FCW Insider

Blog archive

Does your agency treat you like a Twinkie?

A guest-post from FCW Editor-in-Chief John Monroe.

Call it the Twinkie factor.

Let’s say a federal agency made a strong hire in 2001, someone who was well-versed in all the current technologies and methodologies and who was ready and able to bring the rest of the agency along.

Fast-forward to 2011, and how does that hire look now? That depends on what has happened in the intervening years. If the agency gave that person the time and resources to keep their perspective fresh and their skills up to date, all might be well.

But that often doesn’t happen, according to one reader. Instead, agencies apparently assume that what passed for IT savvy ten years ago can still get the job done today – that like a Twinkie, technology know-how has a seemingly limitless shelf-life.

Unfortunately, that’s not the case, writes a reader named Steve. He was responding to a recent blog post about the challenge that federal agencies face in competing with the private for IT talent. Steve believes training is a benefit that the best workers will demand.

“To remain a ‘top talent,’ an IT worker has to constantly be upgrading her skills,” he writes. “My experience is that the government does little to help its IT workers maintain top notch current and relevant skills. Top talent does not want their skills to atrophy, so they are far more inclined to work for an employer that encourages and assists in keeping skills current.”

What do you think? Are agencies spending the money needed to keep their IT talent fresh, or are they treating their employees like Twinkies?

Posted on May 10, 2011 at 12:18 PM


Featured

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

  • FCW Illustration.  Original Images: Shutterstock, Airbnb

    Should federal contracting be more like Airbnb?

    Steve Kelman believes a lighter touch and a bit more trust could transform today's compliance culture.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.