My local paper is reporting that a pub landlady will stand down after more than 50 years behind the bar because she won't take the bar exams that the government has insisted all pub landlords and landladies must take.

There are plenty of people in IT who sneer at paper qualifications but I wonder how far we are from a situation where paper qualifications are preferred over real-life experience. It's not too hard to imagine.

"Yes, I know you have 15 years' experience of running a network and Jason here has never managed anything, but he has an MCSE and you haven't so he's taking over." Or "You have an interesting CV and obviously bags of technical knowledge but I'm afraid that Tony, will inexperienced at the sharp end does have ITIL certification so he's the person to take us forward. Do collect your P45 on the way out."

If real-life experience is deemed as irrelevant to people doing something as important to us as pullling pints then IT staff have got no chance.