Do You Want To Live An Inspired Life?
First, discover your passion and work a job you really love.
Second, turn your passion into a set of excellent skills using practice tests or quizzes.
Third, bring your passion to the market using Push (emailing your branded resumes) or PULL Techniques (Social Media Marketing).
Here is a question for you; Do You Really Love Your Job?
In a study of how exceptional, world-class or, successful people are produced, Daniel Coyle in his book “The Talent Code” says that it takes a combination of concentrated, difficult, skill-building practice, motivation or inspiration and master coaching to achieve success.
It has been said that to “keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the very definition of insanity.“
On the other hand, “if you want something you have never hard, you must do something you have never done!“
So, if your career is stagnating, step back and take an honest look at your work.
Is your work everything you had hoped for?
If the smell of fresh-brewed coffee is the biggest reward after you walk through the office door each day, it’s time to truly perk up your daily grind and reboot your career.
If you react negatively after reading a job description that requires cross functional skills, you may be throwing away a valuable learning opportunity!
Though the thought of working on a challenge outside your immediate area of expertise makes you uncomfortable, it will actually increase your value as a resource.
Information technology (IT) professionals are frequently asked to perform jobs completely different in nature from what they are hired or trained to do.
- Business Analysts on web development projects may be asked to create cascading style sheets (CSS), design user interfaces (UI) or perform user acceptance tests.
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Newsletter for Information Technology (IT) professionals including business analysts, computer programmers, data analysts, database developers, technical writers, project managers and software testers.
If you, have a challenging question about your career, submit it here and we will answer yours just as we are answering this question submitted by a technical writer titled: What Software Do I Learn to Become A Business Analyst? …
How do I learn or get the software knowledge that would make me a business analyst?
Perhaps you have been told that success depends on the choosing the right college major, getting into the best college or getting good grades?
This advice actually has no value in the real-world and as a matter of fact, it just ain’t true!
I’m really not knocking down your college degree, the recognition you gain from a top-rated college or the value of getting a 4.0 GPA.
No, just pointing you in the right direction …
The moment you get out of college, your college major, degree or GPA becomes history because you are now running a different race!
Blinders are useful in potentially distracting situations because they increase one’s ability to focus.
For example, blinders are useful for removing potentially distracting or scary scenes from a horse’s vision.
By preventing the horse from seeing everything in it’s peripheral vision, the rider can better control the horse’s focus or keep it on target.
So, what does “blinders on horses have to do with job descriptions”?
As you go about reading job descriptions and applying to jobs, you may become distracted, discouraged or even depressed by the skills or experience requirements posted on these job descriptions.
As a career coach, I receive lots of emails (from business analysts, computer programmers, project managers, software testers, etc.) about how to be successful.
Here is the answer in a nutshell: Knowledge + Skills + Experience = Career Success!
The key to getting results is deep, skill building, career-focused learning.
For example, if you read about “how twitter can help you get a job“, go to Twitter.com right away, create an account and start posting tweets on your area of interest.
Models like Agile, Extreme Programming, Scrum or Waterfall are used by project managers, business analysts, software developers or quality assurance analysts to describe how a project is managed or a software product is built.
The software development life cycle determines how risks are managed, business requirements documented, resources estimated and allocated, stakeholder expectations or customer feedback is managed and when software / quality assurance testing is performed.
Each software development model recommends a set of guidelines or best practices for developing software.
You may start a business analysts career by taking some of the courses discussed in this post.
Keep in mind that for business analysis careers, soft skills count as much or in some cases even more than hard skills.
So, don’t make the classical rookie mistake of focusing on the hard skill requirements to the detriment of your soft skills!
The list of formal, informal or college courses that you may study for a business analyst career include:
Here is the question: can you study all the subjects that you are passionate about through self study (by using the internet and textbooks) and still learn more than someone who goes to college for the same purpose?
Consider both sides of the debate. Forking over $40,000 and 4 years of your life to college gives you something that you can hang on your wall, a certificate that both you and your employers can be sure off.
