Author Topic: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?  (Read 9538 times)

Offline Andy @ Allerton

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #40 on: December 2, 2012, 10:14:32 AM »
If there aren't many technological jobs going then is there a point in looking for one? Unfortunately looking at what I'm good at (Java, Android, C#) I am a script kiddy! Not something I even like to associate myself with anyway. I miss the days of being 10 years old, using Amstred, Spectrum, Acorn, Windows 3.11, OS/2 etc. and the world seeming like a technical jungle.

Depends what you want to do. To be fair IT goes in cycles from Thin clients (Not much processing up front and a back end system) to thick clients (Where the processing us done on the terminal/workstation). Depending on which cycle is 'in' at the moment then the opportunities of doing something interesting changes.

The current cycle is back end databases with thin clients running across browers and alternatively Oracle-like systems with built in RAD development cycles.

It might well change though to something better. RAD just doesnt' tend to work. Like most basic stuff, if you use it the way it's intended with competant people then it's great. But the client usually gets involved and sticks loads of unnecessary bollocks into it which wrecks it. Again this is nothing new - that was happening even in the 80s where you'd get something like Express (IBM) and PC-Express (PC) which were interlinked and the users thinking they could do their "Own IT" building decent systems and adding to it until the most basic tasks would take days to run.

So you get an 'in' and 'out' thing going on - businesses more or less ditching IT because it's expensive buying and utilising cheap shite with untrained staff and then after a few years realising that they were losing money because of inefficient systems that couldn't be fixed or modfied or maintained.

They never tend to learn. But you have to look at senior managers making the decisions. You can't really make good decisions on something you don't understand - especially if you think that it's a waste of money.
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Offline Andy @ Allerton

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #41 on: December 2, 2012, 10:18:41 AM »
I completed the very same degree about 18 months ago and wasn't sure which avenue to take. I got a job the week after I received my 2:1 working for a international truck manufacturing company in IT infrastructure. I found it tedious and it wasn't really challenging so I stayed for a year and then left for a job as a .net developer for a much smaller company. People say it's best to get a job for a large national/international company but so far in my short IT career I have found this to be the opposite, the larger companies have 100x more bureaucracy and hoops to jump through.

The job change has been great and now I'm sure I want to continue to be a software developer. So if your asking for advice I would say

1) Listen to Le Jake and make sure you get a 2:1 as that will make it much easier for you
2) Try out a variety of different roles until you find one you are happy with. Experience in any field will help your employment prospects

Done well getting a .NET job there. Probably the most interesting thing to be on at the moment.
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Offline WorldChampions

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #42 on: December 2, 2012, 10:22:01 AM »
Done well getting a .NET job there. Probably the most interesting thing to be on at the moment.

It's a shame it is mostly VB though! I prefer C# but out of the other 4/5 devs only 1 other would back me up!

Offline Chakan

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #43 on: December 2, 2012, 10:24:28 AM »
Currently searching for a job now, unfortunately my fantastic contract ran out just as the company hit a hiring freeze :(

So have 7 interviews lined up next week. Apparently a C# .Net developer with 10 years experience is in demand :P

Offline Caffeine

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #44 on: December 2, 2012, 10:27:06 AM »
If you want to be a good manager start with a job where you are actually doing work. Then naturally progress.

Nothing worse than Managers that were never technical.

Managers don't need to be technical. That's what technical people are for. Obviously the knowledge helps, but to say you *have* to be a techie to work in IT project management is just not true.

Offline Chakan

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #45 on: December 2, 2012, 10:28:40 AM »
Managers don't need to be technical. That's what technical people are for. Obviously the knowledge helps, but to say you *have* to be a techie to work in IT project management is just not true.

They don't have to be techies but it helps to understand where the techie is coming from when managing them.

The best manager I have ever worked for was a techie before and the worst boss I ever had came to the IT department from a telecomms background, didn't have an utter clue.

