The specialist must be in his place - this will allow him and the company-employer to be successful and develop. This is true for the IT-sphere, as well as for any other. However, an IT professional is not an ordinary office employee, and he needs a special approach. In this article I tried to summarize the experience of a number of IT-companies in the selection and promotion of technical staff.Myths about IT
Of course, to work with IT-staff has its own specifics, but the differences between IT employees and ordinary users are often exaggerated. Here are the most common misconceptions:
- IT people are very peculiar. In almost everything. For a fellow user it is not clear how to deal with them, motivate, evaluate, train.
- IT people speak their own language. From their side, the language of ordinary users is avian. Agree extremely difficult.
- IT employs people who are guided solely by logic and rational thinking. Emotions are alien to them.
But its specific features and jargon are inherent in any profession. The accountant also speaks a language understandable only to other accountants. What is not a kind of person - a journalist? And so on. At the same time, no matter how strongly these people identified themselves with the profession, their, most often, actions are determined by universal motives.
Therefore, when organizing the work of IT specialists, the same principles of interaction will be fair as for other employees. There are also features that must be considered to achieve the goals of an IT company.Programmers are not only valuable code
What criteria do IT specialists usually select? Naturally, technical skills come to the fore, the list of which is entered into the text of the vacancy. For example, the desired programmer must possess a certain set of languages, environments, technologies, debugging tools ... And if the knowledge and experience of a potential employee (at least stated at the interview) perfectly meet the requirements outlined in the vacancy, then this is the one who needs ? According to this principle, many IT companies are recruiting specialists. However, there is another approach. In many small companies (including start-ups) as well as large and successful companies, managers tend to dig deeper into technical competencies at the interview, to feel "their employee" and weed out the "left". How to do it? Just talk. About the previous experience, plans for the future and on the topics distracted from the work. In many cases, this approach is justified. After all, how effectively a programmer can work depends largely on his ability to learn, responsibility, interest in overall success and the ability to interact within a team. As a rule, you should not make a choice on the basis of personal qualities to the detriment of professional ones, but it is good to check the values of the applicant with the values of the company and the manager. Differences will show up sooner or later and can seriously interfere with work.
As for professional skills, not so much experience, but the ability and willingness to learn is important. Indeed, in many cases it is enough to sit for several days (nights, hours, weeks) with a textbook in order to master the technology missing for the position.
Where IT managers come from
The classic situation is when the head of an IT company is a technical specialist, whom fate has forced to take control. But the nomination of a talented IT specialist for a management position can lead to the collapse of the project, and even the work of the entire company. So you can lose a high-level programmer and acquire a not-so-strong manager (which is often worse than none at all). Indeed, IT gurus rarely possess the necessary qualities and skills necessary for a manager. It is the ability to build communications, motivate subordinates, set goals, plan, etc. Such a set of qualities can often be found in an employee who is not very prominent in solving technical problems. It would be logical to entrust the leadership to him.
However, would the promotion of such an “average” specialist (in which the potential of a manager be visible) cause discontent in the team cause? Most likely no. There are several reasons for this. It is worth noting that IT professionals are not always eager to lead. Many, having tried themselves in the role of chief, happily return to their code - let the others do their best to clear papers and other people's problems. In addition, a leading technician often receives more than a direction manager and does not feel at all undervalued.
Motorola has found a solution for this problem. There, specialists are offered the opportunity to develop in one of two directions: technical or managerial. At a certain stage of his career, the employee decides what is closer to him - to supervise areas and projects in the technical part or to be responsible for administrative issues.
But to offer a senior position to a classroom technician is one of the possible extremes. Why not invite a professional manager to work as a project manager, even if he has no technical education and experience in IT? In this case, the person must necessarily have a technical vein, the ability to understand the documentation and evaluate the complexity of the tasks. A really talented manager (unless he is a 100% humanitarian) will be able to do it.
And yet, how to assemble an excellent IT-team, which will work on the result? Universal solutions do not exist. But, guided by the experience of other companies and their own deep understanding of the situation, one can find a solution even in very difficult cases.