Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Professional development cannot be stressed enough

Professional development cannot be stressed enough. Learning the current hot technology and IT trends just doesn’t end at college. It continues throughout your career and life.

 In the CIO.com article, “10 professional development tips for programmers” states ten points for programmers to act on to stay current and advance their careers. I suggest if you’re a Systems Analyst, Business Analyst or Business Systems Analyst, this is good advice. If your starting out in your career, in the middle or tail end, three points stand out from the CIO article and the most important in my opinion.  

 Networking and Branding

Communication and people skills

Leaning new hot language/ or technology

Networking and branding starts in your first job and last your entire career. It does beat applying at job boards where your resume falls into abyss of other resumes somewhere on someone's hard drive.
I’ve been in IT over thirty three years and have a large network in IT. Currently I completed a contract and looking for my next opportunity and reaching out to my network letting them know I’m available. Social media has helped. LinkedIn is good. Facebook as well. Create a blog to show examples of your work all come into play and post at linkedin, twitter and facebook. 

Communication and people skills are important today for IT people. A few years ago programmers worked alone and pretty much heads down programming. Today that has changed. In both waterfall and agile projects, developers have been part of the process from the beginning thru implementation. Toastmasters is a great and affordable club where you write and present speeches. I’ve earned my CTM and CL (Competent Leader) designations and today feel comfortable writing and presenting my documents to senior level management, project mangers, and qa teams.  

Leaning new hot language/ or technology: I’ve lumped learning Agile, JavaScript, CSS, HTML5 into one point. Staying current in developers language and IT processes i.e. agile for programmers and analyst keeps you what's hot game. Cheap online classes sites: udemy, cousera and udacity offer great options to take classes.
Learning never stops. Have a continuous curiosity to how things work and processes in IT. Following the 10 steps in the CIO article will keep your marketable.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting into World Series of contracting

WOW! Royals win and get into World Series after 29 years (article here).  How does that relate to an independent computer consultant aka contractor?

Have the right team in place so a contractor may deliver his/her service to the client.

Working with a team is key. My team are recruiters who recruit for a position, account mangers to present a contractor and service to the client, payroll where the contractor is paid, health insurance for the contractor. If there is a flaw in the process nobody wins. Everyone is hurt--the contractor, the recruiting firm and the client who needs the service.

When a team goes to the baseball world series, the process to getting there is all working together. When the Royals navigated straight into the world series with winning eight games are the only team to do it in baseball's postseason. They did it with speed, great pitching and defense. All three plus fan's cheering in support.

Third Baseman Mike Moustakas said, "I knew these fans were amazing, but I didn’t know how loud and how amazing they really were. They came out every day to play, just like we did. They deserve this just as much as we do. They’ve been waiting a lot longer than most of us have. It’s an awesome feeling to be able to bring this American League championship to Kansas City.”

If you are or considering to be an independent computer consultant, put in place the best team for yourself and you'll see success.