Offline Andy @ Allerton

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #46 on: December 2, 2012, 10:32:58 AM »
Managers don't need to be technical. That's what technical people are for. Obviously the knowledge helps, but to say you *have* to be a techie to work in IT project management is just not true.

I'm going off my own experience mate.

If you have a manager that's just a manager then that's fine as long as they are just paper pushing and doing timesheets/oncall admin and the like. But a non-technological manager tends to do more harm than good. They make decisions based on business pressures. They usually put pressure on the IT department to 'meet budget and deadlines' without realising that quick, fast schemes usually are low on quality and high on maintenance. What looks a great idea early on with cutting corners tends to boot you up the arse later on.

An experienced IT Bod tends to understand what technology is and what it does. They tend to make more decisions on reality rather than artificial business led ideals and standards.

Again - depends what they are from and what they are doing. In some cases supplying a quick, easy, cheap fix to a client can (cynically) make more money because of the known and expected maintenance costs which will then ensue.

Maybe I'm old fashioned in that I think IT should supply a good system with the right quality that will exceed the wishes of the user and will grow into the uses expected of it over time. Pay the money up front. Get a good job done. Don't cut corners and overall you'll be in a better position that with a system that is outdated on day one of the release, poor written, unexpandable and costly to maintain.
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Offline Andy @ Allerton

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #47 on: December 2, 2012, 10:38:14 AM »
They don't have to be techies but it helps to understand where the techie is coming from when managing them.

The best manager I have ever worked for was a techie before and the worst boss I ever had came to the IT department from a telecomms background, didn't have an utter clue.

I've had some horrific non technical managers across my career. Usually because they know they have no idea of what's going on they make stupid decisions then stick to them against any and all advice from people that actually know what they are doing. When they are told what will happen, it makes them more determined to 'stand up to IT people' and the results.. Well... I'm sure you've seen it yourself mate.

When you treat technical people like they are fucking teaboys or telesales operators then it's never going to be pretty. Nothing more demotivating than a manager that has absolutely no idea what they are doing or what their staff do.

You wouldn't put a telesales manager in charge of people at CERN or NASA and yet you get these same people managing multi billion pound IT contracts. Bizarre.
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Offline MHLC

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #48 on: December 2, 2012, 01:00:13 PM »
But a non-technological manager tends to do more harm than good. They make decisions based on business pressures. They usually put pressure on the IT department to 'meet budget and deadlines' without realising that quick, fast schemes usually are low on quality and high on maintenance. What looks a great idea early on with cutting corners tends to boot you up the arse later on.

IT is a means to an end, not the end itself. The needs of the business always underpin and provide justification for any project, whether it's IT or whatever. The tail does not wag the dog and it doesn't need to end in the calamitous fashion you describe. If things were as dire as your experience the industry would be dead in the water.

Have worked with a few managers and Project managers who were not technical people, but were exceptionally good at their respective jobs and ensured complex projects were successfully delivered. I learnt some useful things from them and also appreciated they listened to and respected the views of engineers.

I've also had managers that came from highly technical positions but were hopeless because they could not impose themselves or influence others in management circles.

If you work in one place for a considerable period of time I can imagine the scenarios you describe as things become stale and predictable. I tend to mix permanent roles with the old bit of contracting and enjoy changing the environment once in a while. It also tends to ensure you're going to a place where a new project is about to start or just started, hence them hiring.

Offline Caffeine

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #49 on: December 2, 2012, 10:22:04 PM »
I'm going off my own experience mate.

If you have a manager that's just a manager then that's fine as long as they are just paper pushing and doing timesheets/oncall admin and the like. But a non-technological manager tends to do more harm than good. They make decisions based on business pressures. They usually put pressure on the IT department to 'meet budget and deadlines' without realising that quick, fast schemes usually are low on quality and high on maintenance. What looks a great idea early on with cutting corners tends to boot you up the arse later on.

An experienced IT Bod tends to understand what technology is and what it does. They tend to make more decisions on reality rather than artificial business led ideals and standards.

