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Problems of the career development in the software companies

The human factor:

According to a research of the companies, specializing in the analysis of IT-business, 80% of the critical failures in IT systems — the human factor. Tom DeMarco, well-known in the IT industry as the specialist in the project management, provides more detailed statistics: about 15% of all software projects ended with nothing — they were canceled, interrupted or postponed or the results gave useless products. In the case of the bigger projects, the result is even worse: they get the failure in 25% of the projects, the duration of which ranged from 25 man-years.In the majority of situations, there was not any failure because of the technology.

Also according to statistics, the success dependents 85% on the social skills (soft skills) and only 15% on the domain knowledge and technology (hard skills).

What do these numbers mean?

Firstly, that the bigger part of the problems in IT-projects — human nature.

Secondly, they show that the success depends primarily on the ability to interact with people, but not from the knowledge of the subject area. Thirdly, "soft skills" should be developed not less than "hard". This means that a whole list of issues and challenges a specialist who plans to grow in IT must be able to cope with, in the area of human relations.

Careers in IT:

The Professional way in IT usually begins when the person joins the company and starts to work. Most likely, this job is interesting to him, so he tries to understand better what he does, and to deepen knowledge. To do this, the employee begins to visit the thematic forums and conferences, read articles and books. Of course, sooner or later the work of such person starts to bring more significant results. At a certain point it becomes noticeable to the user and the employer and the employee «goes up»- so his surrounding is changing. For example, if he grew to the management level, he has own team of subordinates. In addition, of course, managers, customers, and colleagues will be in the surrounding of such an employee.

But let us examine the situation when one day the employee do not send on time to the customer a report or have not provided the complete information. If it is critically important to the customer, he can tell his friend, who could be a potential client of the company. So let’s suppose, this friend knows many good things about the company and wants to use its services. However,  at the same time, he requests to not work with the person about whom he recently received a negative review. As we see, obstacles to career growth may be not in the area of knowledge technologies and exclusively in the field of human relations – therefore, it is important to work on these relationships.

Career surrounding

It turns out that in those organizations where the atmosphere in working with leaders has been the most favorable developer works easier, and climbs the career ladder faster. But as we saw earlier, the presence of the immediate superior career environment does not end there. This list includes customer; employees/colleagues; team. The career of the individual employee is developing in the interaction of communication with people interested in it, the problems of not technological character are there. However, as we will see later, the boss and the customer are the key engines of your career.

What should we do?

The first thing to do is to recognize the existence of the problems of the development and understand where on these issues are you. The second is to understand who are the key players in your career and to work closely with them. The third is to determine at what level of confidence/visibility you are in relation to your customer and supervisor. And, finally, start to work on the conscious improvement of the situation. These simple sketches will help you to reverse the stagnation and show in which direction it’s better to move.

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