While reading through the instruction manual or documentation for a new software or hardware, have you every stopped to think of the professional who wrote it … a Technical Writer?
Technical writers have to document systems, processes or product / software features in such a way that anyone reading the material can understand it with little or no additional outside help.
Technical writers may write or describe a very technical system to a general, less-than-technical audience.
At other times, technical writers may even write for a highly specialized, skilled or technical audience.
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.
In This post, I will answer questions on business analysis and software developer careers. Here is the first question:
Is Business Analysis A Good Fit For a Programmer With An ENFP Personality Type?
This question was submitted by Brenna (a computer programmer from South Africa), whose personality type on the Myers Briggs Personality Test is: ENFP (Extroverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiving).
Well, I get a number of questions on the relationship between learning and practicing better relational database design principles and writing better, faster or more efficient Sql queries.
In this post, I will answer all these questions or the variations of them that focus on the necessity of learning database design when all you want to do is to write sql queries!
Here are some of the variations of this question:
Do I need to master relational database design in other to write better Sql queries?
Having good or effective project sponsors is one of the ways you can prevent project failure which is a real problem considering that nearly two – thirds of projects fail!
The project sponsor is not the business analyst even though the project sponsor helps the business analyst in gathering requirements and the project sponsor is not the project manager even though the project sponsor helps the project manager deliver a successful project.
It is the project sponsor’s job to ensure that the project team (project manager, business analysts, and team lead) have the technical or operational resources they need and that the project is aligned with the strategic needs of the organization.
This article is “Part 2” of the series: “How To Become A Productive Computer Programmer“.
In today’s article we are going to review three (3) of the most popular programming languages: Java, C#, Visual Basic, C/C++ using their speed of execution, level of difficulty and portability of code.
After reading today’s article, you will be able to determine the suitability, usefulness or productivity of these programming languages for today’s computer programmers!
Is C/C++ the Best Programming Language?
The C programming language was standardized in the early 70s for the UNIX operating system (and not Windows) by Dennis Ritchie.
This question was submitted by a very young, exceptionally gifted and talented top performer who wants to know, “how he can live up to his potential”.
I am very young (23) and was radically accelerated through college \ graduate school.
By next year, I will have a BA (Math \ Religion), MBA (Management Consultancy), MSc (Business IT), PhD (Computing & Mathematics), and PhD (ABD), in IT from leading universities, as well as 9+ years IT experience, with 5+ years BA experience with stellar recommendations.
There is such a wealth of information out there that it can be overwhelming to someone trying to figure out what they need to learn.
I mean, when you look in your local bookstore you will see a huge section of books to help, but what you won’t find is the insider information that teaches you exactly the most profitable techniques or what you absolutely must know.
You also won’t find any resources that will give you the inside information about what you need to know so that you stand out from the crowd.
Once a computer programmer with marketable programming skills gains handson experience by building real-world, practical applications, he or she is virtually guaranteed not just any type of job … but a portable, marketable, high-paying professional career as a software developer!!
Why? Because in the software development industry, Experience is King!.
Real world, hands on, practical, computer programming experience is valued more than computer programming certifications or even computer science diplomas or college degrees!
Are you looking for a transformation in your work situation? Follow these 6 rock solid success principles that summarize what I have learned about building careers or online communities!
Whatever your industry, background or situation, these six principles will help you “Discover Your Passion“, “Do What You Love” or “Take Your Passion To Market“.
The first two (2) principles are designed to help you choose work that matches your strengths, education, training, background, skills, experience, hobbies or interests.
As a career coach one of the challenges that many of my clients face is that of learning the most marketable skills in the current job market.
An example is a client that I will call John who has been looking for a while even though he has an advanced management degree (MBA).
He wonders why he’s constantly getting turned down for business analyst jobs even though he is certain of this: most of those getting hired are less educated than him!
Learning new Information Technology (IT) skills is typically thought of as painful because the Study Textbooks used in the Information Technology (IT) industry are usually written by geeks for a geeky, hard-core, technical audience.
