Career Central

A brief compendium of the IT Workplace

BlackBerry on the beach: You call this a vacation?

Twenty-seven percent of the work force will pack their laptops, cell phones and PDAs along with their flip-flops this summer, according to CareerBuilder.coms annual vacation survey, released June 7.

Men are the biggest work-aholics, with 33 percent expecting to work on projects or check in with the office when theyre scheduled for lounging, compared with 25 percent of women.

Of the 84 percent of workers who plan to take a vacation this year, most say they dont think theyre taking enough time to recharge, with 32 percent taking a vacation for less than a workweek (five days) and 10 percent limiting their vacations to weekend getaways.

Despite this, the work force is aching to unwind, with 77 percent of workers saying they feel burned out on the job.

Theyre not taking their working vacations lying down, however, with a slew of workers electing to outright lie about accessibility at their vacation destinations with hopes of catching a break. Eleven percent of workers blamed bad wireless connections and other technology issues to avoid work while away, and, of these, more men (13 percent) than women (10 percent) perjured themselves.

—Deborah Rothberg

Oracle likes em Ivy-encrusted

Hey, tech genius—want to work in Oracle product development?

Unless youre coming out of MIT, Stanford or another of a handful of brand-name tech universities, youre very likely out of luck. Better go try MySQL or IBM instead.

eWeek has viewed an internal memo dated June 6 from the desk of Oracles Terri Mason on the subject of the database empires college recruiting program.

According to the e-mail, Oracle recruits "top candidates" for product development from Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Stanford University; CMU (likely Carnegie Mellon University); Princeton University; Wisconsin University; Yale University; Dartmouth College; Brown University; the California Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; Harvard University; and Cornell University.

In addition, Oracle will consider "top candidates" from the University of Texas at Austin, Duke University, the University of Pennsylvania, Georgia Institute of Technology (grad students) and "any top international schools," the e-mail reads.

Oracle had not provided a spokesperson to answer questions on its recruiting practices before this story was published.

When asked about its recruiting practices, IBM pointed to Jeff Jonas, a chief scientist behind IBMs DB2 Anonymous Resolution technology who came on board in January 2005 after having sold his company to IBM. Jonas, whose groundbreaking algorithms are at the heart of terrorist-tracking software and whose technology was backed by the CIA, dropped out of high school to pursue his tech work.

The final, ironic footnote:

You are familiar with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, yes? Like many technology geniuses, he dropped out of college.

—Lisa Vaas

Techs glass ceiling shows some cracks

Some large tech companies are gaining reputations as ideal work environments for female techies.

Googles maternity- and paternity-leave program allows for 75 percent of pay for up to six weeks, a $500 stipend for new parents to spend on takeout meals, adoption assistance, nearby child care centers and a backup child care center.

IBMs flexible work options include compressed workweeks that allow employees to work fewer than five-day weeks, individualized work schedules that include variable start and finish times, and unpaid leave of absence of up to three years—with job security—to manage a personal situation. Parenting falls among the top three reasons employees use this option.

Microsoft offers paid parental leave, flexible hours when parents have kids out of school for the summer, a new mothers room in most campus buildings and an adoption assistance program.

Sun Microsystems offers a flexible work program called Open Work in which about half of its employees participate. More than 13,000 employees work from home up to two days per week, and more than 2,000 do so over three days per week.

Yahoos benefits program allows up to four months of pregnancy disability leave if necessitated by a doctor, though a typical period of disability post-delivery is six to eight weeks.

—Deborah Rothberg