1. Don’t try to be interesting, try to be interested in them
2. Spend a little time studying what the business group you support does and how they do it
3. When designing and/or developing software, try to look and understand the business reason why the software is being created
4. When speaking with business users talk to them using their language and slang, not yours
5. Before describing technology related topics, ask the user if they are interested in hearing them
6. Try to ascertain your user’s technical level and talk at that level, not above it or below it
7. Have the mindset that you provide solutions, not technologies, this will help you think about the bigger business picture, not just your component of the solution
My next challenge to you is to expand on this list of questions based on your job, your technical profession, your job level, your areas of ability, and your areas of interest. Then ask yourself this combined set of questions on an ongoing basis. With a little luck and a great idea, you can make an incredible contribution to your company, and in turn, in your own professional future.
If you have any questions about your career in IT, please email me at
eric@ManagerMechanics.com or find me on Twitter at @EricPBloom.
Until next time, work hard, work smart, and continue to grow.
Read more of Eric Bloom's Your IT Career blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Eric on Twitter at @EricPBloom. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.