This is why one of the challenges facing professionals today is how to overcome the difficulty, complexity or high learning curves typically associated with learning new Information Technology (IT) skills.
Keeping in mind that Sql or Database skills are useful in any industry including financial, insurance, banking or information technology sectors, wouldn’t it be really helpful if learning Sql or databases was made easy?
There is a lot of good career advice on this blog. This advice is for all you good people that have been so kind as to listen to me.
I am always interested in hearing from you, especially after you put my advice to work.
Today’s post is just a reminder to put my advice to work because it works.
Here is an email from a reader who got a JOB by doing what I say:
Hi, I kept reading your articles about the IT career to choose.
The answer to the question: “Is College Worth The Money?” is YES … so please go to the best college you can afford because there are doors in life that will be easier for you to open if you have a college degree.
That being said, there are pros and cons to attending college and a right / wrong mindset that you need to be aware of.
In a new book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” sociologists Richard Arum of New York University and Josipa Roksa of the University of Virginia, are of the opinion that “College Students in the US are not learning Much“
Are you matching your strengths to your opportunities or are you just being ideological … interested only in following your own ideas even when they won’t get you any results?
Here is a situation that illustrates the challenges of being ideological versus being results oriented. It is a situation that illustrates the challenges of learning an enterprise software like Oracle compared to a poor man’s database like Microsoft Access.
Are you wondering about who this situation involves? You are safe my friend because today, I will mainly be talking about me 🙂
Several years ago, I had a conversation with a lady who had a computer science degree but was unable to get hired for any type of Information technology (IT) job.
I realized right away, that what she lacked was an understanding of how the IT job / career market works. The sort of information that is generally omitted in schools because no one thinks it is important enough.
So, after she shared her story with me, I did some research and came to the startling conclusion that she was not alone.
With the ever-increasing focus on setting up an online presence or the increasing competitiveness of online businesses, there is a need for web data analysts who can help web-based business succeed or thrive online.
A web data analyst researches the activities of users as they interact with a website, identifies the measures critical to the survival of the web business and recommends actions in the form of web analytics reports for web managers, online marketing teams or business owners.
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career, job or business situations.
Here is a question that illustrates the challenges facing us as we try to find a worthwhile career.
I am a recent college grad who has come to the realization that I wasted time and money in a psychology degree with nothing to show for it.
I have always had an interest in computers, and recently developed a strong desire to possibly move into the computer industry (mainly b/c of google android and my passion for cell phones).
One of the reasons why professionals struggle with their careers or under-perform at their jobs is that their work or career does not match their personality!
When hiring someone to do job, it’s easy to see what skills and training they have acquired or what types of jobs they’ve previously performed from their resume.
What is not so easy to see is how that same person’s personality traits will fit in with that of other employees or how their personality will thrive on a daily basis after you’ve have hired them.
STOP, if you’re about to register for our training and read this post now because we are only interested in the right type of participants for our online bootcamp courses.
In many ways, we are not like traditional classroom classes or most training schools.
For example, we focus more on experiential learning in the sense that we want you to perform well on the job and not just have a certificate that you can show-off on your resume.
This question is frequently asked by job candidates searching for certifications or training courses they can put on their resume, present to an employer and get a job.
However, the answer to the question: which online courses, certifications, college degrees or classroom courses guarantee a job is NONE!
This type of question is seriously flawed because it assumes that there is something out there … a college degree or online course or certification program, that you can put on your resume and hired fast!
This post about the personality types of database administrators (DBAs) is in response to Sandra’s question.
Sandra, thank you for taking the time to tweet a number of my posts, I appreciate you 🙂
Personality types like the Jung Myers-Briggs Type are used to describe the psychological characteristics of an individual.
For example, the famous Myers-Briggs has 16 personality types grouped as: Extroversion vs. Introversion, Intuiting vs. Sensing, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving.
In this post, I will describe some of the personality types of database administrators (DBAs).
There are several things on a resume that can help get you hired. These include your educational qualifications, certifications, training, the college or institutions which you attended, skill level and your hansdon experience.
