Do you want to land your dream job or get promoted? How about a career change? No matter what your motivation is, establishing goals will set you up for success.
This article will share ways to start your year with high-tech career goal advice, especially within the tech industry, where there are record-level employment opportunities.
Get Into the Tech Industry in 2022?
I didn’t realize this initially, but anyone can enter the technology business. You don’t have to be a programmer or build a computer as a hobby. You don’t have to have a computer science degree or even an engineering degree. Honestly, it’s about working with many disciplines and connecting highly technical folks with business-minded end users. And everything in between.
Technology is a rapidly growing field, and many want to pursue a career in this industry. With so many options available, it can be difficult to decide which path to take. Whether you’re an aspiring programmer, web designer, or software engineer, there are countless rewarding career choices in technology. First, let’s talk about the career choices that require some programming, then I will talk about the project management side that does not require any programming background.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. At no extra cost to the consumer, I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
If you’re looking to enter the tech industry, software engineering is one of the most lucrative and in-demand positions. Software engineers are responsible for developing, designing, and maintaining software systems. They use their technical expertise to create software that meets user requirements and is both efficient and effective. Software engineers must have a strong computer science, programming, and problem-solving background.
Web design is another popular option for those interested in technology. Web designers are responsible for creating aesthetically pleasing websites that are user-friendly and optimized for search engines. They must have a strong eye for design and an understanding of HTML, CSS, and other web development languages. Web designers must also be knowledgeable about user experience and search engine optimization.
Lastly, programming is an essential element of the tech industry. Programmers create the code that powers software and websites. They must understand coding languages such as C++, Python, and Java, as well as the ability to problem-solve and think logically. Programming can be a challenging position, but it is also highly rewarding. There are many exciting career paths in technology, and the sky is the limit for those willing to work hard and stay up to date with the latest technology trends. If you’re looking for a rewarding tech career, consider software engineering, web design, or programming. You can make a successful career in any of these fields with the right skills and dedication.
Red Tape in the Tech Industry
Believe it or not, navigating red tape is fundamental in the tech industry. Some of you may know how to program a “hello world” console application using several different languages.
That’s fine and dandy, but learning how the Enterprise systems work is where it’s at in the world of big tech. I’ll explain more in the next few paragraphs.
First, take a step back. Look at the big picture. What systems do you have in place today? Can you name all the interconnected systems? Do you know how they communicate with each other? How often do they synchronize data? What are the inputs and outputs of each system? Why is each system even necessary? Learning the big-picture view of the entire Enterprise is worth a lot.
The “hello world” programming on your local hard drive will not cut it. How do you use dev, test, preproduction, and production environments? Why do you need those? What paperwork do you have to go through to provision the servers? Do you have to register your project somewhere? How do you keep track of lifecycle costs? If you start answering these questions, you are well on becoming a technology expert.
Navigating the bureaucracy is valuable! Learn how to do this in your organization.
The Project Manager will not know the technology behind the project. Sure, they will help you organize the risk register, keep things on schedule, help sell the product, have a master schedule, etc. They won’t know the Enterprise, big picture, and technology view. It’s your job to sell and communicate the needs to the PM, the stakeholders, the end users, and the decision-makers. That’s what can make you valuable, your ability to persuade an audience that doesn’t know the tech side.
Educate Yourself in Tech
Consider various educational programs and learning methods for breaking into this industry. Remember, just understanding the lingo will get you in the door. You can’t develop those soft skills needed to thrive in the role without some help. I’m a personal fan of reading books in the tech industry. Mostly because it’s usually the most affordable route. Technology changes often, and you can pick up a good book for between $20-$40. I recommend reading at least one technology-related book every few months to keep up to date.
There are plenty of books that will help you get there. Designing Data-Intensive Applications: The Big Ideas Behind Reliable, Scalable, and Maintainable Systems is a great start. There will be plenty of information you are unfamiliar with at first. However, if you read this book, you will start understanding the tech industry jargon and slowly piece it together. This book gives a high-level understanding of different technologies and the problems it is trying to solve. A great book for all practitioners who want to learn essential concepts quickly. The author describes complex concepts, demonstrating a real mastery of the subject.
Another good book, The Data Model Toolkit: Simple Skills To Model The Real World (Data Architecture Fundamentals), is a great resource to expand your skill set and knowledge base. Again, there are some advanced concepts; however, this book is very easy to understand and written.
Finally, Swipe to Unlock: The Primer on Technology and Business Strategy, authored by 3 Product Managers at Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, is a must-read. This book is a collection of case studies about important subjects that are not taught much in a university setting. What motivates you, what are some tech industry trends, government industry, and more? Although this book is geared toward Product Managers, I think it will be a great addition to your brain bank.
I’m not trying to say you should become a Data Architect overnight. I think learning the data architecture vernacular and terminology can get you in the door as any technologist.
Make a Reputation for Yourself
Be knowns as the person who understands more than just how to code. Don’t be afraid to share knowledge. Don’t be afraid to talk to leadership or supervision about your Enterprise view and ideas. Even if you don’t get the credit immediately, you can influence people around you. No idea is off the table. As you discuss your grand vision, from time to time, potential employers will notice. You want to make a voice for yourself. Be heard. Let the world know you want to control the technology in your organization.
Get a Mentor
Everyone should know the value of a good mentor. I’m not going to get into the reasons why you need one. Instead, I will give you some tips to find mentors.
- Join a Meet Up group. There are tons of meetup groups around technology. Download the app and start exploring.
- Join ad-hoc working groups within your organization and meet others interested in this career. It’s okay if you don’t know how to contribute at first. Tell them you are eager to learn and will listen in and be part of the group as you grow.
- Talk to your colleagues outside of formal work. See what their interests are. Join the happy hours.
- Go to work-sponsored events and network.
- Search for Reddit posts on the subject. Type in a Google search, “Technology Reddit,” and I guarantee you will fall down the Reddit rabbit hole and read for hours.
The key is to be genuine. Honesty will go a long way. I sometimes start a conversation by saying, “I’m very ignorant of the subject, but I’m interested in learning. Can you help me understand this topic more?” People love to teach, you will see.