Again - depends what they are from and what they are doing. In some cases supplying a quick, easy, cheap fix to a client can (cynically) make more money because of the known and expected maintenance costs which will then ensue.

Maybe I'm old fashioned in that I think IT should supply a good system with the right quality that will exceed the wishes of the user and will grow into the uses expected of it over time. Pay the money up front. Get a good job done. Don't cut corners and overall you'll be in a better position that with a system that is outdated on day one of the release, poor written, unexpandable and costly to maintain.

I suppose it depends exactly what we are talking about and the scale of projects you mean. If you are talking about implementing small, local IT solutions then I would imagine technological experience is more important- you are working in smaller teams, and potentially/probably with smaller suppliers, therefore the greater the depth of knowledge the better. My experience from large-scale government IT programmes is that there is absolutely a need for the skills of people who are not necessarily technical. And I'm not just talking about paper pushing.

Besides, I don't necessarily agree with what you said. The requirements of the business should always drive the solution. It often pays to have people on the other side of the debate to the technical dudes who want to do the shiniest, most exciting thing they can (generally, in my experience!).

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #50 on: December 2, 2012, 10:40:26 PM »
Is CCNA, CCNP & EMC's Information Storage & Management certificates good enough as a starting point?
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Offline Lusty

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #51 on: December 3, 2012, 12:23:51 AM »
Security is the next big thing, get your self qualified in the field of ethical hacking and forensics, good professionals in this field are hard to come by.

Once qualified / certified you can join a good audit company e.g. Deloitte PwC or even BT who provide a lot consultancy.

Like with anything in life the more you put in the more you'll get out.  Good luck.

This is good advice, security is huge and only going to get bigger with some of the regulations coming up.  I recommend SANS training if you're interested but it's expensive.

Offline Valore

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #52 on: December 3, 2012, 06:59:44 AM »
I've had some horrific non technical managers across my career. Usually because they know they have no idea of what's going on they make stupid decisions then stick to them against any and all advice from people that actually know what they are doing. When they are told what will happen, it makes them more determined to 'stand up to IT people' and the results.. Well... I'm sure you've seen it yourself mate.

When you treat technical people like they are fucking teaboys or telesales operators then it's never going to be pretty. Nothing more demotivating than a manager that has absolutely no idea what they are doing or what their staff do.

You wouldn't put a telesales manager in charge of people at CERN or NASA and yet you get these same people managing multi billion pound IT contracts. Bizarre.

Yep, and I think it goes both ways.

Not having a manager with some insight into what he's meant to be in charge of, but is good at the 'managing' stuff only works if you have a team that's self motivated and has the interests of the company at heart.

Otherwise you get a bunch of lazy techies spewing jargon and explanations the guy doesn't have a clue about to fob him off, and convincing him something straightforward that should take an hour of honest work drags out to two weeks. This is the same for any field, not just IT.

As a manager for several years, and jumping into fields I have no expertise about, you're really compelled to learn a bit about you're managing, and not doing so is the equivalent of negligence for a manager.

The more sadistic of my kind enjoy it because there's nothing more satisfying in pulling the rug out from under someone who's trying to bullshit you because he thinks you don't know better, and watching him squirm.

But in general, making an effort to know something basic about what other people are dealing with helps in making them feel valued, and in turn they tend to be more receptive to your own set of concerns and requirements.
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Offline mulfella

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #53 on: December 3, 2012, 10:01:58 AM »
Try SPOCE.

I completed the PRINCE2 Practitioner exams after a course with them. The instructor was excellent.

www.spoce.co.uk

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Offline MHLC

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #54 on: December 3, 2012, 10:12:06 AM »
Is CCNA, CCNP & EMC's Information Storage & Management certificates good enough as a starting point?

Certainly wont do you any harm :D If it's storage certification you're considering then have a look here.

