Re: [ljc] IT professionals need business skills

From: Cosmin M.
Sent on: Monday, October 8, 2012 2:20 PM

knowing a specific technology will not make you a great engineer
>>> Not knowing some technologies of interest won't get you the job in the first place :)


 Knowing who you're building for, or at least that there is a niche to build for, will make you stand out as a developer.
>>> I don't think anyone is questioning that. But is the same as saying that you need the right leg more than the left one. You need both to be able to walk. Hence my disagreement with "Deep technical skills are helpful, but not necessary".


On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 2:10 PM, Trisha <[address removed]> wrote:
I don't know about anyone else's Computer Science degree, but I don't believe I learnt "deep technical skills" at university.  I learnt something more useful, I learnt lots of general technical, academic, and non technical (for example, my Communication Skills classes) at university.  These skills are valid across the industry, as a developer, a BA, a QA, a technical author, a manager.... and even outside of the industry. 

What you don't learn at university, which many companies frequently bemoan, is specific technical skills - i.e. use of hibernate/spring/guice/servlets whatever, and frankly I think that's a Good Thing since these skills will very quickly become dated and are not useful if you're not going to be a developer when you leave university.

Whilst I agree that the article was very hand-wavy and CxO-y, the key point remains - knowing a specific technology will not make you a great engineer.  Knowing who you're building for, or at least that there is a niche to build for, will make you stand out as a developer.


On 8 October[masked]:59, Cosmin Marginean <[address removed]> wrote:
"Deep technical skills are helpful, but not necessary"
Well I hope no one tells this crap to CS students 'cause they might ask for their money back.

There should be a drive in any engineer's career to go beyond the technical expertise and anyone with some ambition and motivation should understand that. However, it is something you should grow into rather than being forced into.

It also depends on the business you are active in. These statements are way too generic to be useful to anyone as they address a narrow market since not everyone in IT works in banks (most of us don't, actually). And I personally refuse to take for granted the opinion of any CxO (replace x with whatever you want) in this industry in terms of IT services and operations.

In the end, not understanding or caring about the business drive of your company/product *does* make you a bad engineer. But telling people that it is not key to have technical skills anymore is dangerous and I heard it so many times from people who have no idea how products are delivered from the technology perspective.
At the same time, "energy to be creative" is a complete gratuity and a lot of IT services are still affordable *because* a lot of people don't have business creativity and are really happy doing what their doing and being left alone. Not everyone could (or should) be an CxO, architect, etc.

Cheers,
Cos 


On Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 9:32 AM, Trisha <[address removed]> wrote:
"IT workers need to think more broadly about how IT can work for their businesses"

We talk a lot on this list about technologies - what technology stack do I need to learn in order to get into finance, is hibernate still a relevant technology, etc. etc.

What we don't talk about enough (in my opinion) is how important it is to understand the domain of the business you're developing for.  Yes, this is something that can be learnt on the job, but I believe it's going to be harder to care about delivering something good if you don't care about the business you're delivering for.

I think the emphasis placed on coders learning the business changes a lot from company to company.  I'm curious - how important is it in your place to understand the business?

Trisha




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