In Part 1 of this post I’ve shared my assessment of how my career has progressed so far since I joined the IT workforce and I mentioned the things that I like and the ones I don’t. In this post I will expand further on the comments that I mentioned under The Future and* How To Get There* sections.
In those sections I noted that I like working with new technologies and that I really enjoy doing R&D to find the best ways of utilizing technology to solve business problems as well as being passionate about improving things and making them better. In addition, I referred to some of the limitations I’ve faced over my career that I think are preventing me from walking down my desired career path. To address this I posed the question of how this can change, where I pointed out the possibility of pursuing things like Microsoft Certifications.
The Actual Problem
Before I talk more about certifications I first need to establish what I actually view as the problem I’m trying to address. Following on from part 1, in simple terms, the problem is that even though I’ve achieved and learnt a lot over my career in the past few years, I’m not where I want to be.
What Is It That I Want
So given the above – as established from Part 1 of this post – what I need is change. In order to be able to make that change I need to first define what it is I actually want, what is it that I wish to do. I’ve been thinking about this for a while and I think I have some ideas. Here are some of them in no particular order:
1) Work with new Microsoft Technologies
I’ve been interested in Microsoft as a company for a long time and since being involved in the Microsoft Student Partner program while studying at university; I wanted to work with MS technologies. Throughout my career so far I’ve been exposed to various offerings from Microsoft, but as of late, a lot of what I work with is somewhat old. In the developer space, Microsoft – and also other companies/organisations– have been constantly pushing out and adopting new tech and in recent times they have become much faster with new releases …etc. As a result, it becomes very difficult to continue being up to date if one doesn’t have the opportunity to work with the new offerings day to day. This is the reason I think certifications might be a good way to close that gap but can this be a catalyst for change?
When it comes to development in the Microsoft space there’s obviously a huge variety of offerings and one cannot know everything. Therefore, if I were to pick some areas I would like to be more involved in specifically I would be choosing the following: Windows Azure/*Web Apps, ALM and possibly also *Windows Store apps. The good thing is, all these topics have certification exams that cover them as can be seen in the latest visual studio developer certifications. The value of new technologies and latest trends is always debatable, but they exist for a reason and in my view, it’s important to be relevant & current.
The question then is, would an investment in these certifications be enough to facilitate the change I’m after? The hard yards can be done but before that, one needs to ensure that they’re going in the right direction, especially when one is self-sponsored. If not, then what else can be done?
Scrum is being increasingly used as a way for agile software project management/lifecycle approach. I’ve been exposed to SCRUM in a previous role and I think that approach makes sense in many ways. However, I’ve never been formally involved in SCRUM and would be interested in being exposed more to that. In saying this, from a knowledge.learning perspective, I believe that SCRUM certifications like Certified SCRUM Master/Developer would tie in well with the Microsoft Visual Studio ALM certificates available. So to me, these make sense to be bundled together.
3) Getting involved
In addition to the interests I’ve mentioned in points 1 & 2, I enjoy attending and being involved as much as I can in technology events. Where possible, I make an effort to attend local user group events, tech conferences …etc. I find these activities/events among the best ways to be familiar with what’s out there. I would love to do more of that on regular basis. That’s a reason I’m keen on change, as due to the way things are at the moment I’m not able to fulfil this interest fully. Work/life balance?
4) Learn, Share & Grow
Last but not least, I enjoy constantly learning, I’m always open for new ideas and for contributing/sharing what I learn and know. This is one of the reasons I maintain this blog, it’s my window to share things I’ve learnt about and to interact with people like you out there. I like to refer to it as my ‘Online Connection’. Recently I haven’t been able to blog as much as I would like but that’s something I’m working on changing.
I also value learning from others’ experiences and from making mistakes as well as learning by demand – when facing challenges/tasks that I don’t know how to resolve and am in pursuit for solutions. This is applicable in the workplace – solving business problems – and outside that too.
When it comes to sharing, I believe that this makes a lot of difference in many ways. From my experiences in the past, I have found that sharing is very valuable for achieving good outcomes. I like to think of it as this: *an idea in your mind is worth nothing when it stays there. If you let it out, it could be worth something. *I have learnt that it pays off to speak up! It has made me appreciate that I’m a good thinker who is capable of adding value. That’s why teams that collaborate well are able to produce good results. Thus, learning and sharing facilitates growth.
Now whether or not the things I mentioned above are sensible and achievable, I guess it depends. I now know that’s what I want/might need to realise my potential but I would be interested to know your thoughts.