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Cyber Command Will Miss Friday's Operational Deadline

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the army-of-none dept.

Government 156

techinsider writes "The U.S. Cyber Command won't be fully operational by Friday's October 1st deadline. A major challenge appears to be staffing the command with qualified personnel, of which it will need over 1,000 skilled employees. General Alexander told Congress his leadership staff was in place but acknowledged there were challenges in bringing in people to the rest of the organization."

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Delayed by CS3 (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745482)

Must've been delayed by cyberstorm iii

Re:Delayed by CS3 (1)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745510)

The WWWar has begun [youtube.com] - and we have no cyber soldiers!? Quick, raise the budget or we'll be sucking you-know-what in the playpen!

Re:Delayed by CS3 (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746914)

What will they do? Draft CISSPs?

I want an ARMY full of GREYHATS!

Re:Delayed by CS3 (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747328)

...and secret Blackhats?

Re:Delayed by CS3 (1)

Syberz (1170343) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746034)

Nah, more likely the geek population is too addicted to Minecraft and WoW to postulate.

Re:Delayed by CS3 (1)

jaredmauch (633928) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746262)

You sound like someone I know in the vicinity of ballston

Staff shortages (5, Insightful)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745498)

Can't get qualified IT staff? Why should someone who has studied for several years and has worked to gain specialist knowledge, want to work in an environment where people who know less than them and don't have to break their backs to meet arbitrary deadlines are more highly rewarded? When those with the greatest expertise and who have to work hardest to actually create the product get the smallest portion of the credit and the pay, no wonder there are problems encouraging people to work in the field.

Re:Staff shortages (4, Funny)

captain29 (1037366) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745502)

I guess they can't outsource the IT work to india?

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745530)

I guess they can't outsource the IT work to india?

If you believe that "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" you could. Nobody hates Al Quaida more than (non mozzy) Indians.

Re:Staff shortages (3, Insightful)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745792)

Assuming that by "mozzy" you mean Muslim, few people hate al Quaida as much as most Muslim Indians who are having their desire to just live their lives undermined by radicals using Islam to give themselves credibility.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745670)

Darn it, you practically stole my line!

Though personally it sounded way to much like what companies say when asking for H1B visas it was scary...

Makes you wonder what the government wants for qualifications... 20 years experience with ruby on rails maybe...?

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745830)

Nah, just grails...

Re:Staff shortages (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745924)

US cyber-command requirements.

60+ years experience with windows 7 and Windows 8
12+ years experience with Quantum computing
Ability to hack a Russian missile site in 2 minutes with a gun to their head.
Can transfer large amounts of money across the globe untraceably.

Having the quirk of standing up and yelling "I am invincible" after every major objective is a plus.

+ must be army fitness + take a DI in your faces (3, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746042)

+ must be army fitness + take a DI in your faces do a lot of PT just for A DESK JOB!

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33747220)

US cyber-command requirements.

60+ years experience with windows 7 and Windows 8
12+ years experience with Quantum computing
Ability to hack a Russian missile site in 2 minutes with a gun to their head.
Can transfer large amounts of money across the globe untraceably.

Having the quirk of standing up and yelling "I am invincible" after every major objective is a plus.

You forgot "must be able to receive a blowjob whilst performing the above hacking operations.

Re:Staff shortages (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746534)

The root of the problem is that "something" is suppressing IT worker pay and that fewer people are interested in doing that sort of work for the rest of their lives. How did that happen? Just gotta follow it all back to see where it started. There was a time when IT was well paid. It could have stopped if the government took a firm stand on the H1B issue. It could also stop if the government interrupted the flow of foreign students here.

We have a serious problem with our final superior asset in that it is pretty much GONE already.

We don't have strong R&D because current business philosophies see it as a waste of money when this quarter's bottom line is at stake. The mentality of business is breaking the long-term outlook on business, employment and the general economy of the U.S. They managed to sell out the entire nation while the government who should have been preventing this was busy taking "contributions."

Re:Staff shortages (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745970)

>>>want to work in an environment where people who know less than them... are more highly rewarded?

I'd work there, if only to oversee the operations and make sure the staff are Obeying the Constitution (no searches without warrants) rather than tearing it to shreds. I also find it hard to believe, with 10% unemployment, they can't find engineers/software people who are desperate for jobs. The hiring staff are probably being nitpicky, requiring ALL the skills in every employee, instead of just say 50% of the skills and letting the employee learn the task on the job.

As for your question: What work environment isn't like that? Every place I ever worked the managers were paid more than the competent workers with the actual skills. It simple supply-and-demand, and unfortunately there's a huge supply of workers so that drives down their wages.

most good IT people are to old for the army to get (2, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746060)

most good IT people are to old for the army to get in and do you want to start over at amry private pay as well?

Re:most good IT people are to old for the army to (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746480)

Dude, they use contractors. The problem is getting people who qualify for Top Secret clearance, plus you have to give up smoking weed...FUCK THAT!

