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.
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.