Want to follow the economic downturn? Follow Dilbert.

By Jason W. Eckert

I have met very few people in IT who have not read or heard of the Dilbert comic by Scott Adams. Dilbert is the office/IT version of the Far Side – however, its is funny because of its uncanny accuracy of real life office/IT situations (even Scott Adams said that the key to his success was listening to his audience). I have been a cult follower of this comic for almost 20 years.

In Dilbert, you will find jokes on everything from poor project planning, lack of resources, incompetent managers, unmotivated employees, empty phrases (i.e. paradigm shifts, action items), miscommunication, unproductive meetings, certification, and job interviews.

Dilbert cartoons capture the current key issues plaguing office/IT people. During the mismanaged 1990s, Dilbert captured the key issues. When the dot com bubble burst, Dilbert covered the different approaches that companies made to remain profitable (no matter how silly they sound today). During the somewhat recent rise of online culture, Dilbert made note of its effect in the workplace.

I may sound crazy to some, but the title of this post is good advice in my mind – if you want to follow the state of the IT industry and its effect within the workplace, turn to a news source that gets its information directly from the field: Dilbert.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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