06AM (#43301081) Journal
      A hell of a lot... provided you get the right kind of CEO and VC, some of them are good thinkers. Good ideas are only a small part of innovation; implementing those ideas, scaling up, and fitting the idea with the culture around it (or the other way around, in other words selling the idea) comes next, and that is where a lot of start-ups fail, even though their ideas are first rate. These people know more about the markets (and its problems) than techies, and are used to think in terms of money and organisations, useful stuff if you already want to explore the feasibility and implementation of your ideas. You wouldn't want only CEOs and VCs though.

      The issue I have with this is not the qualifications in general of CEOs and VCs for this sort of gathering. It is that they are part of the problem: paying techies on a decent pay scale, offering viable career paths, getting more tech savvy people into management... this stuff always comes up when companies discuss attracting more tech workers, but when they look at the bottom line they always ditch this in favour of outsourcing more stuff to India, and a few years later they're left wondering why there are so few actually capable techs left, and why so many of their projects fail. It can be incredibly hard for people to think outside the box, the danger is that the wrong kind of ideas get generated. More immigrant worker visas for example, they'll love that sort of thing.
    • Re:"Thinkers?" (Score:5, Insightful)

      by hairyfish (1653411) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @07:41AM (#43301447)
      Probably more than you're average internet keyboard warrior who pours shit on every other profession except his/her own. Really, all this place seems to be these days is a bitchfest about how useless everyone else is. Politicians suck, CEOs are jerks, MBAs are wankers VCs are idiots, Marketing are tossers, HR are arseclowns... You need to get out of your basement. Just because you don't understand it, doesn't mean it has no value.
      • Re:"Thinkers?" (Score:4, Insightful)

        by dunkelfalke (91624) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:25AM (#43302141)

        No value is not really a valid description, sometimes the value of the people on your list is negative.
        I mean, take a look at the ongoing banking crisis. The people that are responsible for it were supposed to be experts on their respective fields.

      • Probably more than you're average internet keyboard warrior who pours shit on every other profession except his/her own. Really, all this place seems to be these days is a bitchfest about how useless everyone else is.

        You forgot "And how if my wishlist were fulfilled and techies treated like kings and Nobel Prize winners everything would be perfect".

  • Those are some great people. Good thing they built this think tank and thank God we have such great people to rely on!

  • Global crisis? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wirehead_rick (308391) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:30AM (#43300531)

    The only global crisis I am aware of is the desire for western companies to drive down tech engineering and programmers wages.

    What else could they be trying to solve on a freakin' plane?

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:35AM (#43300545)

    What is it they think SV CEOs and VCs really know how to do well actually?

    It isn't solve the world's problems, it's monetize them.

    It's more along the lines of turning what used to be a one-time $35 dollar product you purchase into a $8/month for-the-rest-of-your-life monthly service fee.

    • How do you expect to solve the world's problems, if your solution isn't profitable or even feasible? Assessing that is what those people are good at.

      By the way, no profits mean can still be successful but you'll have to go after government cash. Which is fine, but if there's profit (or mutual benefit) to be had by all parties involved, there's a much greater chance of success.
      • by geoskd (321194) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:08AM (#43302033)

        How do you expect to solve the world's problems, if your solution isn't profitable or even feasible? Assessing that is what those people are good at. By the way, no profits mean can still be successful but you'll have to go after government cash. Which is fine, but if there's profit (or mutual benefit) to be had by all parties involved, there's a much greater chance of success.

        Not all of the worlds problems can be solved in the framework of capitalism. While it is a useful tool, it also has severe limitations which we haven't even begun to appreciate yet.

        If you don't know what I mean, then consider the following gedanken experiment:

        If we extrapolate current trends in manufacturing, service, etc, Then you will see that the most likely end result state of technology will be a "utopian" society where robots and computers do all real heavy lifting, and people are free to do as they please. All manufacturing and most design work will be done by autonomous computer controlled systems without the need for human interaction. Less than 1 in every million humans will need to be actively involved in the maintenance of society. The question then becomes: what will the rest of the people do? The answer is "Whatever they want". This is not necessarily a bad state of affairs, but it begs the question, how does this work with society and specifically, what happens to capitalism? Although no one would technically need to work to keep society working, Capitalism would require people to work to earn money for food and the like, but the need would be artificial. What could you possibly have for these people to do to "earn" their pay?

        Now, before you claim that this has no bearing on our current situation, remember that this situation wont happen overnight. It will be a gradual progression from where we are now to that point, and along the way, as less and less man-hours of labor are required to maintain society, how do people stay employed? Does everyone work just one hour a year for their yearly salary?

        What happens is exactly what we are starting to see worldwide: Rising unemployment, with jobs liquidating but never returning, and accelerating polarization into the rich and the poor. This is a massive problem. I can see two basic outcomes. First, humanity abandons capitalism for something else (hopefully better), or the poor revolt, and automation is banned just so that the masses can have jobs that pay the bills. and in the process a very large portion of the population is likely to starve or die fighting.

