Wednesday 7 November 2007

IT Professionals

I look around this conference which has roughly 6,000 attendees I reckon. And I'll tell you what I see:

  • IT professionals are male. 90% of the session attendees are men. I've been doing a rough count of the female to male ratio when I enter session. Could be the women are elsewhere but I don't see them at lunch either. This is the only place where the queue is for the gents toilet and not the ladies.
  • IT professionals are old. 85% appear to be over the age of 45 years. Grey and/or balding heads dominate the landscape. This flies in the face of everything I have been reading from US publications....
  • IT professionals have bad dress sense, no individual style little outwardly apparent creativity or individuality. Dull blue suits, red ties, grey shirts that probably used to be white appears to be the dress code. I missed that memo.
  • IT professionals have no sense of humour. Gartner presenters are for the most part some of the most talented and knowledgeable public speakers I have ever seen. And they are funny. They seamlessly weave humour into their presentations. None of the session attendees laugh. that means they have all either gone to sleep or don't get it. Both are equally possible.
  • IT professionals lack some fairly basic social skills. A colleague of mine and I have sat at lunch tables with IT professionals from other organisations and whilst we attempted to engage with them, they failed to return the favour. With a notable exception last night when a helpful Gartner consultant (Thanks, Shannon!), I have failed to network with any interesting individuals. Could be my failure. I doubt it.

I feel sooooooo alone!

WARNING: This is not a scientific poll. And I am in Europe where I think the demographics for the industry are skewed from the rest of the world for reasons I cannot even bear to entertain.


Anonymous said...

Soooooooo True......
In your defense:
Here is my take..The reason you didn't make friends is because you didn't talk about X files, Star Trek or Dungeons and Dragons. Another fun way to relate to IT folks, is to make fun or complain about business, operations or sales professionals (or anyone else except IT professionals).

Other notes....
The gender observation was driven by your liberal guilt (had to throw that in)...I never look at a room of people and say a particular group is missing, I just don't care.

IT professionals have a great sense of humor, it tends to be dark and rather dry.

In Basingstoke Next week.


Janell said...

If you two get together next week, I want a full report from BOTH of you! Including PICTURES!
Forgive my ignorance, but does IT stand for Information Technology?

Anonymous said...

Janelle, you make it sound like a date. Janelle, can you send LA my email address. I want to get her some info.

Janell said...

Joe, Will do.

Anonymous said...

You've got a great blog! I have a traveling blog myself but it isn't updated often enough:

At some of the IT conferences in the states, sometimes as someone in my 30s I feel old. The men typically have more "product" in their hair than the women do :D