eForesee malta-ict: brain drain and opportunities

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  • Subject: eForesee malta-ict: brain drain and opportunities
  • From: Dekkers Martijn at OPM
  • Date: Fri, 23 Aug 2002 09:40:14 +0200

Hi Neil, 

> In all fairness to all the parties involved I think the
> brain drain problem is not a purely financial issue and a
> division of people into those who play for the money and
> those who play for the love of the game fails to see a
> bigger picture.

Okay, I'm listening....

> First of all, contrary to what was Malta should not only
> aim to keep those who play for the love it the game but
> also persons performing for purely financial aims. There
> is absolutely nothing wrong with working for purely
> financial considerations and as long as a person can be
> classified as a valuable resource (who cannot?), then their
> potential ought to be explored and exploited .

The issue is not that there is something wrong with working
for purely for financial rewards. The issue is that usually
people who love their job don't put financial rewards on the
top of their wishlist. These individuals tend to be truly
dedicated to their jobs, and usually the level of quality and
productivity that these individuals achieve in their working
lives is many times above average. These individuals tend to
find that money follows quality, in most cases....

> Secondly, even if I am playing for the love of the game,
> one can just ask where the game is, over and over again.
> As always, I am not solely referring to the IT world. Even
> beyond financial considerations, I cannot agree that there
> is enough interesting work in Malta at the moment.

I believe that we all agree that we are currently living in a
globalised, connected society. Both for my work as well as my
free time, I collaborate daily with people from all over the
globe. Even so, when my work is totally confined to Malta,
and deals with "Malta-only" issues, I find it interesting,
challenging and rewarding.

Living and working in a micro-economy and micro-society like
Malta has its drawbacks, make no mistake. However, for those
that are willing to seek the challenge, it is there. I have
architected global information systems with hundreds of
thousands of users, but still find the challenge and interest
in my work here. The specific conditions that govern the
local working conditions actually add to the interest, not
subtract from it.

> Consider the Arts, Languages, Lawyers (!) and most
> humanistic sciences. What do we have to offer? A clearly
> defined working space with established principles,
> networks, procedures and structures. Not very attractive
> for an expansive, ambitious mind.

Well, with all due respect, I believe that this is a matter
of perspective. Bernard Mickey Wrangle, a character in the
excellent book "Still Life", by Tom Robbins states:

"There's a tendency today to absolve individuals from moral
responsibility and treat them as victims of social
circumstance. You buy that, you pay with your soul. It's
not men who limit women, it's not straights who limit gays,
it's not whites who limit blacks. What limits people is lack
of character. What limits people is that they don't have the
nerve or imagination to star in their own movie, let alone
direct it."

It is easy to focus on the fact that there are no
opportunities, that life is not perfect, and that we are
forced to operate in a rigid social and professional society.
It requires imagination and stamina to manipulate your
environment in such a way that you creates the opportunities
and interests you seek. To say otherwise is simply defeatism.

I strongly believe that the opportunities are available, for
those who dare look for them. Many examples are right in
front of us. I was under the impression that the focus of our
team, as well as the whole eForesee project, was to find
these opportunities, and to assist in bringing about the
conditions to unearth them. I am of the opinion that in order
to achieve this, we must look at what is possible, not focus
on what is not possible.

Kind regards,

Martijn Dekkers
sender : Dekkers Martijn at OPM
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