Bill Gates said the West is lacking talented IT workers. Representing the East, India is also heading towards a severe shortage of highly-skilled IT manpower. So now there is a great and broad chance for you, who live and breathe IT, to fill the gaps.
But keep in mind, that what the world is lacking is highly-talented IT workers, not average or even below average ones. Hence you must prepare and build yourself to be outstanding so the world chooses you.
Here are five quick tips for you so you won’t be just another IT worker:
1. Get Updated
The word “information” in IT is there for a reason. IT evolves very quickly. Things you learn today may be obsolete tomorrow. That’s why you must always update yourself with new information, knowledge, and skills if you want to keep up with others in IT industry.
2. Get Certified
You have built solutions in .NET Framework for 5 years. You think you are already a .NET expert, but does the market think so too? Larger companies usually recruit only certified workers. Some companies don’t ask if you are a graduate of Harvard, but they do ask if are a certified Java developer. Get certified and you will likely find your value much higher than before.
3. Get Connected
Gone are the days when a programmer sat in the corner, facing only his monitor and keyboard, typing cryptic codes only a computer could understand. Now you might still sit in the corner, facing your monitor and keyboard, but you must not only type cryptic codes. Instead get connected to other people. Share your knowledge, receive others. Today there are many ways to get connected even if you are not physically in touch. Online chatting, forums, blogs, wikis, and telephones to name a few.
Humans are social-beings. Naturally they enjoy doing things with others. Being an IT worker shouldn’t make you a nerd. Meeting other people lets you learn more and opens even more opportunities.
4. Predict the Market
Face it, there are way so many information and knowledge related to IT you won’t be able to digest them all even if you learn 24/7. Who cares if you are an ultra fast learner and able to learn at least 1 new technology everyday. There will be hundreds more the next day.
So be wise, learn only things you will need. Or better, learn only things the market will need. There are many languages to code in .NET: VB.NET, C#, Managed C++, J#, A#, APL, Chrome, NetCobol, F#, KPL, DotLisp, Ruby.NET, etc. Do you have to master them all? Will people seek you because you know a lot of programming languages? Predict the market. Find out what the market needs today or will need tomorrow. Master it and you will find yourself most welcomed.
5. Open Your Mind
Just because you are a developer in Microsoft platform doesn’t mean you only need to know the solution offered by Microsoft. There are a swarm of other vendors and technologies out there for you to explore. A vendor may be good in providing business solutions, but not in technical or other solutions. You can develop a solution using Oracle backend, Microsoft .NET framework as a frontend, and Linux in the middle for example. Do not limit yourself to certain vendor or technology. Your vendor and technology today might die tomorrow. And it is not uncommon in the IT industry.
Open your mind to innovation too. You don’t always have to think the way other people thinking. Think differently. Create new thinks. You could be the next Linus, Rasmus, Larry, or Bill, who knows.
Also open your mind to the world outside IT. Learn business, management, psychology, art, design or whatever knowledge relevant to what you want to achieve in the future. If you are a programmer but you don’t enjoy your job, don’t push yourself. Move to something else. You don’t have to make a radical maneuver. If you still want to be in IT industry but you hate coding, you can be a system analyst or database administrator for example. Or if you have a good managerial or business skill you can apply for a managerial position instead.
Enough for the tips, next things you will need are the perfect opportunity and a good luck.