Be an IT triple threat


triple threat

We don't know for sure, but we suspect they can sing, dance, and act.

flickr/Dave Hogg

The expression “triple threat” has historically been associated with two very diverse activities, the performing arts and football. My suggestion here is that you become a triple threat in IT, It can get you hired and/or promoted.

In the performing arts, a triple threat is someone who can sing, dance and act. They call people who have these three abilities a threat because, all else being equal, having this professional versatility makes it more likely that they would get the job ahead of those with only one or two of these performance skills. In the earlier years of football, a triple threat man was a player who could run, pass and kick. In today’s more modern football era, a person with a combination of skills is generally referred to as a utility player. Ok, enough about football and performing arts, let’s talk about IT.

If you are in the software side of IT, a triple threat in software development is

1. Programing
2. Database design / stored procedure development
3. Application architecture / user interface

I think that it is very possible to be very competent and experienced in all three of these skills. I’ve personally done it myself, even though I always felt my ability to write stored procedures was rather weak. That said, I’m not suggesting that you can truly be an expert in all three, but I do believe that if you are a programmer and are willing to step a little bit outside your comfort zone, you can become very proficient in database design and manipulation. Furthermore, if you have, or can acquire, a deep knowledge in a specific business/application area, such as finance, accounting, manufacturing, engineering, or other specific discipline or industry, then you can also become quite expert in the design and needed functionality of applications within this specialty. In software companies (selling the applications they build) people with the triple software threat are well positioned to move toward the role of Chief Technology Officer (CTO).

If you are on the data center side of the world, there are two types of triple threats. The first combination is

1. Security
2. Data communication
3. System infrastructure

The second type of data center triple threat is

1. Operating systems and virtualization
2. Hardware configuration
3. Database administration

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