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746750)

I realize this is military, not civil service, but given how hard it is to get rid of bad government employees, I'd rather they maintain their standards than lower them and provide mediocre candidates sinecures. Also, when forming a new unit, traditions need to be established early - "since our founding we have been among the best in the world" type histories don't work if you start with script kiddies making up half the staff.

Re:Staff shortages (2, Insightful)

anegg (1390659) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746786)

We don't have 10% unemployment in the general area in which the Cyber Command draws its staff. I live and work in the area. For example, I posted two advertisements for sys admins several months ago; one focused on LAMP/PHP skills, the other ColdFusion skills. In 4 weeks I received about 7 preliminary applications TOTAL, none of them qualified.

Clearances are required, and in this area finding qualified, cleared personnel is difficult. This has driven salaries up to crazy levels. The government has shot itself in the foot by having too many positions requiring cleared personnel (when its not really necessary) and by not having qualified gov't. people overseeing the contractors. The contractors are able to "qualify" staff at levels that exceeds their real capabilities, which they are happy to do because they gov't. pays the contractor based on the staff members' salaries plus overhead. The economic incentive is not there for the contractors to keep salaries low.

For example, one multi-contractor project I worked on had one contractor poaching personnel from the other by offering them 20% to 50% raises. The folks stayed working on the same project, got a huge jump in salary, and the government just paid the extra freight. My company (a larger defense contractor in business a while) tried to discuss the relative insanity of this with the government customer, but the gov't. either couldn't or wouldn't do anything about it.

As for the idea of keeping the government "honest" with respect to the US Constitution: if you were hired at "Cyber Command", you would not be in a position to oversee operations and make sure the staff are obeying the constitution... you would have the choice of doing your job or resigning if you saw something you didn't like. The environment is murky enough that it would be extremely difficult for anyone to prove anything without a serious risk of losing their clearance (which would end the high salary gravy train) and possibly going to jail (for violating the terms of their clearance).

Re:Staff shortages (4, Interesting)

frinkster (149158) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746940)

I also find it hard to believe, with 10% unemployment, they can't find engineers/software people who are desperate for jobs.

National unemployment for Americans with a bachelor degree or higher is currently 4.6% [bls.gov] . Certainly there are plenty of unemployed engineers/software people out there, but not as many as you might expect.

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33747146)

As for your question: What work environment isn't like that? Every place I ever worked the managers were paid more than the competent workers with the actual skills. It simple supply-and-demand, and unfortunately there's a huge supply of workers so that drives down their wages.

You have wrong impression. In every military, there is a glass ceiling for any civilian. You may be a PhD but you are still inferior to whichever rank of officers. Even if you are formally promoted into an officer's rank and issued an uniform, the ceiling is still there, because your quality as military leader sucks, you are not made of right stuff. Obedience, ambition and leadership are three most praised virtues of an officer, or for that matter any human, as far as military mind goes. Free thinking is allowed to commanders in wars, as long as they are winning. In other words, free thinking is high risk gamble. Skill and competence is not praised nor rewarded, it is expected as minimum from someone not getting in harm's way.

Re:Staff shortages (4, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745512)

Why should someone who has studied for several years and has worked to gain specialist knowledge, want to work in an environment where people who know less than them and don't have to break their backs to meet arbitrary deadlines are more highly rewarded?

Sounds like the management of every company I have come across. If there are exceptions please let me know

Re:Staff shortages (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745576)

Google? Facebook?

Re:Staff shortages (2, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745604)

The big exception is successful startups. Emphasis on the word "successful", because there are a lot of unsuccessful startups out there. And even then, you need to get in early.

One of the major flaws of corporate capitalism is that people who make a product are generally seen as less important (and thus less paid) than those who sell the product or tell other people to make or sell the product. It's exceedingly rare these days for someone to move from the proverbial factory floor to anything higher on the totem pole than the equivalent of senior foreman. In geek-land, those translate to techies' career path frequently blocked by de facto policy from getting past something like Senior Software Architect in a lot of corporations.

Re:Staff shortages (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745750)

One of the major flaws of corporate capitalism is that people who make a product are generally seen as less important (and thus less paid) than those who sell the product or tell other people to make or sell the product

This reminds me of a movie we watched a couple of days ago...a biopic on Coco Chanel [wikipedia.org] . In the film, there's this scene where there are dozens of women sitting there sewing purses, dresses, etc...and the woman playing Chanel says "This company is successful because of me! It's called C-H-A-N-E-L for a reason!".

Claiming responsibility for the company's success while saying nothing of the throngs of people actually putting together her products was simultaneously amusing and disheartening.

Offtopic: for anyone interested, this is the one I'm talking about [imdb.com] . It's pretty good.

Re:Staff shortages (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745968)

Claiming responsibility for the company's success while saying nothing of the throngs of people actually putting together her products was simultaneously amusing and disheartening.

