The Profession of IT: The core of the third-wave professional


F or some time, IT professionals have been grappling with four dilemmas. They are: skills, breadth versus depth, design, and licensing. The IT skills dilemma. Employers say that IT graduates lack important skills needed in the workplace, notably knowledge of current IT and various “soft” skills, including presentation, customer relations, leadership, and team work. At the same time, employers tell university departments they value the general, principles-based education universities offer; and they snap up every graduate. Should we change the curriculum or not? The breadth versus depth dilemma. The market seems to demand graduates with great depth in a technical specialty and at the same time a broad grasp of the IT field. Educators see no clear path to a response. There are so many specialties that any given academic department can cover only a few. There is already too much to cover in the 60 credit hours allocated for major courses within a BS degree. Moreover, depth and breadth appear to be individual choices—in what areas does a person seek depth? Across what spectrum does a person seek breadth? The design dilemma. Our current software design processes consistently yield systems with a wide range of flaws, making them unreliable and difficult to use. Michael Dertouzos documents these flaws and argues that the complexities of IT cannot be successfully hidden

DOI: 10.1145/384150.384155

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Denning2001ThePO, title={The Profession of IT: The core of the third-wave professional}, author={Peter J. Denning and Robert Dunham}, booktitle={CACM}, year={2001} }