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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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Radical Idea

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to What Should I Teach?

Soft skill. Holistics, (boundaries, perceptions, thinking outside of the box etc.)
I did a course on it and it's very useful. Amazing how many IT professionals forget those annoying carbon based biological things that are about to make a complete failure out of their brilliant design.
Tech skills is hard one though, depends on how long before your students hit the streets ready for a job. Very little point in teaching them what's all the rage in the market if they're going to be two years out of date when they get the certification.
Based on my experience of academia, Iwould n't worry too much about the language. Pascal and smalltalk are hard to argue with from a purist's point of view. The market would suggest C and java, but if you are teaching development skills that's just the backdrop. If you can't program it doesn't really matter what language you can't program in does it. I was taught the essence of programmimg by writing down what keys I'd press on a calculator to achieve the sum of any three figures. Once you've mastered that bit the rest is just syntax. If your student's are going into commercial development, then take you standard every day programming course, find two exercises in it with an initial development and then an enhancement.
Get each student to do the first phase of both. At half of the way into the course give them the second part of one of exercises but with a starting point of another students work. Towards the end of it given them other but with their own starting point. At least then their first employer will have a chance of reading why they got it wrong.

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A good subject would be...

by robdew In reply to What Should I Teach?

Masterbation skills... This way you can beat management to it..

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Communication

by s.robillard In reply to What Should I Teach?

Communication - The ability to speak, write and communicate with your end user, management etc. Too many programs get written in a vacum or silo, with the attitude that I know what you need and I will give it to you, and you better love it. As the IT staff it is our job to learn how, why and what our end users do and need from a solution. Not the other way around.

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And application...

by GlitchA1 In reply to Communication

Communication is the most important. Second is the ability to apply what they have learned.

If they are studying programming, have the unit geared towards the concepts, instead of the features of the language.

Teach them in pascal, have them code the final assignment in C. That's what happened at my School :)

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That must have been hard

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to And application...

Mind you if they'd have done it the other way round.

LOL

Good idea though, you could update to Delphi & C#, with the same impact.
Until you've coded in more than one language, it's very hard to see how the language can be a constraint on your design, or of course an enabler.

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Global Economy

by 12345 In reply to Communication

Hi Boys & Girls...since we all live in today's "Global Economy" it would be VERY useful to learn another language or two to expand our potential work environment/territory?? Just a thought on the soft skill side!

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Business knowledge

by paul.osborne In reply to What Should I Teach?

The most important IT skill is knowing how to get out of trouble and cover your tracks ;o)

Seriously though, the biggest failing many IT pros have is lack of business knowledge. How on earth can a companies systems be maintained if the person looking after them doesnt understand the business or how it works. Which are the busines critical systems for the companies employees/customer? It's by no means the same systems an IT manager sees as important in many cases - for different reasons.

An IT pro should be there to provide a service for their front line/customer facing colleagues, and to keep the day to day business running with as little interuption as possible. Thats where the money comes from to pay their wages! In my experience it often isnt seen like this.

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The IT world is changing

by johnlil In reply to What Should I Teach?

As in the past the manufacturing industry has migrated away from North America/Europe to Asia so the main bulk of the run-of-the-mill IT work is being done increasingly "off-shore". Many of your students will end up in liaison/supervising roles and so I think the main skills you need to teach are:-
communications - how to write and converse especially with those whose first language is not English and to take into account cultural differences
project management/monitoring
testing methods and importance of thorough checkout, acceptance procedures etc
sizing and estimating - not only for human activites and project costing but for eg database sizes, execution times etc.

Hope this helps.

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Most important soft and technical skills for IT professionals

by timochanda In reply to What Should I Teach?

IT, as a discipline in the modern day business world, has acquired a new paradigm shift where IT professionals are judged not by how much knowledge they have of the diverse applications but by how they can relate these solutions to the busniess problem at hand. Effective and efficient delivery of these solutions within budget is also of essence. The critical skills here therefore are business analysis & evaluation (assessing project viability) and end-to-end project delivery management.
Tim Ochanda

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Most important soft and technical skills for IT professionals

by timochanda In reply to What Should I Teach?

IT, as a discipline in the modern day business world, has acquired a new paradigm shift where IT professionals are judged not by how much knowledge they have of the diverse applications but by how they can relate these solutions to the busniess problem at hand. Effective and efficient delivery of these solutions within budget is also of essence. The critical skills here therefore are business analysis & evaluation (assessing project viability) and end-to-end project delivery management.
Tim Ochanda

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