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Question for an ambitious IT professional

By drew.williams.09 ·
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As a school assignment, I've been asked to gather an opinion from a career IT person about what they believe are (at least) three things they need to excel in their job and be a top performer.

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Is IT really different? Perhaps

by john.a.wills In reply to Question for an ambitious ...

Patience, especially with one's own slowness in acquiring new ways of looking at things and so new techniques.
Honed skills in analysis - which will sometimes annoy users who do not want to specify what they want.
Language skills: one must translate desires into specifications, specifications into designs, designs into algorithms and structures, algorithms into programs and structures into file and database definitions.

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Soft v tech expertise

by drew.williams.09 In reply to Is IT really different? P ...

Thanks for your input John, I understand the value of all these skills very well. If you thought about soft skills as well as technical skills, would you intermingle one of them in with the top three that you've already identified or place them lower in importance? I know it's apples to oranges comparing tech and soft skills but do you think something like leadership would prove more valuable than say, analysis skills?

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soft vs tech skills

by john.a.wills In reply to Question for an ambitious ...

A technical leader should have some technical skills so that he understands the problems of those he leads, and so that they know he understands them. The "soft" skill a programmer/analyst most needs is that for getting specifications out of reluctant users. I remember in one place I worked we could not get information out of a department head, because he was a moron (literally, due to bad speech and thought habits over a number of years), so we asked his subordinates what he actually wanted. More recently, someone with a problem, after I had defined the 4 actual problems he had and wanted more information on what he wanted in each of them, withdrew his request for changes because he was so frightened of analyzing his daily work. I do not know what to do about him, and perhaps some soft skill would help.

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