Sunday, December 03, 2006

Revamping information technology curricula for the services economy

There is an article in The New York Times by William Holstein entitled "And Now a Syllabus for the Service Economy" which describes efforts by IBM to seed changes in academic information technology curricula to reflect the services aspect of systems, especially the "people aspect of businesses." Sounds like a great idea, but the proof is in the implementation.

To my mind, this suggests an attempt to address the impedence mismatch between how information is stored in databases and how people actually use information. Computers deal with rules, while people have to cope with reality.

My biggest concern is that this is in fact a huge research topic, and merely trying to teach it before the research has been done and before a sound infrastructure has been put in place is placing the cart before the horse.

By all means, let's fund the basic research on the topic of a people-centric operating system and then try to implement such systems, and then we can build revamped information technology curricula around the concepts and infrastructure.

-- Jack Krupansky

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