5 key weapons to be a successful IT engineer

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This article shows the main skills that every IT engineer must have to be successful in an organization. As other careers have requirements and needs to be productive in daily journey, IT segment is not different. Actual organizations are every day more exigent with the experience and knowledge that should be come by default with the applicants. This scenario obligate to IT professionals to improve their capacities not only with courses and seminars, field experience and some non-technical skills are also necessary to achieve the level that every manager will expect in the resume and interviews.

Every weapon must be worked and improved in the daily work experience, the result will be a sum of point by point achievement, by example, a project manager will grow in capabilities of leadership and communication, probably failing sometimes but learning in retrospective what was the reason of the failure.

The five key weapons which every IT engineer must be armed are:

1. Coding knowledge

Everybody knows that IT is in essence a set of systems created with code and used to create, control, design and handle more code. For this reason is very important to know the fundaments of coding. The logic to create a program, debug and fix existing code.

As program manager or lead of development team coding knowledge is needed to understand the estimation, sizing, timing and logic of the products that will be implemented in order to avoid bad planning and support the team accordingly.

Coding trends is a must. To know which programing languages are more used today, and which ones are dropping, is a needed adaptation tool for personal improvement and also to have an updated team.

2. Communication

At all levels, communication represent a very important skill, in this article I will explain how the lack of this skill, affects to performance and comfort in daily work.

Professionally, you will be capable to tailor your vocabulary to the audience, improving the attention and understanding of them. As part of your career growth, written, speaking and other ways to communicate will be an important evaluation factor. Listening is also part of the communication skills, understand and give the time to hear to other people is a key to expect the same behavior from them.

A good communication starts from personal to enterprise, a boss with lack of communication will never achieve the goals that initially planned with the team. A misunderstanding will conduct to over costs and unmotivated group.

Lastly, communication is key to understand what the client really needs and expect, which we all know as scope.

Kano model is a perfect communication framework to understand how clients think in relation to their quality expectations. A good communicator understand what client expect (the obvious, but usually not ask for), the wish (clients usually ask for this, but in their own understanding and words, empathy is needed to solve it), the unexpected (highly attractive for client) and even what client does not want (also not ask for) but impact negatively product or service perception.

3. Infrastructure

Normally, since developers to final users, the interaction with servers, software, network and other related items is permanent, for this reason a good understanding of that environment will ease the work at all levels.

Applications performance metrics generally are based on network, servers or operating systems but usually problem is in application code. An engineer should have the expertise and capability to evaluate the information and define the real cause of systems behavior.

4. Leadership

Team synergy will only be achieved with proper leadership. Leader should be able to listen and understand his team communications, in many ways. Capacity of negotiation helps to keep the team motivated and therefore productive.

The team must feel protected by the leader and not threatened by him. Usually people think that a good leader is equal to boss, but there are bosses that not are leaders and leaders that are not bosses, difference is based basically in the way to communicate each to other, good leader must give the confidence to the team to contact him any time to solve problems or even to comment some achievement. A special commitment exists from people to leader with the accomplishment of the work, it is not an obligation as is with the lack of leadership.

5. Self confidence

People won’t see your skills and capabilities if first you don’t have confidence in what you know and what you can be able to do.

You must be able to know where your doubts come from and react against your problems, this practice will improve your confidence and performance.

Confidence will be transferred to your team, and it’s important to get them confident in order to accomplish their goals properly.

Everybody knows that not exist the perfect professional who will accomplish all the requirements for a specific role, but from my point of view, these 5 skills are minimum necessary to have the base to perform any IT project with a certainty of success.


Marcelo Rodriguez

Is an IT expert with more than 10 years of dedicated work on Telecom companies, improving systems availability and performance, planning and implementing systems architecture, since hardware requirements to logical functionality.

Aligned with ITIL and PMP practices, leading accountable teams with proven success.
OPEX and CAPEX optimization, costs reduction, applying high technology solutions and processes improvement. Negotiated and built sustainable relationships with customers and vendors.