Disheartening, perhaps, but not all that far off base. The throngs of people could be replaced by robots; the designer can't.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746564)

The throngs of people could be replaced by robots; the designer can't.

and where do robots come from? a designer? who uses robots rather than throngs of people? is it robots all the way down?

besides i like the idea of replacing designers. it doesn't take a design genius to design the concrete monstrosities that have passed for contemporary architecture for the past 30 years. but here's an example of algorithmic design.

http://www.oberlin.edu/math/faculty/bosch/tspart-page.html [oberlin.edu]

see... designers are replaceable with robots (or mathematicians).

Re:Staff shortages (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747224)

This reminds me of a movie we watched a couple of days ago...a biopic on Coco Chanel. In the film, there's this scene where there are dozens of women sitting there sewing purses, dresses, etc...and the woman playing Chanel says "This company is successful because of me! It's called C-H-A-N-E-L for a reason!".
 
Claiming responsibility for the company's success while saying nothing of the throngs of people actually putting together her products was simultaneously amusing and disheartening.

When the truth is disheartening - then the problem is with you, not the truth. Because she's absolutely right - the people putting the products together could vanish overnight, be replaced by new people, and the company would continue without a bobble. But take away the designer, the name, the key person - and it all grinds to a halt.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746698)

It's exceedingly rare these days for someone to move from the proverbial factory floor to anything higher on the totem pole than the equivalent of senior foreman.

Of course it's rare. If you have 2,000 workers for one VP, that means that even if every VP is an ex-worker you'd only have a 1 in 2,000 chance of making VP. In what universe could it be any different?

Re:Staff shortages (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747284)

It's exceedingly rare these days for someone to move from the proverbial factory floor to anything higher on the totem pole than the equivalent of senior foreman.

Don't kid yourself, it was rare 'back then' too. There is no 'lost golden age'.
 

n geek-land, those translate to techies' career path frequently blocked by de facto policy from getting past something like Senior Software Architect in a lot of corporations.

Makes sense to me, as geek skills are of little use above that level.

Re:Staff shortages (2, Interesting)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745558)

While looking for jobs in the DC Area I noticed several openings with Raytheon that seemed to be what Cyber Command is looking for, "Cyber Warrior" being one of them. Most of the openings were looking for extremely specific qualifications, yet I didn't notice any mention of training for applicants that might not be completely what they're looking for. Perhaps they need to lower their standards just a bit.

Re:Staff shortages (2, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745764)

See, the military is supposed to have trained these people already. And vetted them for TS/SCI clearances so that Raytheon doesn't have to pay for that either. Then, upon honorable discharge, they can do the same job for 1.5x the pay, but get to wear a poloshirt instead of digis and think that they're having fun. If that doesn't describe you, then you're too expensive to invest in, will take too long to process, and they don't want to bother,

And that is the catch 22. (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746426)

I don't have a problem with enlisting, the problem is that even to enlist at this time would be competitive. So basically a person has to enlist, hope they can get top secret clearance, and hope again that they can get this job?

It's going to take them years to staff up.

Re:And that is the catch 22. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746576)

Its not like they don't already have a pool of qualified staff. They just have to poach from places such as NORAD, DIA, DSA, etc.

Every year the NSA sponsors computer security war games between the service academies, where they have to defend against NSA hackers, and the school to hold out the longest wins the trophy. Non-officers get training if their MOS requires it.

It just seems to be needing to find enlisted personnel who can be re-purposed to the new command without disrupting current operations too much, since apparently they already had officers who were able to be put into place.

Re:And that is the catch 22. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747082)

Except it's not true. go to USAJOBS and search for USCYBERCOM. And remember, many of the returns are for several positions.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747062)

yeah, those 100K jobs with great benefits, they sure suck.

And it sure isn't fun wearing a polo shirt while working on extremely difficult problems.

you need to be modded -1 ignorant

Re:Staff shortages (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747406)

I work for a much smaller company than Raytheon, and didn't have to do service first to get my gig. My comment isn't about the job, its about the fact that a lot of the bigger companies want the drop-in people that they don't have to spend the copious amounts of money to get cleared, while having them on the pay roll for a few months not doing anything because they aren't allowed to. It's an expensive and involved process, and a lot of the times someone who is "good enough" and can start working NOW is going to be the better choice over someone who might be brilliant, but who has to be vetted over an extended period of time, first.

You, sir, are the one who seem more ignorant.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746398)

While looking for jobs in the DC Area I noticed several openings with Raytheon that seemed to be what Cyber Command is looking for, "Cyber Warrior" being one of them. Most of the openings were looking for extremely specific qualifications, yet I didn't notice any mention of training for applicants that might not be completely what they're looking for. Perhaps they need to lower their standards just a bit.

Of course they need to lower their standards. Obviously if they can't find the staff to meet their standards they need to lower them.

Lousy Pay Rates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745560)

$120 million / 1000 employees = $120,000/employee. That doesn't seem much for a skilled IT person, when the $120,000 includes all the overheads, and the actual pay received will be much lower (1/2 to 1/3?)

Re:Staff shortages (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745570)

Isn't that a problem is just about every field?