        As I stated originally, not all solutions can be couched in terms of profit, so be careful narrowing your options to include only this line of thinking.

        -=Geoskd

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:35AM (#43300547)

    The rest will follow, right?

    (Captcha: wartime)

  • I for one (Score:4, Funny)

    by codeButcher (223668) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:38AM (#43300557)

    100 "innovators" (Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists)

    How glad I am they put innovators in quotes.

    They should have done the same to geeks in the heading.

  • implement a global technocracy
    that is all we need

  • They'll just spend the better part of those 12 hours to get WiFi on board.

  • by mwvdlee (775178) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @03:53AM (#43300625) Homepage

    Flight redirected... to india!

  • just think think what a single ground to air missile could accomplish - almost as good a start as 100 lawyers at the bottom of the ocean.

  • Unhinged, more like.

    But then any publicity is good publicity, right?

  • by sjames (1099) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:17AM (#43300737) Homepage

    As long as they also put plenty of venomous snakes on the plane. They'll need more than one flight to cut out all of the deadwood at the top, but it's got potential.

    • Your plan has but one flaw, unfortunately now that Samuel L. Jackson has decided to become a silicon valley entrepreneur(kickyourmotherfuckingass.com), those poor snakes don't stand a chance.
    • ...that's cruel...to the snakes.

  • The wrong people (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EdmundSS (264957) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:18AM (#43300739)
    CEOs and VCs are not necessarily the people who have ideas, and if they do, they *already* have the means to express them. I'd rather see 100 respected, talented, peer-voted if necessary, folks on the panel: *true* technocrats, true innovators, not financial folks; people with ideas, sometimes wacky ideas, rather than folks money; the people who turn down a promotion to management because it would take them away from the detailed problem-solving.
  • Geeks on a plane. Great! Get back on the plane and fly to Haiti and figure out how to help those people. The $20B we sent them seems to not have arrived.
  • Skills Crisis ?... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:20AM (#43300755)
    Bull$"/?

    There's no skills crisis, there's a corporate unwillingness to pay for skill crisis.You want me, who has spent nearly three decades learning continuously, struggling to understand the latest IT technologies, some so bleeding edge that I helped form the damned standards, to work for the same amount of money I earned 30 years ago, while you, with your Business Administration undergraduate degree from Florida State take home nearly a million a year because you talk a maelstrom of bullshit every time you open your mouth.

    F % ( # Y O U
    • by rmstar (114746)

      There's no skills crisis, there's a corporate unwillingness to pay for skill crisis.

      Indeed. I wonder how the market taliban think this plays out in terms of their holy theories. That is - why hasn't the market reacted as it should, raising salaries for skilled people?

      It is indeed weird, because that is what should have happened even if you think that markets aren't always working perfectly.

    • Bull$"/? ... F % ( # Y O U

      While I heartily agree with the rest of your comment, this the most eloquent part. I've reached the point where the lies are so blatantly obvious and self-serving that more refined rebuttal seems pointless. Been there done that.

  • Fix the problem (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stretch0611 (603238) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @04:37AM (#43300815) Journal

    To fix the shortage, you can start by paying people what they are worth. IT work requires education (either college, on the job, and/or continuing education classes) This is not cheap, it is not easy to keep up with, and employers should pony up the funds to keep talent that can handle it, and help with paying for it (with both money and time off for classes.) If you look at the market, the places willing to pay for the top talent will get it.

    Stop burn out... No one should ever be forced to work 50+ hour weeks on a regular basis. It may occasionally happen due to deadlines or support issues, but if it is a regular occurrence, there is a problem and it needs to be fixed. Many people leave the IT field due to stress, and this is a big reason.

    End age discrimination... While fixing the above items can help this, and it does not happen everywhere, this is out there. A person doesn't go instantly dumb at 40... While there are exceptions, most IT people are willing to learn, if you are moving everything to the cloud and your entire department only knows COBOL, whose fault is that? A little training can go a long way. Re-training your IT department for your needs is a smart investment, if you are loyal to your employees, most will actually become loyal to you...

    While I'm sure MBA's will disagree, if you change these policies, you will no longer have an IT shortage.

    And here is one more, this one is more the fault of education instead of corporations... (also, mostly about developers, but it might apply to other fields)
    We need to teach people how to program, not programming languages. There are too many people that learn a language without learning any programming concepts. They end up googling even simple programming solutions and slap crap together that needs to be rewritten with every minor spec change. The people that learned how to program will write something that is flexible and can be modified as the system evolves. Over time this will allow for time savings which will translate into needing fewer developers.

    • We need to teach people how to program, not programming languages. But at the same time don't go overboard with programing / CS theory to the point of people not knowing some basic parts of programing / IT stuff.

