from the thank-you-captain-obvious dept.
Bryan Lunduke at Network World calls out what other mainstream media have been too timid, or bought out, to call out. He starts by pointing out that choosing Microsoft Windows for your organization should get you fired and that if you haven't already replaced Windows, across the board, you absolutely stink at your job.
There. Finally the topic is broached in mainstream media and a proper discussion can now start among decision makers who can arrange complete migrations to GNU/Linux, Chrome/Linux, one of the BSDs, or a combination of them.
As Microsoft security problems continue to escalate since even the pre-networked, MS-DOS days, managers and front-line grunts will find themselves increasingly culpable for selecting unviable software, such as Microsoft Windows. If they wish to pay big bucks for maintenance, there are plenty of companies around to participate in the money. Canonical, Red Hat, M:Tier are just a sampling.
[Ed. Note: I debated whether or not to run this story — in some respects it's just the Windows vs *nix argument all over again. Also, there are proprietary programs which are critical for certain industries which currently only run on Windows. On the other hand, gaining a mention like this in the more mainstream media, does that mean we are approaching an inflection point? Witness the increased displeasure with Windows 10's telemetry and the difficulty in completely blocking it. What programs do you use that are only available on Windows? What keeps you from moving to another OS? --martyb]
Computing is notorious for not having a worthwhile professional association. Some practitioners join the IEEE, the IET or the ACM. However, membership typically costs hundreds of dollars per year and offers little practical help to computer professionals working in small companies. If you're working for government or a large corporation or you're a super programmer in a well funded start-up then you probably have a union or you don't need a union. However, if you're the sole techie in a small business, appreciation for your dedication is just the start. What happens when you're asked to do something unethical or illegal? Where do you turn when a job goes sour? How do you avoid the problem? How can you avoid really toxic employers?
Rather than paying hundreds of dollars per year for talks and conferences, you require local experts who have first-hand experience of local employers and local employment problems. How can this be achieved reliably and cost-effectively? This is where our expertise should shine. Firstly, union entry should be at least as stringent as the conceirge union. Secondly, there should be a web-of-trust within each metropolitan region (and ideally between regions). In the best case, the network distance between all members should be four or less. Thirdly, an obligatory website should incur less hits than SoylentNews and therefore an upper bound for costs can be established for a volunteer effort. Essentially, it should be possible to run a union from donations of US$3000 per year or significantly less. Indeed, the major cost to members would be food and drink expenses when informally meeting other members.
So who wants to join a computer professional union with sensible fees and obligations?