Having certified engineers is good for a company in the sense they can sell their products/services as being backed by highly skilled staff. I've also seen with NetApp certification that it allowed my last employer to negotiate better rates the more NCDA/NCIE certified engineers they had.

It also validates your own claims about your skills.

Offline Harinder

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #55 on: December 3, 2012, 10:34:22 PM »
Something to bear in mind if you're thinking of going into IT nowdays is that there aren't many actual technological jobs going. Most of it is shite like JSP, Javascript, HTML, script fiddling, kiddy SQL bollocks and piss like Access, VB and the like. The days to have got into tekky stuff has long gone. Companies don't want to pay for IT professonals to do top work. They want it cheap and they want it fast. Most people nowdays are just script kiddies that did a degree. From that point of view, it's as accessible as it's ever been.

If you want a challenge, try getting work doing something tekky. My job is easy but at least varied across several platforms - Windows, Linux, Unix and a variety of minis/mainframes.

You don't want to be stuck doing something mindnumbing like VB or Java* for the rest of your life.



*Java is a good language and you can do great stuff with it but because of cost, most usage is basic and tiresome

Which industry? In mine there is a lot of gearing towards a career as a Technical Fellow/Super Specialist type person. The so called go to persons for technologies and process from the hardware and software side
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Offline lachesis

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #56 on: December 4, 2012, 08:40:28 AM »
Is CCNA, CCNP & EMC's Information Storage & Management certificates good enough as a starting point?

The jump from CCNP from CCNA is quite big. If you are pursuing CCNP then I'd possibly specialise in networking full stop. If you're concentrating on storage you won't really need the switching and routing as heavy as that. Probably best to look at Brocade certifications or the Cisco storage exam to compliment the EMC stuff. You'll be working with fabric managers mainly.

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #57 on: December 4, 2012, 10:32:13 AM »
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I fell into working in IT via a degree in business systems

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server builds or move into a softer management role like PM or Business Analyst.

can you explain this in detail please?

what is a degree in business systems?does it involve learning languages?

are there business analyst roles for fresh grads and again is any knowledge of a language required or is a business background enough?
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Offline WhoHe

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #58 on: December 4, 2012, 11:21:24 AM »
This seems like a good deal for Cisco certification, it is online training and from Groupon http://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/west-london/career-match/13776848?CID=UK_AFF_1047_10_1_1&CID=UK_AFF_1047_10_1_1&utm_source=aff_1047&utm_medium=aff_10&utm_campaign=aff_1&utm_content=aff_1&nlp

Not my thing but seems cheap enough to me.

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #59 on: December 4, 2012, 11:32:23 AM »
The jump from CCNP from CCNA is quite big. If you are pursuing CCNP then I'd possibly specialise in networking full stop. If you're concentrating on storage you won't really need the switching and routing as heavy as that. Probably best to look at Brocade certifications or the Cisco storage exam to compliment the EMC stuff. You'll be working with fabric managers mainly.
Well my major in university was about things close to what is taught in CCNP so it isn't that quite of a big jump for me, I also took a course in university which is an introduction to the EMC course I mentioned & I liked it so that's why I want to do the certificate right now.
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Offline Caffeine

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #60 on: December 5, 2012, 12:05:27 PM »

are there business analyst roles for fresh grads and again is any knowledge of a language required or is a business background enough?

You don't need any prior technical knowledge of a language to be a business analyst. BA roles are about business strategy, processes and requirements.

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #61 on: December 5, 2012, 12:52:09 PM »
You don't need any prior technical knowledge of a language to be a business analyst.

Or social skills. Or tact. Or manners. Or Conscience.

Offline Harinder

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #62 on: December 5, 2012, 02:44:30 PM »
Or social skills. Or tact. Or manners. Or Conscience.

Or ability  :P
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Offline Graeme

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #63 on: December 9, 2012, 09:24:32 AM »
« Last Edit: December 9, 2012, 09:26:15 AM by Graeme »

Offline Weescotty

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #64 on: December 13, 2012, 10:30:03 AM »
I moved to Oz nearly 3 years ago and it seems more and more companies are looking for IT guys with a broad range of skills.
Jobs for very specific skills seem to be drying up, or are inundated with applicants.

