What is the most important thing when looking for an IT professional? Or to reverse it, when looking to get a job, what are the most important criteria to provide? It’s almost like real-estate, location, location, location… But in IT, it is experience, experience, experience. It costs a lot of money to grow an IT professional. And then once you have grown that IT professional, you forget to pay them for that growth, so they jump ship and you have effectively purchased the growth of an IT professional who no longer works for you. So the new trend is to simply hire the ones that already have the experience.
Experience comes with demonstration of growth, proven projects, live and living websites that are still accessible today, accomplishments, ability to be agile and to adjust / learn several different programming languages, and the utmost important: The Ability to Communicate these Accomplishments and Prove Experience.
What most people do not realize is that, certificates do not equal experience. Passing a test does not make you an expert. You must prove and provide working examples and real professional work in that space. That is the gold of what IT professionals need. Are you reading my blog? Guess what, this is my personal exploration, research, demonstration website. That is why you do not see Ads on the side and requests for donations. Because this blog builds my level of research, understanding, and technical know-how, all while continuing to practice my ability to communicate it.
The other piece that I wanted to bring up was the matter of education. I solely believe that having a Bachelors in Computer Science, Engineering, or something scientific is absolutely required before entering the upper tier of Information Technology. Anything beyond a Bachelors is easily offset with experience. But that single standard of a Bachelors degree is highly sought after by recruiters and screening professionals. Not to say that it isn’t impossible, but it is highly recommended. As you can see by the image above, it’s one of the lower factors required.
Prestige of college / university, no one could care about. Not unless you are working in an atmosphere that breeds that culture, such as Financial institutions, or high brow Ad agencies, typically, not even important. Prestige of previous employers I would have to beg that this can be a huge advantage and gain as it further demonstrates your experience, but only if you have had the opportunity to prove and create live products.
At the end of the day, here’s how I order my priorities: Experience, Self-Motivated / Drive, Reasoning Skills, Communication