    • To fix the shortage, you can start by paying people what they are worth. IT work requires education (either college, on the job, and/or continuing education classes) This is not cheap, it is not easy to keep up with, and employers should pony up the funds to keep talent that can handle it, and help with paying for it (with both money and time off for classes.) If you look at the market, the places willing to pay for the top talent will get it.

      90% of the people think they're in the top 10%.

      Over time

  • I know single-video comment is bad form, but I cannot think of anything more fitting than this [youtube.com].
  • In order to encourage innovation let's put the U.S. Congress on a similar flight.

    With 11 hours of fuel.

  • I've had it with these motherfucking geeks on this motherfucking plane!
  • Put the best of your thinkers on a single plane and shout about it in all the media in advance. No way the plane could be targeted.
  • ...the letters "B-Ark" should be distinctly visible.
  • I turned down their invitation when I found out it wasn't on a flight to Las Vegas.
  • That many devs on one aircraft... makes on a plane.

  • wrong people (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tom (822)

    Good idea, bad choice of people.

    The real innovators and creative people are rarely the ones you see in the news or on the boards. More often then not, they are unknown.

    It does take a visionary CEO or such to lead these people and to make their ideas into products, I do not want to diminish the skills of those people. Steve Jobs was one of them. But Steve Jobs did not invent the iPhone - he lead a company that did. The inspired the creative people within Apple that did. The created the environment in which t

    • by geoskd (321194)

      Finding the really brilliant minds is no small task.

      That is where you are incorrect. The minds are all around, it only takes a visionary to open his/her eyes to see them...

      -=geoskd

  • ...which will put one hundred geeks on a plane for twelve hours to look for solutions to the global tech skills crisis. Ungrounded, as the project is called, will bring 100 âoeinnovatorsâ (Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists) on a private BA flight from San Francisco to London.

    CEOs, venture capitlsts. To work in Silicon Valley they must be able to talk the talk, but I'll bet none of them is a "geek" as the word is used now. Though some might be adept at biting the heads off

  • All global problems are political problems. The technical problems can be solved in short time (about 10 years). Real problems, like a non sustainable way to produce goods, are on a technical basis easy to solve. It may take time to implement, but they are not hard to solve. For most problems solution concepts already exist. However, it will not happen until politicians are able to establish an political process to do start the transformation. The skill crisis is also only a political problem. If politics w

  • They'll land with $15m VC funding, specs on which beanbags they want and a tech spec that reads "node.js + cloud".

  • (Silicon Valley CEOs, thinkers and venture capitalists)

    The more interesting experiment would be to see what happens to their companies, ideas, and ventures should they not return...

  • End job based health insurance that is part of why they don't like older people the other is they don't like to work end less 80+ hour weeks.

  • i am SICK of these MUTHAFUCKIN REFERENCES to that MUTHAFUCKIN MOVIE!!!!!
  • 12 hours is not going to sole the UK's problem that "engineers" and all of us with technical skills are considered greasy plebs" who will drip oil over the drawing room carpet.

    You not going to over turn hundreds of years of history in one flight.
  • ARGH (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BVis (267028) on Thursday March 28, 2013 @09:31AM (#43302201)

    There is no "tech skills crisis". There is a "unwillingness of businesses to pay people what they are worth" crisis. The natural function of supply and demand drives prices up when demand rises. While I'm not a proponent of the free market solving all the world's ills (left to its own devices, the damage that big business could do is unacceptable, since the free market requires an informed customer base, and we don't have that), this is a situation where the market is being unacceptably manipulated by moneyed interests influencing labor markets in a way that artificially drives prices down for a given market. If you want to attract high-quality talent (and that's not a given, a lot of employers don't want "good", they want "cheap", and then wonder why their product is shit), in a sane market, you have to treat your employees better than the other guy. Since the world would apparently collapse in upon itself if employees were treated like the valuable assets they are instead of greedy, lazy, expensive liabilities that are always whining about working conditions, we have a "tech skills crisis". It's fixable. Corporate profits are at all-time highs, productivity is off the charts, yet wages have been pretty much stagnant (when corrected for inflation) for decades. It's not rocket science. Pay people more and you'll out-produce the other guy. Sure, your company's profits might drop from 17 kajillion dollars to 16 kajillion dollars, but over the long-term (no wonder they can't deal with the concept) you'll come out ahead by producing a better product. But, improving quality is hard, while treating your employees like shit by paying them less and denying good benefits is easy and saves (short-term) money.

  • Solve a massively complicated problem that has eluded some of the best minds for years and involves solutions on a global scale in a meer 12 hours. Some might think that a publicity stunt to promote an airline but I think we can solve all the worlds problems this way. The problem is selecting the correct 100 or so people to dispose of this way for each problem. CEO's are just a starting point. Dictators, Bankers would be high on my list. The massively wealthy certain are causing a great deal of our problems

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