I have been very lucky in my 15 years -
10 years in the US - 1 man IT dept, working with Windows, Cisco and Oracle
3 years back in the UK - 1 man IT dept, Windows, Cisco, SQL
2 years in Oz - 1man IT dept, Windows, Cisco, C/Side

Tried working as part of a 12 man team when I first got to Oz, hated it.

I would say ( just my opinion ) the more disciplines you can become competent in ( not necessarily expert in ) , the better chance of landing a job with varied aspects of IT.

Offline Caffeine

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2012, 04:35:53 PM »
Or social skills. Or tact. Or manners. Or Conscience.

::)

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #66 on: December 15, 2012, 09:18:08 AM »
Based on your desire for Asia travel and IT, I would recommend you concentrate on the business end of IT and get yourself into managed services and outsourcing consultancy. It's important that you keep up with your tech training though, especially development, as much of it is outsourced and you'll need knowledge and experience at whatever level you are at.

Then you're looking at applying for an analyst/grad level job at Accenture, IBM, HP, CapGemini, CSC, Infosys, Atos, Wipro, Tata etc....

I'm in consultancy. It's hard work and can be fairly unfriendly work/life balance. But, the rewards are very good, opportunities abundant and the work varied.

Offline filthy1980

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #67 on: December 16, 2012, 10:57:50 PM »


Project manager: The amount of non technical project managers makes me cry. Get a PRINCE2 cert and then look at starting as a project admin and work your way up. Potential earnings are decent and essentially it's a glorified co-ordinator role.



got to take issue with you here my friend, from the outside looking in it does look like glorified co-ordination but it takes the application of tools and techniques to separate the wheat from the chaff 

Offline timiano

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #68 on: December 17, 2012, 08:26:35 AM »
got to take issue with you here my friend, from the outside looking in it does look like glorified co-ordination but it takes the application of tools and techniques to separate the wheat from the chaff 

Agreed. The best project managers I know have one key skill the others don't, and that's the ability to manage the customer effectively. The co-ordination side is relatively easy, especially for the creative, but it's the stakeholder management that is vitally important.

Offline filthy1980

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #69 on: December 17, 2012, 06:31:25 PM »
Agreed. The best project managers I know have one key skill the others don't, and that's the ability to manage the customer effectively. The co-ordination side is relatively easy, especially for the creative, but it's the stakeholder management that is vitally important.

in one

Offline Harinder

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #70 on: December 17, 2012, 11:58:10 PM »
Agreed. The best project managers I know have one key skill the others don't, and that's the ability to manage the customer effectively. The co-ordination side is relatively easy, especially for the creative, but it's the stakeholder management that is vitally important.

In my industry they like the ones who know what they are talking about technically and can deliver

The management sound bites are great for PMO level but doing the do valued higher
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Strip his knighthood https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47770

Offline timiano

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #71 on: December 18, 2012, 01:40:25 AM »
In my industry they like the ones who know what they are talking about technically and can deliver

The management sound bites are great for PMO level but doing the do valued higher

Not sure what industry you're in but I'd argue you need both. In my world you have three types of PM, those that aren't technical and don't know how to manage the customer. They're a waste of space and constitute a good majority of PMs I come across. They don't last very long.

The second type are the the technical PMs, who are very good at driving delivery teams to get shit done, but quite often too tied to the delivery team and quite poor at managing stakeholders. While they might come across as valuable, as they know what they're talking about, they're a problem because they don't always do what's best for the project overall. They're typically can-do and can be weak around change control and deliverables.

The best PMs I've used, are the ones that can keep the customer away from the delivery teams to focus on delivery, and have complete control over the deliverables and stakeholder management. They can second-guess what the customer is thinking and almost manage them politically. Their focus is delivery against margin and always business first. These guys to me are worth their weight in gold, as they protect the project commercially.

