If worrying about managing large business-critical heterogeneous systems in a threat-heavy environment, balancing budgets, assessing conflicting technology choices and maintaining skill currencies isn’t enough, the IT worker now has another imperative. Fashion.
Ms Melanie Moss, an Australian, is offended by our choice of clothes. In her role as a corporate stylist, she comes to judge and find us wanting.
It’s worse for her than that, of course. As high fashion spirals into self-obsessed extinction, it is the geek schmutter that will inherit the earth. In the same way that the business suit evolved from the underclothes that kept suits of armour from chaffing knightly bits, the nerdly uniform of ironically labelled T-shirts, shapeless trousers and random pockets distended by bulky gadgets will become the de-facto style of the 21st century.
If Ms Moss wants to fully understand the way fashion will move, she should look away from the corporate IT departments — where there is still some residual resonance with the rest of the company — and towards the vanguard, the shock troops of IT journalism. Here, the retired history teacher look meshes very far from seamlessly with the top-to-toe company labelled freebie outfit: the Gateway cow-pattern boxer shorts, the Computer Associates fleece, even the IBM sandals (given away at a notorious toga party in Las Vegas one Comdex. Some still have – and wear – their togas).
It is an arresting vision, and one as avant garde as anything on the catwalks this autumn in Paris or New York. Don’t fight it, Melanie. Join us in our hyperthreads.