Managing a group rather than being treated as a skill(which it is, very much so) is instead treated as a position because of some waffle about all the extra responsibility they have to take on.(how often do managers actually take responsibility/the blame for a fuckup? the ones still there in any company are the ones most skilled at shifting blame elsewhere)

A skilled coder can be terrible as a manager so simply making all managers coders doens't fix it.
A manager can be worth less than any of the coders he manages and yet be paid more because people have this idea that you have to be paid more than anyone *under* you.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745958)

It's why I left IT/IS for embedded programming for buildings and automation. It's much more specialized and very few people doing it so I command higher pay and have zero problems with joblessness in this economy. I have headhunters calling me monthly. The smart guy will diverge to robotics, or another section that has very few people doing it but is growing fast.

When this field saturates, I'll already be off to the next one that is growing rapidly or does not have enough experienced people in it.

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745572)

Then why wuld anyone work for a corporation?

Re:Staff shortages (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745596)

Can't get qualified IT staff? Why should someone who has studied for several years and has worked to gain specialist knowledge, want to work in an environment where people who know less than them and don't have to break their backs to meet arbitrary deadlines are more highly rewarded? When those with the greatest expertise and who have to work hardest to actually create the product get the smallest portion of the credit and the pay, no wonder there are problems encouraging people to work in the field.

I guess you are new to the real world, it's not a managers job to be an expert in the field his job is to motivate. The good ones may not have expert knowledge in their field but get input from their team about decisions and deadlines. The reason Cyber Command is not fully staffed is because not only do they have to find qualified personal but their personal will need to be free of personal discretions, not because IT staff are refusing to enter a work place where they will be working for someone else.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746008)

it's not a managers job to be an expert in the field his job is to motivate.

what I have experienced in big business, they hire a lot of incompetent managers... Most fail to motivate.

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746470)

Management Theory 101: nobody can motivate you except yourself.

Management 101: a manager's job is to manage, specifically to Plan, Lead, Organize, and Control.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Shadow99_1 (86250) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745680)

Really after being sans job for over a year I'd work there if they would pay to relocate me... I know 'cybercommand' isn't anywhere near where I live, so that's basically a must. Heck these days the government might even be one of the only places that would pay to relocate me... It may not be the greatest thing on my resume, but neither is a year without work... At least it's in my field though, which is better than what I'll have to do really soon now...

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745940)

If you already have a security clearance (or have held one in the past ten years), you probably ought to apply, interview, and discuss. They might do it. If you're not already cleared, however, they probably can't budget it.

Re:Staff shortages (4, Insightful)

Almost-Retired (637760) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745686)

But, are the people who are charged with doing all this hiring cognizant of the type of folks to hire? I'd almost bet the farm they are far more interested in the results of a background check, than in the potential talent of the person being considered. Its the government way.

IMO what they want is someone who is intimately familiar with a code base whose source can change in response to perceived or actual threats, sometimes by tens of kilobytes a day. I'll submit that such a person does not exist who can also get a clean bill of health from the background checking spooks. And may not exist at all.

Another poster said of the payscale, that it is more than likely 10% of what that same person could earn working the other side of the line or at a large commercial firm.

Point being, if he can do the job, he is worth whatever he asks, and conversely if he cannot do the job, he is excess baggage to be removed from the payroll. And a thousand people is IMO, a very unrealistic figure. 10 good guys/gals in constant communication should be able to handle any attacks in almost real time, by writing the defense code in almost real time. Say about 50 altogether for 24/7/366 coverage. But pulling 50 such people out of the enterprise arena, assuming they are willing to pay what they are worth, would leave a minor but detectable vacuum in the talent pool.

One old farts nickles worth.

--
Cheers, Gene
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
  soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Man's unique agony as a species consists in his perpetual conflict between
the desire to stand out and the need to blend in.
                                -- Sydney J. Harris

Re:Staff shortages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745942)

Bingo. I have the qualifications they're looking for, but I also have a history that includes things that would probably "disqualify" me. For example, I organized protests against the Iraq War (back when I was naive enough to think it mattered), and I was a "person of interest" in a never-solved attempted bank-hacking case because I was on someone's list of people who possibly could've done it (but I didn't).

Re:Staff shortages (4, Informative)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746242)

Piece of cake. They just need people that are not gay, have never smoked marijuana, can code in their sleep, and are willing to work for less than they could in the private sector. And they must not mind having military and bureaucrats for bosses who make 5 times more money for "leading" them in tasks that they themselves are clueless about. And be able to live up to deadlines that are decided by committees of higher up bosses who are new to the interweb.

What is so difficult about that?

Re:Staff shortages (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746848)

Well, to start off, your first two requirements are invalid - having smoked marijuana will not disqualify you, nor will your sexual preference as long as you don't come right out and yell "HEY, I LIKE THE PENIS!" during your interview.

As for bosses making "5 times more", that's also unlikely, unless by "bosses" you mean "top earning generals", which would be silly (rather like complaining about the salary of Bill Gates compared to his help-desk workers).

