Just how many years Digital Experience do you need?

When I was a lad I worked in computing, it was called DP, short for data processing.  As I grew older I worked in IS, IMS, Factory Systems, Business Systems, Office Systems & IT.

As telephones switched from Analogue to Digital, data & comms’ converged & became ICT.  Ethernet evolved and IP, born out of the “Specification of Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974“, began to emerge as the ubiquitous data protocol, the Digital protocol.

In the eighties and still a lad, I ran vast rooms full of machines, designed & built LANS & WANS, the largest broadband networks outside the USA, Distributed Systems, & Europe’s first point to point Ethernet over Broadband.  I audited $500M satellite deployments, planned designed & managed the implementation of the first commercial, transatlantic voice, data & multi-point switched video conferencing network over a submarine T1 ‘pipe’.  I trained graduates & technicians in the finer points of PC Networking & connecting to & using the Internet.  I deployed global networks to support real time Futures & Options Trading, managed changes to an International Bank’s systems to support the Euro & remediate Y2k issues, & all whilst mad marketeers wasted $billions blowing up a DOT COM bubble and telcos poured even more into fibre backbones convinced that if they built it, customers would come.

I started a group UCC Snap Shotof companies providing desktop application services over the Internet – your stuff accessible everywhere – these days people refer to SaaS & Cloud – then the technical term was ASP, but the time wasn’t right, the web was too slow, and the storage costs too high.  Today, Google gives you 15Gb free, and AOL promises to store your emails forever.

Now, would someone please explain to me why I “… have insufficient Digital experience”?

Cheers John

+44 (0) 7857 190186


2 thoughts on “Just how many years Digital Experience do you need?

  1. Hi Gerald,

    Thanks or sharing your thoughts.

    You must be considerably younger than me – your appreciation of my point, is somewhat wanting.

    You see, a certain irony occurs to me – to be academically qualified in the ‘field’ of DP, IS, IT, ICT, etc. one would study for a degree in ‘Computing’. I have worked in Computing for 25+ years , although I don’t have a degree in Computing, I am a Chartered IT Professional Fellow of the British Computer Society (FBCS CITP). To elucidate, my question was – with 25+ years experience in a profession which has borne a number of names, and has now progressed to being called “digital”, how does one explain that digital is simply a new name on a continuum of technology, knowledge and expertise, and not an exclusive skill, talent or expertise that one needs to ‘have 5 years in’?

    In regard to my concerns about project management (a different post) the point I was making is that an AGILE approach to a significant project is not necessarily the best. I might also have mentioned that commercially, for the end client (the customer), it may not carry the contractual robustness appropriate to the level of risk.

    Cheers John


  2. John, Social justice notwithstanding, you are too old. The ideal IT project manager is 30 and just got off a project that used the *identical* tool set for the next one. Probably agile, probably mobile, and using some programming GUI that is the flavor of the month. All that said, in the consulting world, white hair or no hair is considered a plus. You’re too old to be after the 30-something manager’s job, and by signing on as a consultant you stipulate that you are willing to take the blame for anyone’s error and you further assume you will be summarily dismissed – with thanks or without – when the project deadline is blown or the end users revolt.


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