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Fancy yourself as an IT guru?

In the fast-paced IT industry, standing still is simply not an option. Technology is changing rapidly and professionals have to keep up, or be left behind.

With digital transformation on the top of many business’s agenda, our IT specialists share their tips on how to stay ahead in an industry where change is hard to predict.

It’s not all about the nine to five

When you’re immersed in your day job, you are really only aware of your immediate surroundings. If your own employer is being left behind on tech, you won’t know that unless you are looking externally and gauging change in the market. Think about what you are doing outside your nine-to-five job to stay plugged in to emerging trends.

Newsflash – IT changes are well reported

Agile transformation and cloud transformation, for example, have been reported and analysed at length in the media. So keep an eye on technology industry news to make sure you’re aware of changes in the market.

Expose yourself…to emerging technologies

You will find it more difficult to market yourself to a prospective employer if you haven’t thought about how technology may look in the future. So plan your career and ask questions in interviews about emerging and new technologies. Clarify what level of maturity any prospective employer has with those technologies.

It’s not just what you know, it’s who you know

You must talk to people outside your own company to know what is changing in the market. More often than not, you can learn from other people’s experiences. Join Meetup groups for disruptive technologies and hang out at a hackathon to share your skills with others.

Seek and ye shall find

Seek out and secure a mentor in the tech space; someone who is influential at an industry level, who will be involved in strategic planning for other organisations. They will often know what trends and changes are coming down the track.

Just say YES…to new opportunities

About seven years ago, employers all wanted candidates who could use Solaris. But then gradually businesses switched to open source technology. The candidates who were proactive took lower paying jobs that got them into open source, because they could see it would pay off in the long term. These former Solaris experts have evolved into development operations (DevOps) or cloud specialists, which are very in demand right now.

Train to gain… You need to be proactive and invest in your own development

Recently, we’ve seen the rise of UX (user experience) professionals. These individuals understood that businesses need more than front-end work on their websites. They saw that businesses actually need someone to deal with the frameworks for the website, including design and understanding user research and experience. The proactive front-end developers of yesteryear upskilled themselves through training and development to meet market demand.

Looking at independent training providers such as General Assembly is a great way to review and update your development. They provide qualifications to upskill individuals in line with market demand.

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