Saturday, September 27, 2008

30 things reprinted an InfoWorld article called 30 Skills Every IT Person Needs. The list is a bit network heavy, but all-in-all I thought it was a pretty good list. A few of my favorites included:
  • Know basic networking (#6). Computing is all about the network. If you (programmer, DBA, support) don't know basic network concepts and troubleshooting techniques, then you deserve the scorn and ridicule that the network staff heaps upon you and trust me, they will.
  • Test backups (#12). This is one of those "I can't possibly be that stupid" things that every IT person learns, usually the hard way. And yes, it happened to me. Six months of backups and not a single file could be restored because of bad heads in the tape drive.
  • Learn the business process (#20). This is particularly true if you are in corporate IT (Nordstom's, Starbuck's). The real power of corporate IT is to make the business better, faster, and cheaper, not the IT department.
  • Square pegs go in square holes (#30). The strengths movement encourages us to play to our strengths and workaround our weaknesses (see this post). I would, however, amend #30 to say that it is just as important for individuals to understand this about themselves as it is for managers to understand it about their staff.
So how did you do on the list? Anything you think is missing?

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lgrt said...

I would add to any skill list: The ability to listen to and empathize with others. This is especially true of techs who can be seen as geeky, arrogant or condescending by those who are not as tech savvy. The really good senior tech folks stand out for their ability to understand, translate and teach.