But regardless of whether you are a business analyst, computer programmer, project manager, data analyst, report writer or network administrator, the singular, most important thing on your resume or career is your handson experience!
Handson Experience Builds your Career
Handson experience matters because it is the only credible, impartial evaluation of the work that you are doing and here is why:
Life Is About What You Have … And Not About What You Don’t Have!
I get a number of questions along the lines of:
I am 25 / 39 / 50 years old, I don’t have any work experience and I don’t have a college degree.
But I want to become a good business analyst / computer programmer / project manager, what do I have to do?
If you find yourself thinking along those lines, this is what you should do: use what you have to get what you want!
Data Analysts have the opportunity to work in several different domains or sectors, for example as banking data analysts, retail data analysts, telecommunications data analysts and as marketing data analysts.
The marketing data analyst role is one of the more common ones and a marketing analyst may be found analyzing databases of prospects, leads and customers for the marketing department.
In this post, we will take a peak into the day of a marketing data analyst…
[Ask IT Career Coach] is a Career Advice Column for Information Technology (IT) professionals looking for answers to their most challenging career situations.
I get a number of questions along the lines of how to get a marketing and sales job after college from new college graduates who have a degree in marketing or sales and yet find it hard to get hired based on their college degree!
Why sales & marketing graduates can’t get jobs
Traditional Marketing and Sales Jobs expects skills in prospecting, cold calling, appointment setting, in-bound / out-bound sales, presentation and closing skills.
Are there any required skills for entry-level data analyst job postings knowing that hiring managers are quite creative with their help wanted ads?
Keeping in mind that there is no “one size fits all” job requirement for data analysts or any information technology (IT) job, here are some of the more common skill requirements:
- Number crunching, analytical or numerical skills & background
- Reporting experience using Excel, Microsoft Access, Crystal Reports / Business Objects, SQL Server Reporting Services or any Graphing tool
- Relational Database Design & Development with tools like MySQL, SQL Server, Microsoft Access or Oracle
- A passion, interest, aptitude or background in number crunching or analytics
Many data analysts started out using Microsoft Access because it is a popular and versatile data analysis tool.
Microsoft Access provides a one-stop relational database, sql querying and reporting environment and it also provides data analysts with the ability to build a powerful graphical user interface (UI) for collecting data.
The Process For Changing your Career Path Starts With Your Current Employer
Here is a real-world example of how to do just that.
The current challenge facing me is how to find the right process for re-orienting my career from Web Producer to an introductory Junior position as Business Analyst.
I don’t hold any qualification in Business neither as Business Analyst but I am fully dedicated to becoming one.
I have just started reading books and doing research about this position and the responsibilities it entails.
This post is written for professionals looking for ways to cope with conflicting or demanding work and life commitments.
How to cope with an ever increasing workload? Tech workers are under increasing pressure to get more work done during office hours, vacation time, weekend time or even away from the office at home.
How to keep up with the demands of our careers? And IT professionals are worrying about how they can learn new technologies or sharpen their current skills because of the constantly changing face of technology.
Why Do We Need Better Requirements?
The following article is a frank, open and surprising discourse on why we need better requirements.
According to Standish or Gartner reports and other case studies, nearly “two-thirds of all IT projects fail” because of poor requirements and other causes.
Why Do Projects Fail?
Consider that a project fails when it overruns the budgeted allocation of resources, time or money or fails to deliver the intended business requirements or value.
Some teams are so deep into this, that throwing more money, people or extending the shipping date is their default solution to scope creep, budget overruns or project failure!
This post answers a question submitted to [Ask IT Career Coach], a Career Advice Column that offers practical answers, help or solutions for your most challenging career situations.
What Are The Entry Level Requirements For Database Professional Jobs?
A reader from Rockville, Maryland wants to become a database professional and is concerned about age-based preferences, discrimination, educational qualifications and entry level hiring requirements for database professional jobs!
What is your opinion regarding online it degrees? More specifically, Master’s degrees in database technology?