• If you’re a Java programmer, then by definition, your software runs on computer hardware. If that hardware is in the data center, then it may be on a virtualized server. An understanding of virtualization can help you negotiate the hardware capacity needed to have your software run correctly.
• If you are a Database Administrator (DBA), the more you know about software development, the better job you can do normalizing the database structure and defining needed table indexes for the programmers.
• If you work in the data center, the more you know about your IT department’s software development methodology (such as Waterfall or Agile), the easier you can understand the scheduling needs for new hardware availability.
• If you work on the PC help desk as a PC Technician, knowing and understanding your department’s processes, client service metrics, and reporting requirements may help you become the next department manager.
• If you are a Business Analyst or Project Manager, an understanding of programming, database design, and data center operations can help you estimate project size and converting user needs into technical requirements.
Now let’s widen the horizon from your IT shop to the IT industry in total. An understanding of the major IT industry megatrends, like those listed at the top of this blog, will also help you in a number of ways, including the following:
• Help protect your job by allowing you to more easily migrate your skills and direct your focus toward the trends that affect your specific technical expertise.
• Help you be seen as a thought leader within your IT shop because of your understanding of industry trends and how they can potentially be applied within your company.
• Help prepare and position yourself for promotion because as you move up the technical and managerial IT ranks, your job becomes more strategic and less hands on.
In closing, this week’s blog obviously discussed why you should be generally knowledgeable of technologies outside your specific technical expertise. That said, next week’s blog will provide you with insights into various ways to build and maintain this wider view of your profession.
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.