Why strong IT skills alone won’t guarantee you success

The reason is simple: rapid commoditization of such skills.  This article demonstrates this reasoning.  Sure, the skills are in demand now, but were was typing skills 10-20 years ago.  To excel AND STAY in the IT industry over the next decade, obtaining these skills will no longer guarantee you success, as having such skills will become a requirement.  What respectable techie would put down “85 WPM” on their resume nowadays?  Yet, this practice was common a decade ago.

My prediction is that as video and audio becomes the de facto method of communication on the web,

What do you think?  What type(s) of skills would you need to acquire in order to safeguard your future?

IT Career Advice

InformationWeek posted this article on some advice on how to get ahead in an IT career. Though I do agree with most of it, I believe the author made it out to be easier than it sounds. Sure, these are all good things to concentrate on, but look at the trend in IT employment. Career advancement opportunities from lower level IT jobs into a more senior position oftentimes require more than just years of experience. Granted, for some, luck and hard work may carry you forward, but I have seen plenty of instances where hard workers or tech stars are retained in their positions for YEARS without any movement, simply because they are good at what they do but their skills may provide less value to the organization if they were slotted upwards, or outwards.

My personal advice? Pick two technologies and hone your skills on them until you are considered an expert in the field, then start shopping around for a buyer of your time. Then, after you have established yourself comfortably in a decent role as a SME, focus on the business aspects of your chosen technologies.

The article said “‘Many veterans echo the advice of Dan Cobb, VP of the IT placement business of staffing firm Hudson: “Work your way into something you love, but the broader your skills, the more marketable you’ll be.'” — This is only true once you get comfortable in a technical position, at least in my experience.

What do you think?