The only valid point you may have is that the civvie-equivalent jobs might pay higher, but even that's open to debate since we don't know how much the military is offering, nor do we know exactly what type of skill-sets and experience they're looking for. It also doesn't take into account bonuses that the military provides, such as medical and dental care, and a guaranteed pension after a relatively short period of time compared to civilian employers.

So, all in all ... you're pretty much wrong at every level. Sorry.

Re:Staff shortages (4, Informative)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747234)

NO one cares if they are gay.
No one expects them to code in their sleep.
they pay competitively. More so if you include benefits.
Their bosses MAY make more money, it depends.
I guarantee you their bosses are not 'clueless'.
And from my experiences, I get to dictate my deadline. I will get to do so for as long as I keep meeting my deadlines.

Yeah, there will be a drug test;however most companies have drug tests. And yeah, there will be some security issues. Since you are dealing with security of government installations I don't really have an issue with that.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747156)

I don't think you understand the scale of attack they need to deal with. This isn't a corporate entity with a measly 1000 servers and 100 firewalls.

Possible dealing with 100 global scale attacks from different entities.

And they need support people.

You watch way too many movies.

And the Jobs pay competitive.

Re:Staff shortages (2, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745742)

You're onto something... but it's the wrong "something". The issues you';re describing aren't unique to this program at all; they're true of most bureaucracies, whether they're non-profit, for-profit, government, or military. What's different about working for the military is its "corporate culture" (for lack of a better term), and that can be off-putting to a lot of people, especially geeks.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

Hylandr (813770) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745946)

And this is different from the rest of the IT industry how?

- Dan.

Re:Staff shortages (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745982)

I think there's also the fact that your best IT personnel tend to be a tad rogue-ish, especially in the security sector. We like being in control. That doesn't mesh well with having people bark orders at you all day. Further, you're not talking about an industry where its members are known for their physical prowess or lack of drug use.

Experience or expertise? (1)

elucido (870205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746352)

It seems they want to get the most experienced employees from the private sector.
This is going to be a problem because these types of employees can make more money in the private sector and don't have any incentive to switch to a government job.

Why would someone who works for Google or IBM switch to the Cyber Command for the US Government? The fact that they call it the Cyber Command also shows lack of knowledge of current terminology. How many of us actually use the word "cyberspace" to describe the internet? Only the government still calls it cyberspace.

Re:Experience or expertise? (1)

anegg (1390659) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746864)

Using the word "Cyber" in conjunction with "Security" for what used to be called "information security" or "information assurance" is currently all the rage in the government circles around Washington, DC. One company I know even dropped the word "Security" when talking about "information security." They just refer to it as "Cyber", as in "we have a new Cyber center" and "our Cyber organization now reports directly to the CEO." They appear to be on the way to transitioning the adjective to a noun, and doing so poorly.

Where are the pics? (3, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745550)

The title is misleading.

I didn't find any pictures of Miss Friday in TFA.

Re:Where are the pics? (1)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745900)

Try Miss October

Career poison... (5, Insightful)

VendettaMF (629699) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745564)

Could it be that anyone skilled enough to participate is also skilled enough to see a complete operational failure that will smear the resume of anyone desperate enough to work there?
And with the additional toxic working environment supplied by mass-employed "upper-tiers" of politically motivated and utterly incompetent management not even the draw of decent pay in the coming second half of the recession is likely to reverse that.

Re:Career poison... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745954)

Sounds like I left the IT world to join the Air Force. I'm much happier 10 years later, don't usually feel the need to drink, and what I do makes a difference, instead of being smothered by useless red tape. Ironically, those guys who told me I was throwing away a brilliant career are all miserable now, and my pay has finally caught up. They don't get shot at, granted, but I rarely do, and right now my happy ass is on an island in the Med, making per diem watching a robot do it's thing. Oh yeah, I can go back to corporate pain in 10 years when I retire and my peers are all terified of getting laid off. This isn't for everyone, and it's not cushy, but it sure beat a meaningless life.

we have managers (5, Insightful)

kubitus (927806) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745574)

now we look for somebody to do the work

Re:we have managers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745964)

This is how Craigslist job postings work.

I can't see why this is newsworthy (1)

scosco62 (864264) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745582)

Or shocking anyway. It's easy to shoot criticism at a bureaucracy; but to miss a somewhat artificial deadline in an area which the leadership really doesn't understand is just not a surprise. Throw a financially compelling argument not to work for them on top of it - hats off to Gen Alexander and company for getting it this far.

Re:I can't see why this is newsworthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745738)

Yeah! Wooooo! They've staffed all the jobs that don't matter (management) and now they're stuck.

Hats off, hats off everyone

'Management positions are filled ...' (4, Interesting)

srealm (157581) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745608)

Why would any self-respecting geek want to work in a place where there is no possibility of being management, and all the management is, self-admittedly, not 'qualified' to do their job?

