Not all experience is created equal. Some types of project experience count as being more relevant than others simply because employers place a higher value on them. Here is why:
Getting experience in areas that require innovation or cutting edge skills for example counts more because that is where a lot of money is being spent and where there is more exposure or risk!
Employers hire those with experience in the types of projects they are financially vested in, so they can increase their chances of success or mitigate risk, makes sense right?
Here is some common sense advice … “Go Where The Money Is“!
The Web & Software Development Industry employs / hires a lot of web oriented professionals because companies are constantly investing in their web / software development projects
Information Technology / Software Development projects are funded with the belief that they can reduce costs, increase efficiency, streamline operations or business processes and increase sales.
In the article titled: How To Get Extensive Hands-on Experience In Information Technology I discussed the make / break role that hands-on web / software project experience plays in your career regardless of whether you are a business analyst, project manager, software developer, software tester, technical writer, database developer or data analyst.
In part 2 of the article series, I will discuss the types of hands-on project experience that are likely to jump-start your career!
Get Leadership Experience
You may be aware of the need to get hands-on experience in technical skills (UML, Use Cases, Object Oriented Design, Manual Testing, etc.) but are you aware of the need to get leadership experience?
Even if you are technically qualified, without demonstrating or showing some leadership experience, you may still fail to impress hiring managers.
Here is an example of a question that you may get at a job interview about your leadership experience:
“When was the last time you demonstrated initiative and how did your actions significantly or positively affect the outcome of your project?”
Get Database Experience
Enterprise software development projects incorporate a significant amount of database functionality.
Regardless of whether you are a business analyst, project manager or software tester, database experience will stand you in good stead in your career.
For Example, As a project manager assigned to Information Technology (IT) projects, your role may be that of a Technical Project Manager (TPM), which means that you are expected to get your hands dirty, especially with databases.
As a TPM, hands-on database skills will help you supervise the completion of important software features, troubleshoot data migration issues or research ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) problems.
Database skills are now regarded as sine qua non, an essential ingredient of your job description, regardless of whether you are a business analyst, project manager, data analyst or software developer!
Get User Interface (UI) / Design Experience
The User Interface (UI) is key to the success of software development projects because customers typically care more about how their software or websites look than how it is constructed.
However, it takes a diverse set of skills to create the right user interface design / experience.
As a salesperson, you can help the web design / user interface team adhere to your organizations marketing goals while achieving their aesthetic goals.
As a business analyst, you can be intimately involved in the design of screens and page flows used on a website / software development project.
Web Business Analysis / User Interface (UI) Business Analysis is a real-world job / specialization for business analysts who cater to or specialize in front-end, user experience / user interface requirements.
As a project manager, user interface testing experience will look good on your resume and as a software developer, user interface design / development should be part of your core skills.
Get Software Testing Experience
Since the success of software projects sometimes depend on defects or bugs discovered by customers after a walk-through, your project will do well if all team members and not just software testers, take part in hands-on User Acceptance testing.
I am not saying that you must become a professional software tester. I am saying that some level of software testing experience will help you look like a well-rounded candidate regardless of whether you are a business analyst, project manager or computer programmer.
In closing, try to work on software / web development projects because there is typically a lot of work for professionals with experience in those sectors.
Regardless of your professional background (business analysis, project management, data analysis, computer programming, etc.), work on getting leadership, database, software testing and user interface (UI) hands-on experience so that your profile will be that of a well-rounded candidate who has taken the time to align his / her career with the current hiring needs / trends in the Information Technology industry.
Thanks & Best Wishes, IT Career Coach
This article is #2 of a 2 article series. The first installation of this article (part 1) may be viewed here …
You may review the references for this article series below.
- Learn more: The Most Important Thing on Your Resume
- Learn more: Which Courses or Certifications Guarantee A Job?
- Learn more: Can Certifications Take The Place Of Experience?
- Learn more: How To Get Computer Programming Experience
- Learn more: Stuck in a College Mindset After Graduation
- Learn more: Which Software Development Life Cycle Is Best?
- Learn more: Can You Perform? Prove It!
- Learn more: How To Get Extensive Hands-on Experience In Information Technology