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  • #2191226

    Switching to IT Management

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    by email_quick ·

    Hello All,

    I am currently a software developer. I am in the process of finishing my MS in IT Management in another couple of months.

    I wanted to get out of this programming world (I’ve been doing this same routine stuff for 10 years now with maintainance of a software product for a company). That’s the prime reason for me going for my master’s so that I can try my hand in IT/Project Management.

    By researching the internet, I find that most of the companies require a considerable amount of prior experience in IT/Project Management which I don’t possess.

    My current company is dearth on the positions in IT/Project Management and therefore has less oppurtunities for growth.

    Any ideas of how this needs to be approached? Any helpful links?

    Thanks!

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    • #3073818

      Hope this helps

      by amcol ·

      In reply to Switching to IT Management

      Try http://www.pmi.com, the Project Management Institute. That’s your single source for everything in this area, including (if you’re so inclined) a PMP certification.

      You may be further along the curve than you think. Sounds like you’ve already decided to move on from your current company. Even though you’ve been working as a developer, you can construct your resume…and your interview patter…to reflect anything remotely resembling project management experience (without lying or obfuscation, of course). Hard to believe all you’ve ever done is sit at a desk and write code, so figure out what other experience you’ve had…creating project status reports, contributing to budget analyses, conducting user reviews, giving dotted line direction to project resources, investigating and/or recommending strategic project directions, the list is endless. Look at the website above for ideas.

      BTW…don’t let anyone talk you out of pursuing this direction. There are a lot of naysayers who’ll give you chapter and verse on Peter Principling yourself, management is a lousy career, why do you want to do this anyway, look before you leap, ad nauseum. You haven’t give too many facts to go on but even at that I can tell you’re doing the right thing. Go fo it.

    • #3072814

      Don’t forget your “people” skills

      by dc guy ·

      In reply to Switching to IT Management

      One of the reasons we’re reluctant to give management responsibilities to people who have never had them is that management implies supervision. You have to be able to manage PEOPLE, not just PROJECTS.

      Let’s face it, a lot of people go into IT precisely because they DON’T have good interpersonal skills, they prefer working with technology to working with people. If we reward one of those guys (women tend to do better at this so it’s usually guys) for doing great technical work and getting more education, by making him a manager, sometimes we find that he has very poorly developed abilities to oversee his subordinates.

      What do you do if two of your people don’t like each other, or if one of them doesn’t like you? If they disagree with your judgment about the project schedule or your way of approaching it? If they distract others from getting their own work done? If they have a personal problem that interferes with their productivity or quality? If they’re doing a crappy job but your boss loves them?

      If they think that THEY should have gotten the project manager job instead of you???

      Don’t even try to come up with generic answers for these things. You have to be able to deal with each case on an individual basis, using your wits and your communication skills.

      Still I’ll take a chance and promote somebody I’ve worked with because at least I’ve had a chance to see them in action and I have some clues as to how they will handle the job. With me there to guide them through the rough spots, using my own “people skills” with a person I already know, we have a good chance of succeeding.

      But asking me to hire a complete stranger with no management experience and make him a project manager? Yikes! That is scary! Frankly I’d want you to come to work here in your old capacity for a while until I got to know you well enough to be comfortable mentoring you in a new position. THEN maybe I’ll be ready to give you a chance if you seem to have earned it.

      Sorry for the discouragement. But if your current employer doesn’t have the opportunity you need, you may have to take this route. There’s a good reason that everybody wants you to have experience first. It’s a darn shame you can’t get it from the people who already know you because that’s the logical first place for you to get it.

      One thing that will help is participation in professional and civic organizations or even hobbyist clubs. They don’t pay and therefore have lower standards. If you want to do the work you can usually become an officer by just showing up at meetings for a year so everybody knows you. If your resume shows that you’ve been an officer of a club or other organization, or perhaps have organized or managed a show, that might tip the balance in your favor.

      Good luck!

      Never forget that Brown got to be head of FEMA because he was an officer in a horse club. ^_^

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