« How to Do Application Logging Right | Main | Cloud Security Webinar »


Clive Robinson

There are a whole number of reasons why the MBA's have had their day, not least because it has become a "badge qualification" and now suffers from considerable over supply.

Primarily people are waking up from the 1980's Thatcher / Ronny "ray gun" dream where the WASP nations would be "white collar" "service providers" to the world and "blue collar" jobs could be done where the labour is cheap.

They failed to see what cheap electronic communications would do. Which is odd because both the physical transport (Rail & Road) and information transport (telegraph & telephone) had made it historicaly obvious.

The WASP nations are now hostages of fortune to forign manufactures, energy suppliers and service providers. We have effectivly hollowed out our own nations.

Possibly to late we are realising that manufacturing as well as food and energy production are National Security issues.

It will be slow but I expect manufacturing, food and non fossil fuel energy production to start becoming more prevalent in WASP nations as time goes on.

For something like a quater of a century we have handed our well being over to the sociopaths in walnut corridor and belittled those 20% of our populations that actually produce the real wealth (engineers etc). Well the screw has turned we now realise that the Banks and Finance organisations are False God's and should be brought under rational control and that a Nation needs to generate real wealth not the faux wealth of the zeros on the balance sheet.

Finance in it's various forms came about as a service to manufacturing to try and ease out the vagaries of raw material supply and later to provide capital to invest in force multiplying machines to increase real productivity and quality of production.

Unfortunatly it developed into a high octain opium den developing new vices to make bets on, none of which did anything of real value to manufacturing or other forms of gainfull employment in fact the exact oposit.

People are starting to wake up and realise that for every winner there is atleast one and usually a lot more losers and a parasite on margin laughing sadisticaly all the way to the bank.

That is a "quick buck" comes about by hurt and pain to society in general and can only remain hidden behind inflation for so long.

Manufacturing provides real tangable wealth that can be used to create more real tangable wealth, financial wealth however is just playing with the numbers and manufacturing inflation. Which is just taking away real wealth from everyone including themselves (it's what inflation does, it devalues the worth of your labours and savings so the food on your table gets ever more expensive).

It is about time that people in various information industries actually started to differentiate them selves from the "service industry" and started aligning themselves with "manufacturing industry". Simply because their raw material is intangable as is the goods they produce does not stop them being used as force multipliers to provide real tangable benifit to society.

In the realinment process they should also take on board the issues that tangable manufacturing has dealt with such as sound engineering practice, quality, risk managment and a whole host of other things that make manufactured goods safe and reliable for others to use.

Five years ago the then Director of Education at the NSA Brian Snow stood up and gave a keynote address on security and assurance it is well worth a read as it addresses many of the issues between "service" and "manufacturing",

http://www.acsac.org/2005 papers/Snow.pdf

It needs to be noted that he was also at other times Director of other divisions in the NSA and therfore had good insight into both manufacture and design of hardware and software in very high assurance systems.


@Clive - I know the Brian Snow "We Need Assurance!" paper well. I have blogged about it several times


And it does tie into the importance of improving engineering.

I have never liked the separation of business and technology. You are either developing something, deploying something or operating something, there should be no separate IT and Business departments. I suggest those three areas - Dev, Deploy, and Ops, with Business and IT jointly staffed.

Clive Robinson

@ Gunnar,

It has been five years since the paper and Brian kind of made it a milestone in his predictions of what might be.

It might be time for a round up to see what if anything has moved in this direction in the intervening years.

Personally my view of "mainstream" is "not a lot" and in many "new technology" cases it's actually regressed.

I look at the dash for the "cloud" and shudder. I cannot help remembering the many many disasters that happened as business systems migrated from main frames to web.


Clive and Gunnar,

I rise in defence of the MBA :) You are wrongly assuming that the MBA is just an MBA; nothing could be further from the truth. The MBA student generally enters from several years of specialist experience to add a jolt of "the rest" of business.

From that pov, the MeM and the Engineer doing an MBA are pretty much the same thing, the specialist looking for broader skills as they move up. If you are employing MBAs from outside the field, then sure, you're likely to see a bit of wild behaviour. Don't do that. Look at the whole person.

OTOH, I have to say, you're right in terms of perception; I've had an MBA for a long time, and although it has been fundamental in influencing my designs, I don't recall anyone ever commenting that it is a plus.

The comments to this entry are closed.