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What Should I Teach?

By ITInstructor ·
What is the most important soft skill and technical skill for IT professionals to have? I teach at a small community college and this info help me prepare classes in the future?

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As if they are gaming machines?

by TomSal In reply to Understanding why we are ...

First I'm curious as to what you meant by "I see people approaching their assets (especially their servers) as if they are gaming machines...".

Second, I point this out because aside from the casual gamer (non-techie they literally just want to play games), have you ever seen or known a hard core gamer who is also in the IT field or otherwise a "tech geek"?

We, oh um..I mean "they" :) are meticulous about their machines running as best and as fast as possible and with maximum uptime and minimum problems.

We tweak, clean, check, update, fix, maintain our game boxes with efficiency that would make you think we get paid for gaming (ironically some do too..and quite well).

Why because while gaming is fun for us we love the technology as well and we take it serious to have fun and enjoy it all.

Of course, as I type this I'm picture a select group in my mind -- the guys (and 3 ladies) that I hook up with online with various games from time to time. Naturally this whole thing I said doesn't hold true for all gamers. Some folks just are lazy and never take care of their stuff.

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Yes, gaming machines

by brudab In reply to As if they are gaming mac ...

I believe the point at which he was aiming was that servers should not be tampered with continuously. Set one solid configuration from the start and then leave it alone...

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by CMO In reply to Soft and Technical Skills

I think the most essential skills are something that cannot be taught, its something in the people that makes them successful in their roles i.e. tenacity, logical thinking and common sense. Finding analytical people with good listening skills and focus is key.

Technical experience on top of the above makes for skillful people but without a little common sense and logical thinking you can teach as much tech as you won't get the results!

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Get Buy-in for your ideas

by GDF In reply to Soft and Technical Skills

I'm probably nuts for trying to respond to this at such a late date - who reads the comments at the bottom anyway? But I've been in this business for 30 years, and I think there are a couple of things worth knowing.

1. On the technical side, learn programming skills, particularly object-oriented and event-driven. The language isn't important, but the concepts are the very underpinning of modern computing. Too many old geezers like me never got past subroutine-level modular programming. Luckily, I'm not one of them.

2. On the "soft skills" side, first I should say that I greatly dislike the term. There are numerous business and people skills that you need to learn to grow in this or any profession. Many are anything BUT "soft" - they're rooted in business management and are required elements of MBA programs.

There is one that, to me, has been critical in the IT realm: Get firm buy-in for your ideas. Don't make major changes in your company without a) a clear and complete plan, b) support from upper management, and c) sign-offs from all your stakeholders that the proposed changes are good and that they'll do their part to make them work. Sign-offs need to be real signatures, not just nods at the water cooler.

You'll soon discover that you can't get the first signature until you actually learn to listen to what your customers need and adapt your plan to meet it, so many of the OTHER "soft skills" suggested by responders apply here: flexibility, good listening and presentation skills, and the ability to share credit with your staff and peers.

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Organizational Skills better than "Soft" Skills

by michelle.reavis In reply to Get Buy-in for your ideas

We all operate in organizations - be they families, classrooms, or campanies. I teach students that communication, busines perspective, etc. are Organizational Skills.

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I'll buy that

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Get Buy-in for your ideas

Sometimes you need even more.
I know one bunch of graduate types who came up with a recording system.
Their system was endorsed by management and key technical types.
However in order to do the link to the rest of the world, the required product identifier was to be manually entered by an operator. (The only solution they were capable of)

They somehow forgot that there were 75 products an hour, the data station was up two flights of stairs and said operator had about 900 other things to do, at the bottom of the steps.

I laughed my orbs off when they explained, the guys on the shop floor would have lynched them.

Even worse in my opinion, if it had been workable, the operators got absolutely nothing tangible out of the system.

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by dafe2 In reply to What Should I Teach?

Most Important Soft Skill - Sales / Presentation

Most Important Technical Skill - Security (Broad Focus)

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If you're in the US then...

by Packratt In reply to What Should I Teach?

Teach your students how to look for a different career or how to be an expat..

An IT career is a dead end in the US.

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by maxwell edison In reply to If you're in the US then. ...

It's "dead" only if you think it's dead. Moreover, anyone who thinks it's "dead", or finds that it's "dead", would probably find a dead end path regardless of their chosen career.

The opportunities are unlimited.

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by secure_lockdown In reply to Dead??????

"The opportunities are unlimited"

they sure are -- as long as you keep your expectations real low.

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