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A Real Eye Catcher
Is there an award for the creepiest magazine cover ever (July 24)? Can I nominate your Lipstick Pig? Leapin' lizards, that's one ugly cover! It certainly got a lot of attention around here.

Gretchen Patti
Technical Staff, Tezzaron Semiconductor
Naperville, Ill.

Hog Wild
Whoever Mick Coulas is, he deserves a prize. Best cover I've ever seen!

Gary Feeney
IT Manager, The Premarc Corp.
Durand, Mich.

Certification Pays Off
A statement about pay for certifications is grossly misleading ("You're An Architect? Prove It," July 24, 2006). "Just 5% of respondents to InformationWeek's [National IT Salary] survey say they received cash bonuses for getting any type of certification."

The dominant practice is to recognize IT certification and skills pay in IT workers' base salaries instead of paying it out as a cash bonus. Factoring this in, pay for certifications is 10 times more prevalent than the number cited in this article.

My firm has been tracking certified and noncertified IT skills pay in a quarterly survey of 54,000 IT pros since 2000. One of our reports surveys pay for 242 certifications and noncertified skills at 1,860 employers. The 2Q 2006 survey revealed that 51% of these 54,000 IT workers are paid extra for one or more certified or noncertified skills. We validated the actual amount paid to 48% of these 27,500 workers.

One caveat: The more mismatched workers' job titles are to their actual job content, the greater the chance that their certifications will be recognized with a bump in pay.

David Foote
CEO and Chief Research Officer,
Foote Partners
New Canaan, Conn.

Shared Ideas
I'm compelled to set the record straight regarding a story that suggests that Michael Michalowicz plagiarized previously published material ("Update: Can You Ever Trust A Hacker? UBS Trial Puts It To A Test," July 17, 2006).

The author references an article published under Mr. Michalowicz's name on March 31, 2005, saying a similar article was published in 2004 under my byline. She notes this "begs the question of whose ideas they are." Mr. Michalowicz and I were partners in PG Lewis & Associates, and the statements in the article were the intellectual property of PG Lewis (later acquired by Protiviti). Mr. Michalowicz and I were the primary sources and developers of the ideas in these articles. Mr. Michalowicz published his article with my knowledge and full consent.

The question about Mr. Michalowicz's article was raised by the prosecution during the UBS trial and was deemed irrelevant by the judge. We object to the suggestion that Mr. Michalowicz relied on anyone's ideas other than his own and those of the company in which he was a partner.

Paul G. Lewis
Director, Protiviti
New York

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