Offline filthy1980

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #72 on: December 18, 2012, 10:46:33 AM »

Offline Caffeine

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #73 on: December 18, 2012, 12:25:59 PM »
Agreed. The best project managers I know have one key skill the others don't, and that's the ability to manage the customer effectively. The co-ordination side is relatively easy, especially for the creative, but it's the stakeholder management that is vitally important.

No mate, project managing is super easy and all any organisation needs to run effectively is a load of know-it-all boffins to do everything.

Quote
The best PMs I've used, are the ones that can keep the customer away from the delivery teams to focus on delivery, and have complete control over the deliverables and stakeholder management. They can second-guess what the customer is thinking and almost manage them politically. Their focus is delivery against margin and always business first. These guys to me are worth their weight in gold, as they protect the project commercially.

Hi!

Offline Harinder

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #74 on: December 18, 2012, 02:35:33 PM »
Not sure what industry you're in but I'd argue you need both. In my world you have three types of PM, those that aren't technical and don't know how to manage the customer. They're a waste of space and constitute a good majority of PMs I come across. They don't last very long.

The second type are the the technical PMs, who are very good at driving delivery teams to get shit done, but quite often too tied to the delivery team and quite poor at managing stakeholders. While they might come across as valuable, as they know what they're talking about, they're a problem because they don't always do what's best for the project overall. They're typically can-do and can be weak around change control and deliverables.

The best PMs I've used, are the ones that can keep the customer away from the delivery teams to focus on delivery, and have complete control over the deliverables and stakeholder management. They can second-guess what the customer is thinking and almost manage them politically. Their focus is delivery against margin and always business first. These guys to me are worth their weight in gold, as they protect the project commercially.

Investment Banks. Contractor in Front Office IT. On the delivery side. As a PM  ;D

Because of the nature of the systems the last paragraph has to be blurred into the delivery cycle. The customer, in this case traders calculating risk or middle office teams looking at the risk feeding up/downstream, are involved from SIT going into UAT to ensure functionality and correctness

Usually for this the technical ones (by technical I mean strong on business process as it is extremely intricate on calculation as well as dev cycle and supporting processes) are better. The problem with the stakeholder management focused folks at investment banks is that they become very bullshitty very quickly as they don't get the fundamentals of what it takes to get something from inception to delivery. They tend to then market themselves as programme managers and get hit with a stick as hard as I can find  :thumbup

In an industry where a lot of bullshit happens it's understandable how they get to such a place
Just clicked on the main board and my virus scanner came back with this

"When we visited this site, we found it exhibited one or more risky behaviors."


:lmao

Strip his knighthood https://submissions.epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/47770

Offline Graeme

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2013, 08:16:38 PM »
Shame I don't live in Milton Keynes, I would love one of these IT jobs.

Offline timiano

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #76 on: January 10, 2013, 08:45:24 PM »
Shame I don't live in Milton Keynes, I would love one of these IT jobs.

I've done a bit over at MacLaren, Virgin Racing (Marussia) and last year Lotus. It's not all it's cracked up to be unless you're working on race track tech. They usually have plenty of money to spend which is all good though.

Offline Graeme

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2013, 08:55:26 PM »
I'm sure it beats looking after VM's mail platform :D

Offline timiano

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #78 on: January 10, 2013, 09:03:11 PM »
I'm sure it beats looking after VM's mail platform :D

It really does :)

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Re: RAWK IT professionals - any career advice?
« Reply #79 on: July 23, 2018, 11:31:41 AM »
Guys

Just putting my feelers out here and need some info re:PRINCE2

I've been in IT/Telecomms technical support for years and worked with numerous Project managers over my time.  I now fancy making a move into project management and get myself back out in the field a bit.

Is the PRINCE2 foundation course worth doing and will it stand m in better shape to making the move into PM?

cheers