5 most talked-about stories of 2010 at FCW.com

Every day, we post a slew of comments at FCW.com from readers who take issue with what we have written or who have their own stories to share. But every once in a while, a story takes on a life of its own, and readers pile on, offering advice, venting their anger and arguing with one another. Those stories are not necessarily the most popular overall with our readers, but they are ones with which readers were most engaged.

Here are the five stories in 2010 that generated the most comments, along with a sample comment for each.

1. Why agencies can't attract top talent
May 27

I have heard the same comments and complaints from my first day in uniform on June 29, 1966, until my retirement from the government on July 3, 2010. The problems do not reside in the employees, the managers, the facilities or the equipment. The problems reside in the system. Until our elected and appointed leaders decide to reinvent the federal civil service system, things will, regrettably, remain the same.
— Retired Fed

2. Why do federal managers oppose telework?
July 15

My boss telecommutes 3.5 days per week, and he complains that he can't connect to the network from home. He can't set up his own e-mail and is so disconnected from his IT projects that he causes far more chaos than he could ever resolve. That is a $120K salary representative of my federal office.
Steve, D.C.

3. Federal vs. corporate pay scales: A cartoonist tries to sort it all out
Oct. 28

Feds are generally underpaid for their level of responsibility and overpaid for their level of training. If the government isn’t willing to put sufficient funds to do at least 50 hours of training per year per employee, they should do what many commercial corporations do and outsource all but the CIO's office. While our government employees are hard-working, they just don’t have the technical skills to manage large IT projects, so our projects are often over budget and late.
Washington, D.C.

4. Myth buster: Federal workers not overpaid, senator asserts
Sept. 20

As a retired Marine, former government contractor and now five years and going as a government worker, I can tell you that IT folks are underpaid compared to their civilian counterparts. When I retired from the Marine Corps, with 10 years' IT experience, I accepted a position as an IT contractor at a federal agency and nearly doubled my salary. During my five years as a contractor, my pay increased $28K. Five years later, when I accepted an identical position at another government agency as a government worker, I took a $16K pay cut.

5. Are we wasting the talents of our new government contracting hires?
Feb. 23

Welcome to my world. I have never worked anywhere that valued my skills and talents less. My supervisors had never seen my résumé before I started, so they had no clue about my past work experience, education, etc., nor do they seem to care. My agency is all worried about retention but doesn't seem to care that bright, talented people are bored, unappreciated and underutilized.

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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