I'm sorry, but I've never been able to respect a manager who could not have done my job, and has done in previous years. Now that doesn't mean everyone up to the CEO needs to be a programmer, very quickly managers stop being programmers and their day focuses on other things (read: meetings and bureaucracy).

So by my example, a dev manager should be a former programmer, his/her manager should have experience leading a team of tech people, his/her manager should have been a manager for other tech managers before, etc. In other words, each level should have experience doing the day-to-day job of the level below.

And what about career advancement - it sounds pretty lame when all the management positions are pre-filled, so the only way to move up the chain is for someone higher up to retire, or get dishonorably discharged (I assume the guys in management are career military, not doing a tour).

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745718)

Why would any self-respecting geek want to work in a place where there is no possibility of being management, and all the management is, self-admittedly, not 'qualified' to do their job?

Government pension.

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (3, Insightful)

N1AK (864906) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745734)

I'm sorry, but I've never been able to respect a manager who could not have done my job, and has done in previous years.

I've never respected a manager who thought their job was to do the job their staff were employed to do. I've been 'managed' by someone two-three rungs up, based on another continent who I met twice. He had no background experience of my area of expertise. He was extremely good at getting the information he required, involving people as required and committed to decisions he made. I'd much rather be managed by a good manager than by a good worker.

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745990)

I'm sorry, but I've never been able to respect a manager who could not have done my job, and has done in previous years.

I've never respected a manager who thought their job was to do the job their staff were employed to do

I've never respected someone who has poor reading comprehension and yet still posts comments on slashdot.

I'd much rather be managed by a good manager than by a good worker.

You cannot be an effective manager if you do not understand the job of those who you manage, which was the whole point of the GP comment.

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747360)

false.

My manager can not do my job. He's the best manager I have ever had.

He gets me the tools I need, get keeps me abreast of budget, makes suggest on how I can present what I have done to our internal customers, he lets me set deadlines. As long as my customers continue to be happy, I get to set my priorities, implement them and get work done. I am not in long meetings, I don't have someone whose trying to micro manage me.

The point of a manager is to ensure work gets done by the employees. Not to tell them to do their job.

At least that's how it is in the professional world. Sure, in you world where you work behind a counter you managers needs to know how to do you job for those days you call in sick because you where up late night playing Warcraft to prove how much of a geek you are.

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745754)

I agree with you 100%. At least if your superior and your superior's superior are/were developers, they'll have a more realistic approach to what you're doing.

The place that I work at is like that, and its much more refreshing than a clueless manager whipping his peons to get them to do 'magic' which will make the shareholders happy.

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746290)

Most self-respecting geeks don't want to be management!

Re:'Management positions are filled ...' (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746520)

"I'm sorry, but I've never been able to respect a manager who could not have done my job, and has done in previous years. "

That's a formula for never hiring anyone who brings something new to the company. I've worked with managers who felt they needed to be able to do their underlings jobs, or else they shouldn't be manager. It's a disaster. Such people feel threatened by people below them whose jobs they could not do, and hire only people dumber than themselves.

Managers of programmers should not be programmers. They should be smart people with social/political skills. Both traits are needed. We, as programmers, can teach a smart person what's important about development, what we need to be given and what we need to be protected from. A person with social/political skills can effectually get us these things and protect us. A dumb person, or a person without social/political skills is of no use to us as a manager.

We don't need a programmer as a manager. We don't WANT a programmer as a manager. We're programmers. Our hands are dirty every day, and we know better what to do than a manager whose programming skills have fossilized.

A manager is different from a lead. A manager goes to meetings and manages the team. A team lead is top dog with the programmers -- first among 'equals'. They are NOT the same thing.

indicative stories on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33745642)

indicative of the state of the world: china sets a new train speed record, and the US in the midst of high unemployment cannot staff a military command....

Maybe its because they don't want to hire geeks? (5, Insightful)

koterica (981373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745666)

"It was supposed to be a war fighter unit, not a geek unit," said task force veteran Jason Healey, who had served as an Air Force signals intelligence officer.
A fighter would understand, for instance, if an enemy had penetrated the networks and changed coordinates or target times, said Dusty Rhoads, a retired Air Force colonel and former F-117 pilot who recruited the original task force members. "A techie wouldn't have a clue," he said. --Washington Post [washingtonpost.com]

With their attitude towards cyber security experts (who are probably also geeks!), I am not particularly surprised they have had trouble with staffing.

Re:Maybe its because they don't want to hire geeks (1)

koterica (981373) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745806)

I hate to reply to my own comment, but apparently Slashdot [slashdot.org] actually ran this story while I wasn't looking. So yeah no need for another 400 comments on it.

Re:Maybe its because they don't want to hire geeks (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746054)

I saw this when Slashdot posted it the other day, but a story I was reading today about Britain's defence review seems to shed light on why it's such a bad idea to be hiring military folk over geeks.

