This week on Thursday, angry alien invaders are returning to Earth in the long-delayed sci-fi sequel Independence Day: Resurgence. The movie's trailers hint that the nations of Earth have not been idly twiddling their thumbs in the years since the first planet-wide conflagration. (Two decades past, both in real time and in the movie.) No, instead merely hoping that the intergalactic menace from the first film never darkens the skies over our major cities again, humanity has been bracing for the inevitable rematch. Our forward defense position is a base on the moon, and piles of money and resources have apparently been poured into advanced weapons technology.
Only, is that how things would actually have unfolded in the real world? In May, the Government Accountability Office of the United States released a report that suggests the forward march of defense preparations might not have been so swift. As noted in an engaging summary of the GAO report at GoCertify, the United States Department of Defense, in 2016, relies on a legacy computing system that uses 8-inch floppy disks to control certain aspects of our nuclear arsenal. And that's just the tip of the outdated IT iceberg. The government spends billions of dollars on its vast IT infrastructure every year, but much of that money is apparently sunk into maintaining decades old hardware and software.
Government officials have been staring down the daunting prospect of massively overhauling outdated tech for years, but now the clock is ticking as IT professionals who can still interface with decades-old software and hardware are rapidly retiring and/or dying off. That's a problem not likely to have a starring role in the 2016 general election, but one that clearly needs to be addressed, and soon.
Among the lessons to be learned from this looming disaster is something that's built into a lot of the IT certifications out there. If you stand still in the fast-evolving IT realm, then your skills are losing relevance by the day. That's why many certifications require you to keep pace, either though CEUs (continuing education units) or recertification. TestOut Continuing Education, through our partnership with CompTIA, offers PC Pro training that is right in line with the latest A+ overhaul, the 900 series of exams released last year (220-901 and 220-902). If you hold A+ and need to recertify, then our training will prepare you to take and pass the new exams. Now if only we have something similar to get poor Uncle Sam up to speed ...