Buddy, can you spare some code? – former Y2K computer consultants look to e-commerce

Buddy, can you spare some code? – former Y2K computer consultants look to e-commerce – Brief Article

Catherine Siskos

IT HAD TO HAPPEN: As the century ends, some Y2K computer geeks have programmed their way right out of a job.

“Life as they know it will disappear,” says Paul Laich, director of technology at Professional Recruiting Consultants, in Wilmington, Del., where resumes are pouring in from computer specialists who have read the coding on the wall: Y2K is out, e-commerce is in.

That has many consultants learning a whole new language: HTML. But there will still be plenty of Y2K assignments overseas, where countries such as Russia are far behind in adapting. U.S. companies will keep a few troubleshooters on hand to fix problems placed on the back burner during busier times, and Y2K-related lawsuits will mean more billable hours. “Our lawyers tell us to plan on spending the next two years testifying,” says Jeff Berg, Citi-group’s Y2K project director.

But many computer professionals can kiss their six-figure salaries and 20%-to-25% retention bonuses goodbye. Now it will be business as usual, says Harris Miller, president of the Information Technology Association of America, although “that’s hardly a beans-and-franks salary.”

COPYRIGHT 1999 The Kiplinger Washington Editors, Inc.

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