As part of our spending review, we're thinking about increasing the number of territorial army folk who are the part time volunteer soldiers that are drafted in from their real jobs when the army needs the numbers. The reason they've thinking about increasing this contingency is that they have found people who are normally bank clerks or similar to simply be more adaptable and more useful in situations like Afghanistan and Iraq- their skills from civvie street as it were are simply invaluable, perhaps the most interesting part of it all is that these comments came from a former SAS commander- someone who surely knows as well as anyone what works in a real war.

But the point was bolstered by another fact I was previously unaware of- most of the US' special operations in Afghanistan are apparently carried out by National Guard reservists because the US has also found them to simply be better at adapting to the unique situations in Afghanistan and being able to best make use of new equipment and such.

So whilst they weren't arguing that trained professionals are what you need against trained professionals - if the US was going toe to toe against Russia, their trained army would still matter for example - it seems that in some situations including those involved the frontline, civvies with a bit of military training are simply far better at doing the job than military trained soldiers with training in some particular technology.

With this in mind, it seems an absolute mistake to think that military elitism is the key to building a good cyber warrior defence. I would be willing to bet that digital warfare is something much carried out by a team of skilled civilian security experts with training in military terms and concepts, than a team of skilled military experts trained in security.

Re:Maybe its because they don't want to hire geeks (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747394)

That's why they are looking for nerds. The need hard problems solved, not easy problems filled with WoW references.

Maybe if they paid closer to industry standard... (3, Interesting)

Lookin4Trouble (1112649) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745760)

Having seriously considered the positions in question from their open job postings, qualified applicants stand to make somewhere in the mid-$100k range in the private sector anywhere in the country, and closer to the $200k mark in the DC Metropolitan area (the 2nd highest cost of living allowance area in the country, right behind Denver, CO). Salary ranges offered are in the $60-83k starting mark. Offer a competitive wage, and you may just get qualified applicants.

Re:Maybe if they paid closer to industry standard. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33747646)

Could you post links to the job postings? I'll likely be meeting CYBERCOM leadership in a couple weeks, so this would be useful to understand better. If you have examples of the comparable ads for private sector to show side-by-side, that's ideal.

Translation: I've stuffed it with my bootlicks (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745762)

and they've contracted out to their friends and relatives, but as it turns out, none of us have the first fucking clue how to hire anyone who actually knows what they're doing. Oopsie!

Fascism (1)

Mira One (1912328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745778)

Maybe the skilled people are smart enough to see that the cyber army is a fascistic control structure and want nothing to do with it? Lieberman wants to "educate" kids in kindergarten and schools in cyber warfare to control the population when they get to be older. Beware of the Youth Core.

Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2 (1)

Mira One (1912328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746084)

Young students fighting governments of foreign countries and organized crime families that could (as US government keeps saying) crush the infrastructure of the US? No, this is about shaping the ethics of police state workers from a young age to keep dissenters in check. KINDERGARTEN??? Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010: http://hsgac.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=52895dd6-1931-4770-b089-3c6a23a41de0 [senate.gov] An analysis available at: http://cryptome.org/isp-spy/s3480.htm [cryptome.org] Section 405: "(B) the use and impact of special hiring authorities and flexibilities to recruit the most qualified applicants, including the use of student internship and scholarship programs for permanent hires;" Section 406: "(2) K THROUGH 12.—The Secretary of Education, in coordination with the Director of the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications and State and local governments, shall develop curriculum standards, guidelines, and recommended courses to address cyber safety, cybersecurity, and cyber ethics for students in kindergarten through grade 12." "(3) UNDERGRADUATE, GRADUATE, VOCATIONAL, AND TECHNICAL INSTITUTIONS.— (A) SECRETARY OF EDUCATION.—The Secretary of Education, in coordination with the Director of the National Center for Cybersecurity and Communications, shall— (i) develop curriculum standards and guidelines to address cyber safety, cybersecurity, and cyber ethics for all students enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, vocational, and technical institutions in the United States; and (ii) analyze and develop recommended courses for students interested in pursuing careers in information technology, communications, computer science, engineering, math, and science, as those subjects relate to cybersecurity. (B) OFFICE OF PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT.—The Director of the Office of Personnel Management, in coordination with the Director, shall develop strategies and programs— (i) to recruit students from undergraduate, graduate, vocational, and technical institutions in the United States to serve as Federal employees engaged in cyber missions; and (ii) that provide internship and part time work opportunities with the Federal Government for students at the undergraduate, graduate, vocational, and technical institutions in the United States." Section 407: Monetary awards for doing a good job suppressing the population?

Not suprised (2, Insightful)

r4d1x (779518) | more than 4 years ago | (#33745818)

If SAIC is running the show it's no wonder that it is difficult for them to staff the positions. No self respecting IT professional would accept a job under a company that treats their employees like crap.

Additionally, choosing "Combat Veterans" [slashdot.org] over IT professionals will eventually cause this entire project to fail. Field IT is not a qualification for running a full blow offensive security command. Most of these people are using pre-configured equipment in shock cases and only need to know that cable A goes to port B, then press power. If the government is concerned that civilian personnel will not know what the data they are protecting should look like, then they should train them to know what they are looking at.

