How You Can Make Your IT (Information Technology) Job Search Easier

Making Your IT Job Search Easier

It’s important to have a plan when you’re looking for job opportunities. After all, there are different requirements for every job, and you need to be prepared to give any prospective employer exactly what they’re looking for. If the job you’re looking for is in the field of Information Technology (or IT), there are some tips that can really help you land your desired position.

First of all, you have to organize your portfolio into hard and soft copies. Although most IT employers find applicants through the internet, there are some who may require you to provide hard copies. It is also preferable if you have a salary and work location in mind. Many companies will be dictating those terms for you, but that’s no reason for you to avoid setting goals for yourself. Who knows? A preferred position might be open, and it’s best to provide the best possible resume for the best possible job.

After you’ve prioritized your desired working conditions, it’s time to register at the appropriate web sites. Finding the web sites themselves is a simple matter of using any reliable search engine. After you have found a desired site, register yourself and look carefully through the job listings. To make finding your ideal IT job easier, try submitting an individual profile to the web site. There are a wide variety of jobs in the field of Information Technology, and many sites have systems that match a submitted profile to a suitable vacancy. You will usually be given the option of part-time or full-time employment, so the choices will not be limited. You can further increase your chances of getting a job by registering on multiple web sites. If the job you are looking for is not on most of the IT web sites, you can still submit your resume. Other potential employers might browse through the web site, so it’s good to cover all your bases.

When you’ve finished submitting your resume, it’s only a matter of time before you get a response from an appropriate company. You will notice that by following a specific method of job searching, you not only reduce the time you spend searching for employers, but you also organize your personal information in a way that appeals to a broader group of companies. If you pair your methodology with initiative and a willingness to face rejection, you are bound to find your dream IT job in no time.

Project Management – Why Information Technology Projects Fail

To understand the reason why Information Technology projects fail, it’s important to understand the roles people play in delivering IT projects.

The Players

The Business (often referred to as the project “sponsor”) drives the project. Whether it is a new application to improve business processes or upgraded hardware, the project itself is driven by The Business that generates revenue for the company.

Business Analysts are key players in IT project delivery. The Business knows what the end result should be, whether it is cost savings, improved revenue or any other desired result. Unfortunately, technical project staff generally understand their own specific disciplines and rarely grasp the big picture or business concepts that drive projects. The Business Analyst gains an understanding of the big picture and translates it into technical requirements so technical project staff can architect, design deploy and operate a solution.

Technical Project Staff are equipped and trained in specific disciplines. They are assigned technical tasks to perform as a component of the overall project delivery. Technical Project Staff rarely see the big picture or the end result of their efforts.

Project Managers manage all of the processes, resources, budgets, risks, schedules, tasks and communications necessary to complete the project. Project Managers interact with all of The Players.

Some Failure Points

Information Technology Projects fail for a number of reasons, and the responsibility for failure can fall on any or all of The Players.

The most obvious point of failure is in the gathering of business requirements. Often projects require restarts or multiple restarts due to the failure to gather business requirements accurately, changes in requirements (usually as business evolves) or change in scope.

Before blaming the Business Systems Analyst for this Information Technology Projects are managed by a Project Manager and driven by The Business who play key roles in project success. In addition, with every increase in productivity and ability to deliver complex systems and infrastructure, the bar is raised again on the definition of success to deliver even more complex systems faster, meeting customer functional and non-functional requirements with predictable schedules and costs.

Technical Project Staff are also accountable for targeting improvement to quality, cost control, productivity, and meeting customer expectations even as we see rapidly changing requirements and tools.

Additional failure points include:

Project Cancellation – There are a number of reasons why sponsors might cancel a project. Topping the list is a change in business direction.

Cost Overruns – At some point a project may become to costly to complete and it becomes time to cut your losses or restart.

Resource Constraints – One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is attempting to deliver information technology projects with existing staff, or to underestimate work effort and resources required to deliver the desired end result

Scheduling Issues – An Information Technology project must be carefully scheduled to insure the desired result is achievable in the required timeframe. I recently relocated a data center over the holiday season and found out the hard way that it takes much more time during that time of year to get things done,

Poor or Lack of Communication among The Players – All of The Players involved must be in the loop for a project to succeed. Regular communiques, email, phone calls, scheduled and ad-hoc meetings all contribute to keeping everyone up to date and moving in the right direction.

Poor Project Risk Management and Recovery – The risk of project failure must be clearly understood and business expectations managed. Failure to do so may result in failure, cancellation or worse.

See our article entitled “Five Things you Must do for your Project to Succeed” for useful information on making your projects succeed.

By Greg Pack

Doing it Wrong the First Time – Information Technology at Its Worst

For a short while I worked for one of Australia’s largest banks which trotted out the motto “DIRFT” – Do It Right First Time. In fact they went from one motto to another year in and year out, all intended to motivate people to do good work. Rework is both non-productive and wasteful of resources, so if people could only get their jobs right first time, it would save a lot of money and frustration.

I don’t know that the bank ever reached its goal of having people DIRFT, but it was certainly worth the effort. I still have the coffee cup with the motto emblazoned on the front and occasionally think about it.

Lately I’ve been thinking that there are many things I find that obviously follow the dictum, “Do It Wrong First Time”. Most of these things seem to be in the domain of the Information Technology industry.

For example, how many times have you wanted to submit a comment or log-on somewhere that has a scrambled script that you have to undecipher and type into a dialogue box, only to find that you can’t read it?

It’s not only a matter of mistaking an I for an l, sometimes the characters are so jumbled that you can’t read them … they are definitely not one of 52 variations of the 26 letters of the English alphabet or one of the usual ten figures. You enter it and the page refreshes just to tell you to do what you have already done. You fool!

So you try again and if it doesn’t work, move on to another site.

Then there’s the online forms where you go to enter a date, no mention of the format so you try: 24/03/2008 and submit. Seconds pass and the form appears with a message in red, “Date required”. So you enter 03/24/2008 and after several more attempts click the big red cross at the top right of your page and move on … didn’t want to buy that item anyway. How difficult would it be to enter a date format example? In fact many sites, the better ones, do.

Occasionally I begin entering an address online and when it comes to the state/province box, I drop down a list and every option is in the USA. But hey, I live in Australia, not Texas or Iowa. When you want to make a buck internationally, you have to expect people from other countries with different addresses. Provide some way of capturing them.

An Australian site recently wouldn’t accept my post code 0870 and kept flagging an error. All Australian post codes have four digits and the Northern Territory begins with zero. I’ve lived here since 1957 … I know the post code! Apparently the fool who created the form didn’t.

I was so annoyed I simply left the site. My view is that if you can’t get something as simple as that right, you don’t deserve my money.

Getting it Right

When the bank I mentioned above created a new program it did extensive User Acceptance Testing. It did everything imaginable to its software to see where it had shortcomings or errors that would annoy customers. It made everything goof proof.

When it was perfect, it would be released to the public. Why some other organisations don’t do that I don’t know.

It seems that people launch sites with the idea that if there is a problem, someone will let them know. That’s not a very good business philosophy.

If you really want to compete with the good players, Do It Right First Time.

Copyright 2008 Robin Henry