There’s a lot of great blogs and resources that get really deep into specific areas of tech. While it may sound really strange, this site is decidedly not one of them. The focus of The Tech Interview is quite different. Instead of focusing on the bits and bytes of technology, we look at the un-tech side of tech. So what does that mean? And more importantly, why should you care?
The Non-Tech side of Tech
Focusing on the non-tech side of tech, basically means that we are focusing on how we should position our technical skills in the ecosystem of the business and the soft skills that are required to maintain a successful technical career. In a lot of cases, these non-technical areas are universal across career choices. In other cases, there are unique challenges found by those with careers in technology.
Making the Case For Business Value
Our careers are not just about being a BGP rockstar or a virtualization junkie. To unleash our full potential, we have to be able to understand what it is that we can do to bring value to our organization’s bottom line. Maybe you know more about IPv6 than anyone else around. But who cares? Well that’s a bit harsh. Other techs in the community certainly care, but that doesn’t pay the bills. How do those skills map to the bottom line for YOUR organization? The answer may be quite different depending on whether you work for a service provider, an enterprise, or an application service provide. It is often the case that the value to the business is as important as the skill itself.
So what about soft skills? This is an individual’s ability to come to work as expected, treat co-workers with respect, follow applicable rules and communicate thoughts and ideas effectively. These are very important. The best techs in the world will struggle in there employment if they can’t manage to fit into an organization’s culture. Getting to work on time and dressing appropriately isn’t that difficult. Effectively working with coworkers can sometimes be a bit more challenging, but certainly important. In any case, these are part of the overall perceived value that you bring to the table.
Just For Tech
So what are some of the unique non-technical aspects of a career in technology? One example is the ridiculous rate of change. Those in technology simply have to love new challenges. Without the love of tech, the pace of continually educating oneself will be very tiring. Another unique challenge is getting experience. Technology is one of those fields in which experience is king. Therefore we see challenges like getting a job without experience and getting experience without a job.
As an individual demonstrates greater overall value, their position will likely become more fulfilling. This overall value is different depending on the position, the organization and the industry focus. In almost no case will it be as proportional as the diagram above. Being stronger in one area may give an employer a reason to overlook weaknesses in another area. However, this is temporary and should be considered accordingly. Understanding the overall value that we add to an organization is important in our careers. While we love the technical aspect and strive to excel in that area, one thing is certain–IT’s Not Just About Tech.