Technology, how many times do we use this word in our daily lives? Many times is the answer. It has become synonymous with development in the 21st century. We have come a long way from the hunting-poaching era. Now we are living in a world where we have found a technical solution for almost everything.
From shopping online to doctor consultations at the comfort of your homes to smart homes, there are a lot many examples to talk about. But we all know a universal truth that everything comes at a cost, and we are paying the cost for opting to live in a smart and technology-rich world. We are facing difficulties in breathing, the glaciers are melting, forests are on fire, there are drastic climate changes across the globe. These are only some examples of the destruction.
“If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.”
- Lyndon B. Johnson, Former President of the United States of America
Everything in this universe has two sides, and so does technology. Information technology is one part of the vast technologies around us. For many people, information technology (IT) is basically synonymous with the guys and gals we call when we need help with a computer issue. Nonetheless, it is a lot more than this. The most basic definition of Information technology is ‘the study or use of electronic equipment, especially, computers, for sending and receiving information’.
So, in this blog, we will be mainly discussing the dark side of Information Technology. We will try to understand the adverse effects of IT. Before that, we will talk about what is IT and some of its advantages that tempt us and stop us to look beyond.
Information Technology comprises two words, ‘Information’ which simply means any sort of information, and ‘Technology’ which is also simple to understand. It means to use computers to store, transmit, and manipulate any kind of data. IT is reckoned as a subset of information and communication technology. IT is more of a department than anything else. No matter the role, a member of an IT department works with others to solve technology problems, both big and small.
The IT department has become an integral part of any organization in recent times. Earlier, companies did not seek its relevance and use but with the evolution and increased demand for technology, the IT department too gained significant attention. There are three primary pillars of responsibility for an IT department.
IT governance- This refers to the formation and implementation of policies for the smooth running of the IT department. It also ensures that the IT systems run in alignment with the organizations’ needs.
IT operations- This deals with the daily running of the IT department. This includes providing tech support, network maintenance, security testing, and device management duties.
Hardware and infrastructure- This focus area plays a significant role by looking after all the physical components of the IT department. This pillar of IT includes the setup and maintenance of equipment like routers, servers, phone systems, and individual devices like laptops.
So, now we have discussed enough about what IT is and the role of IT. Now we will look at the darker side of this industry. Why is there always a threat of being lost in the world of IT? What can it take away from us?
The new generation doesn’t like to work as the previous generation did. The Millenials want an exciting career, lots of new posts, a good salary, and the IT industry has it all. It attracts the youth and offers everything they would ask for. But in the long term, the IT industry is not the best industry to work in. Here, we have listed the top six points that would tell you about the dark side of the IT industry.
Drawbacks of working in the IT industry
Technology is changing continually and in the programming industry, the rate is even faster. New technologies are frequently being born to replace the old ones. This makes the knowledge obsolete. The programmers must continuously learn to survive, otherwise, they too would become obsolete and will be replaced.
However, this doesn’t make the change irrelevant. In general, the change has its positive sides. The new and updated library/framework has new features that make coding faster and easier but at the cost of time and energy. Each version has a few minor updates and changes, making the upgrade/integration very tiring and time-consuming. A typical example is the Python language: Python has two versions, 2 and 3. Version 3 has too many changes and many version 2 libraries can not run on version 3.
With technology, the life cycle is something like: a new technology is born, companies start adopting it, the demand for recruitment shoots up, and many people follow. Over the years, the technology becomes obsolete and eventually dies, with no demand for recruitment. This way it creates a problem for the working individuals.
Hackathon is a small coding contest, usually on two weekends. Programmers form a team of 3-5 people to build a product. The best team is awarded attractive prizes. The contest has a conspicuous right side. Young minds come at a place, they code, have fun, interact with people, and build relationships, they are given incentives and treated like a member of the coding community.
However, the darker side of this event goes unnoticed. Hackathon is organized with a motive of “Community development, technology introduction”. This is a cheap way to steal the effort and time of developers. Copyright law is also rarely respected as the copyright belongs to the hackathon by default, so you can be plagiarized and do nothing.
Stackoverflow is a question and answer network for software engineers. Joining StackOverflow will assist programmers with improving their level and knowledge. Be that as it may, by joining StackOverflow, they inadvertently join a group of "specialists" for nothing, permitting StackOverflow to gather promoting cash. It additionally applies Gamification (Points, identifications) to allure them to contribute time and exertion. An answer on StackOverflow spares you 1 hour to fix the mistake; you ought to go through 15 minutes on adding back alright, yet don't put 3, 4 hours into it.
In India and Vietnam, there are many outsourcing companies that provide the majority of jobs to programmers. There is a question that should strike you, why do companies outsource? The answer is pretty simple, to save money. Companies have to pay less to personnel from India and Vietnam as compared to international programmers. This way they cut labor costs, but the benefit is not extended to everyone associated with the organization.
Exploitation, on the other hand, is also something similar. The most brutal form of exploitation is overtime, also known as OT. Employees are forced to work outside their working hours. Recently, during the pandemic, remote working was brought into practice at a larger scale. This also raised concerns about working hours not being consistent. Exploitation has a significant impact on health, social relations, and family.
“Whenever people with money have power over people with less money, you have the potential for exploitation.”
- Jennifer Weiner, American Writer
Nowadays, organizations prefer people who are multi-dimensional over the ones who are best in their field. The IT industry is no exception. The workplace requires more than the capacity to code, which is: the capacity to impart, the capacity to introduce/present, exchange aptitudes, the capacity to work in groups. It also requires you to have more significant levels like a team leader, the executives. You likewise need to realize how to oversee, divide, convince, and tell others. Code capacity is required, however, it isn't sufficient on the off chance that you need to endure and progress in this industry.
You should not be surprised if your seniors know a little or nothing about stuff you know. There are two reasons for this: the dynamically changing technology, which has been explained above, and the second is if they are good at technical, they may be promoted to management. At that level, they barely get time to code. They are busy doing things that they have never done before, like dividing jobs, managing personnel, managing projects. Since they are new with management, they have to learn about it as they learned to code.
It should worry you as an individual because you may be in a similar situation in the long run.
Programmers are slowly losing value
Modern technology has made it easy for individuals to access programming, so users can create websites and make applications easily. The demand for programmers is falling catastrophically. Also, with graduates inclining towards programming, they give companies a cheaper option. This is so because many young people flock to IT school, learn to program when they graduate and are not qualified, they pity to do tedious jobs and settle for low wages.
Working in the IT industry is not for those who want it as a long term profession. IT professionals are forced to retire by the time they cross 45 years of age. Read this anecdote by an IT professional which he posted on LinkedIn.
Also read: 7 Uses of RPA in the Manufacturing Industry
Information Technology is a field that attracts individuals. It gives them everything they may ask for, an exciting career, a good salary, promotions, and a first hand over the latest technologies. However, there is also a darker side to this IT industry. From facing difficulties in catching up with continually changing technology to losing value over the course of time, there are some more.
However, this should not change the narrative on the use of technology because technology has become an integral part of our lives. We rely on technology for most of our works and it is important to us. We should just focus on the wise usage of technology.
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