Am I a Software Developer or an IT Networker?
Upon interviewing candidates, I'm often presented with the following simple question: "In which department do you think my skills would be most useful?" Some applicants know exactly which career path they want to take, but many applicants are unsure. Through this article, I hope to help you further consider where you may best fit in the field of technology.
Determining Your Career Path
Since becoming a part of the team at Brave River Solutions, I have been actively involved in interviewing technology candidates with a variety of educational backgrounds and skill sets ranging from computer science and software engineering to network information technology and video game design. However, I have encountered individuals in the middle of a 4-year program who had the option of having a concentration in their study, but their minds are often clouded. The same scenario exists for those who have real world business experience within both fields and are trying to determine where they will excel in their future endeavors.
Most people working in any technology field are familiar with computers in terms of the way they are designed and function, basic problem solving, and standard operating programs. However, a software developer who also enjoys solving network issues or installing printers may not necessarily want to be assigned these tasks as part of their daily work routine.
Below are a few characteristics to help you determine which road to take when it comes to your career.
- Curious: To have the want to understand new things and research unfamiliar terms.
- Pragmatic: Having the ability to make a value judgment about what is really important, valuing practical outcomes and getting the job done.
- Focused: Having the ability to work towards the completion of a task with minimal distraction
- Creative: Seeing new ways to do things that others may not see; coming up with new ideas and approaches.
- Fast Learner: Can quickly research, understand and use unfamiliar software technologies, tools and languages.
- Honest: Being able to admit to mistakes as well as when admitting when you are unsure of something.
- Problem Solver: Knowing how to attack a problem and having the tenacity to solve difficult problems using the appropriate tools.
- Good Communicator: Proficient interaction through verbal and non-verbal communication whether it be client emails, co-worker emails, phone conversations, documentation, proposals, etc.
- Flexible: The ability to adapt to any situation and take new direction or change priorities with short notice.
- Persistent: Taking the time needed to get something done or learn something new.
- Patient: Having the ability to stay calm under pressure and problem solve to resolve issues.
- Good Communicator: Both verbal and technical writing skills will help a computer-savvy person explain complex concepts to those who have limited knowledge of computers.
- Optimistic: Staying positive during a time of technical crisis can ease tension.
- Flexible: Often times IT positions are not a 9-5 job. Being able to serve your clients any time of day or night in order to resolve issues is of upmost importance.
- Knowledgeable: Keeping up to date on the latest trends and operating programs in order to offer the best products on the market.
- Analytical: Networkers are the problem solvers. Having an analytical skills that can be applies to solve problems or develop new ideas is the key to success.
- Detail-Oriented: Having the ability to pay close attention to detail to ensure everything works correctly and efficiently.
- Versatile: Having the ability to multi-task and be 'hands on' in projects is a daily occurrence for IT professionals.
- Team Player: Though many tasks may be completed on an individual basis, there are equally those that require you to work as part of a team and work towards a common goal.
- Well-disposed: The ability to provide friendly customer service, even during intense situations.
These are just some of the many characteristics that differentiate between a back-end software developer and a hands-on IT networker or specialist. Understanding your individual personality, along with your interests will be the final determining factor in which career path best suits professional goals.
We welcome you to visit our career page at any time. Though we may not always be hiring, we encourage you to learn more about how you can potentially become a part of the Brave River team. To view available positions, you can follow this link. And as always, we are only a phone call away at 401-828-6611.