Strong People Skills: Crossing technical specialties brings with it the need to cross organizational silos and participating in more teams. This increased need for teamwork brings with it a higher necessity for effective interpersonal skills. That is to say, there are slowly but surely becoming fewer jobs where you can simply sit in the corner of the room and do your job. As a result, more than ever, your ability to communicate with others will have a direct effect on your professional success.
Internal Sales Skills: Yes, sales skills. Sales-type skills are required for two specific reasons, namely, change and growth. Regarding change, if you are the one responsible for selecting and/or implementing these new data center wide tools, you are changing the jobs and potentially the professional destinies of the techies that will be using these tools. Don’t be mistaken, effective change management is partially good sales techniques. Regarding growth, if you are using these tools to build a state-of-the-art virtual cloud infrastructure, you may need to convince programmers and project owners alike that your new environment is industrial strength and is advantageous to use. This also requires a certain level of sales savvy.
Acronym Aware: This wider interaction with people from other parts of your IT group brings with it the need to know the jargon used in all these various technical silos. The reason is that if you don’t understand the jargon, not only will you not understand what people are talking about, but you will not be taken seriously by the people who use it as part of their daily speech.
Holistic Mind Set: Lastly, you must broaden your mind, not only your understanding and your skills. Using great tools like those offered by CiRBA and others requires not just an understanding of how the tool works, it also requires an understanding of how data centers as a whole work. This broadened technical vision is easy for some, hard for others, but doable for all.
Andrew Hillier is co-founder and CTO of CiRBA and can be found at www.CiRBA.com.
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.