Re:Not suprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746494)

"....civilian personnel will not know what the data they are protecting "

Isn't this why you liaise people with different skill sets together? In this case you would have a bunch of IT techs with a little training in military operations, and a few military personnel trained a bit in IT. I personally don't understand why the military knowledge is pertinent, you're securing a network not confirming fire orders. An example would be an IT tech sorting through accounting data on a corporate network looking for changes by a hacker, when does that happen? All in all I think they wanted to keep the departments personnel "in the family (military)" for various (and probably not completely benign) reasons and they're finding out that there aren't a lot of current/former military with IT skillsets.

Re:Not suprised (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746514)

There is probably room for the creation of a new type of soldier whose emphasis is on infosec, they still learn your basic soldierly type shit but they don't have to go through basic. I would expect all military employees to be subjected to ongoing fitness training, however. It's just not prudent to have people in military situations when they're just going to slow your ass down with their ass.

Military has a very "us and them" attitude for the most part, so do geeks. Putting them in the same box is a recipe for disaster, unless you find an effective way to make them one and the same. Even different branches of the armed farces look down on one another, and indeed, they all tend to look down on all the others. Nerds don't want a quick trip back to high school, they want to be on top.

Re:Not suprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746986)

Who the fuck is going to train them? Felons?

The real issue here is the government suddenly wants to cozy up to the very same black hats that they have been prosecuting/trying to stamp out for the past 20 years.

Currently: I remain unconvinced the supposed white hats are worth their weight in salt.

This is a new frontier. We need the rough riders. Not Dudley Do-Right.

This is like hiring criminal justice majors to do blackbag jobs in North Korea. Call me when a criminal record is a qualification.

Re:Not suprised (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747498)

Who the fuck is going to train them? Felons?

That's probably a good idea, and a good way to keep black hats employed and yet out of trouble once caught.

Han Solo had it right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746198)

Even Han Solo knew you had to assemble your team first and THEN get the command crew. Sheesh.

Wait, you filled your leadship ranks? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33746210)

What's absurd is that leadership is so easily staffed, but technical prowess is not. These roles are subjective. The people actually doing something require objective skills. The fact that the objective-skilled people are not staffed, but the subjective-skilled people are, leads me to question the quality of leadership.

IT leadership requires IT skills. I had this disagreement with the CIO of Microsoft when I was there. He didn't think you needed IT skill to be an IT leader. But his projects all failed and he got fired.

Happens all the time... (1)

metrometro (1092237) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746540)

"My strike teams ready, but I need a command crew for my shuttle..."

Leadership? (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746546)

Maybe the leadership staff are such a bunch of asshats that no one is willing to follow them? Did anyone else read "Miss Friday's" as referring to the Heinlein heroine?

What" No Indians? (4, Insightful)

TrentTheThief (118302) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746566)

The military never, ever has a problem filling billets for "knowledgeable" people to make "important" decisions with "authority" and "zeal."

The problem they do have, however, is that none of the people who actually understand and "live" for the work are ever the same as those "knowledgeable" people who make "important" decisions with "authority" and "zeal."

In other words, they have plenty of chiefs and no fucking indians. (that's not a pun at India, it's a phrase familiar to all sailors and many Marines.)

Smart and innovative people are frequently classed as troublemakers and misfits when they chaff at the idiocy of military stricture. It's hard to live with arbitrary rules that either have no rationale or lost whatever usefulness they had 50 years ago. You can't lure people in with glamour jobs where none exist. And most certainly not for less than a quarter of the pay. Military benefits have steadily eroded since the end of the Viet Nam war, and they sure as heel won't be getting any better.

Good luck with that staffing issue, Al.

Re:What" No Indians? (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747422)

Wow, you really pretty much learned everything you know from TV troops, haven't you?

What are they paying? (1)

wonkavader (605434) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746598)

No, I'm not trying to be funny. What are they paying, and have they gotten over the idiocy of looking for 1000 security guys amongst the military? They need experts on the effects and targets, but they also need real experts in security. If they only hire the first, they are idiots, and they're not going to find 1000 people in the military who do both. They're not even going to find 1000 people who can do one.

So what are they paying, where are they looking, who's their headhunter?

Re:What are they paying? (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 4 years ago | (#33746886)

> So what are they paying

FTA: "The command has a budget of about $120 million this year, and is scheduled to receive approximately $150 million in fiscal 2011."

So to answer your question, ($150M - overhead - equipment - military waste spending) / 1000 = $not very fucking much.

The problem is the area where CYBERCOM is located. (2, Insightful)

gimmebeer (1648629) | more than 4 years ago | (#33747118)

In the MD/DC/VA area, everyone works for some form of gov't agency. Ft. Meade is also home to another larger and sexier IT-type agency which shall remain nameless, so they are competeing heavily for the IT talent they have. Also, agencies in the suburbs between DC and Baltimore generally pay less than those located in the District and NoVA, so people with the clearances required to work there would be taking a paycut. The short answer.... pay more or lower your expectations.
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