If you're a tech worker that's been recently laid-off, Silicon Alley Insider wants to talk to you. Beware, though, what they're asking isn't for the faint of heart. The Web site is planning to chronicle the follies and foibles of five people searching for new jobs in the tech sector. Among the information they want to know:

  • your name
  • a headshot
  • your last job
  • your previous salary
  • your age
  • your location
  • your education and expertise
  • your rent/mortage
  • Your IM and Email

Wow, not even my own mother knows the answer to all those questions about me. I guess in the end, if you're unemployed and need a job fast, parting with that much personal information is a small price to pay. I also have to wonder if there's not an upside to tech workers sharing details of what they make in relation to the cost of living wherever they're located geographically.

It seems to me that if more people realized just how difficult IT workers have it and just how little they're paid for the "privilege" of being on call 24/7/365, perhaps some companies would be shamed into properly compensating their employees.

We've all heard stories about renegade tech workers who try to buck the system alone and miss the mark entirely. There are also plenty of organizations that have formed around the rights of tech workers. ITbusiness.com's Tom Kaneshige says the problem is going to get worse before it gets better.

"Over the last couple of years, the temperature inside the IT department has risen steadily to an all-time high. With so much uncertainty and angst brought on by a sputtering economy, the tech worker now stews in his cubicle on the verge of a mental meltdown," says Kaneshige.

Even worse, the complex technology that companies today depend on to run their businesses lies in the firestorm's path."

So, where's the pressure relief valve? Tech workers deserve better compensation, but businesses can't afford it. Or can they? I know that many companies are operating in or near the red, but others simply need to be goosed into spending a little more on the IT department and less on CEO year-end bonuses.

At the end of the day, I don't think that publishing tech worker salaries will really solve problems for anyone. It will be interesting to see, however, if the people featured on Silicon Alley Insider secure bigger salaries along with a new job because the hiring companies want to prove they pay employees what their worth.

I sure hope so.

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