The Most Important IT Career Skill

This is not the first post on this blog about the importance of communication skills for architects, and it certainly won't be the last. But Steve Karam, writing on his Oracle Alchemist blog, has tossed a low, slow one over the plate, and I just have to take a swing.

(Too early for baseball metaphors? Too bad -- I need me some springtime.)

In his post, Karam writes about what he describes as the most important IT career book he has ever owned. As it turns out, it's not another book by Tim Ferriss on how you can achieve greatness in four hours. Nope, the book Karam's talking about is Dale Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People, first published in 1937, which makes it even older than me.

Here's a bit of what Karam has to say about Carnegie's book:

Technology has advanced, information has become more available, and business has accelerated beyond anyone's wildest dreams, but the tenets of getting people to work with you toward a common goal have not changed. The beauty is that the 'common goal' may be one that your target audience never knew was their goal in the first place; however, with the right push, the right emphasis, the right details, it can be. And that is what the book is all about.

The enterprise IT industry is in the midst of significant shifts that have an impact not just on the inherent technologies, but on the roles involved in putting those technologies to work. And when you hear knowledgeable people talking about how IT can no longer exist in silos, you must understand that they're not just talking about the technology end of IT. Regardless of your role in IT, If you aren't engaged in the Big Picture, you're headed for trouble.

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Comments:

Thanks for the mention! I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

> Regardless of your role in IT, If you aren't engaged in the Big Picture, you're headed for trouble.

Truer words have never been said.

Posted by Steve Karam on February 07, 2013 at 12:45 PM EST #

My pleasure, Steve! The issue is especially important for architects since they often face an uphill struggle against accusations (sometimes deserved) of being too "Ivory Tower" in their dealings with developers and other IT roles. But given the changes IT faces now it's essential that the IT and Business sides of the enterprise learn to communicate. They should have been doing so all along, but dramatic shifts are underway that make it even more critical.

Posted by Bob Rhubart on February 07, 2013 at 01:06 PM EST #

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