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Dot-coms seek Win2K pros, but do 2K pros want them?

Dot-coms seek Win2K pros, but do 2K pros want them?

By Esther Shein

Slowly but surely, dot-com companies are eyeing Windows 2000 specialists as they begin their migration plans to the new operating system.

FreeMarkets Inc., for one, is staffing up for two major initiatives, says John Benzinger, director of technical operations at the Pittsburgh, Pa.-based business-to-business e-marketplace: one is an Active Directory migration; the other a large scale Windows 2000 server and client migration.

"We're looking for people who have actually implemented Windows 2000 server, and people who understand the differences between NT 4 and 2000," Benzinger says. So far staffing has not been a problem. "Even if people are playing with [Windows 2000] on a small-scale," he says, 'a lot of people we're going after are MSCE certified, so they're pretty knowledgeable."

Among the specific skills Benzinger seeks is an in-depth understanding of the internal workings of the Windows OS, including Domain Name Server (DNS), Terminal Access, user administration and server administration. He is also looking for experience on the client side. His hiring process includes targeted questions such as, How does Windows 2000 use DNS in comparison to NT 4? What are the primary differences between the two operating systems? Or why would you pick one version over the other?

Having the right technical answers is only a part of the equation, however, warns Vinay Singh, director of technical recruiting at Jesse Garon Associates Inc., a technology recruiting and consulting firm in Paramus, N.J. Singh says job seekers should also be cognizant of the cultural differences between a dot-com company and a firm using Windows 2000 in a more traditional business setting.

Singh recalls an incident where he sent a middle-aged DBA manager to an interview at a Internet startup. The candidate looked inside the data center and saw an Amstel beer bottle that someone quickly removed because it was 9:00 a.m. "You see lot of younger people with younger attitudes who just aren't as corporate as you might think," he says.

Singh says there also may be significant organizational differences. "No longer is there a CEO or CIO or director; the hierarchical structure will be different. You have people who are extremely talented but don't know how to run a company."

Esther Shein is a contributing editor from Framingham, Mass.

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