Friday, 15 January 2016 05:25

Things I’ve learnt from the gurus of the tech world

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  1. Do your best work – have a plan each day to complete the tasks in your domain.  Whether it is gathering requirements, fixing bugs, or testing a solution; focus on your task.  Yes, it is the primary reason you were hired but more, doing great work builds your expertise and reputation.  Pattern your deliverables after best practices in your industry.
  2. Build your expertise – you don’t know it all.  Google it, YouTube it, attend training, call the solution manufacturer - whatever it takes to build your “gurudom.”  Indeed, if applicable, study hard to earn a certificate or two.  Become the “go-to guy” for issues regarding your solution or niche.  Building expertise helps you land new assignments when a project ends.
  3. Collaborate – with others both within your department and outside.  As a Business Analyst, of necessity you liaise with different individuals and groups in order to facilitate a viable solution. Working well with others implies you are not always hankering after the glory.  Liaise to make a project successful not to puff up and you will find people drawn to you.
  4. Manage your time – often in the IT world, you have down times when nothing is broken, no deadlines looming, and no emergency fixes.  At such times, it is easy to doze off at your desk.  Instead, use the time to hone your skills.  Research emerging technologies; broaden your horizon so you can leverage your knowhow into landing a better position. 
  5. Reduce chatter – Don’t contribute to office backbiting because they tend to get back to the victim and you could get blamed.  Work quieter and more effectively.  Even if your brother, sister, and cousins all work in the same company, don’t create a herd.  Maintain professionalism in the workplace and party later.
  6. Be strategic in your networking – yes, hang out with the water cooler crowd but do so with a mind to gaining insight – which positions are opening up?  What’s the next big thing in your company?  What’s the tech move?  Don’t fraternize with the moan and groan crowd because they only fuel your displeasure and don’t contribute to your progress.
  7. Prioritize growth - what would skyrocket your career now and 5 years down the line?  As technologies evolve, so should your resume.  Focus on growth sectors of your industry so that your skills which are highly valued today don’t become obsolete in five years and you’re unemployed and unemployable.
  8. Develop your people skills – sometimes, it’s not what you know but how you come across; how you relate to people that bags you the position.  You may have superb skills but come across as a “know-it-all” or solo artist in a field requiring team players.  The hiring manager would think you won’t fit in despite your outstanding skills.  So, work on your people skills.  Learn how to communicate with people from diverse backgrounds (the technology field is perhaps the most diverse work-space).  And improve your language, diction, and listening skills so you can thrive in your career.
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Abi Adegboye Ph.D

Abi Adegboye began writing as a young girl growing in western Nigeria.  In a culture that reveres boys, she was born the second of three girls.  Certain she had to be her family's 'boy,' she climbed trees to harvest fruit, dressed chickens for dinner, caught mice, and whatever else required male-handling.  She also loved to read, write, and draw.  Her initial efforts yielded publications in local newspapers and newsletters.  However, she was advised to get a day job which turned out to be as a professor of political science.  This opened to her, a different avenue for publication in her areas of research including African women and development, women migrants, and the impact of public policy on women’s political economy.

On her 40th birthday, she rekindled her creative writing with the publication of Butterfly, a picture book and Reflections on Nigerian Christianity, a social commentary.  Since then, she’s co-authored Owanbe! Yoruba Celebrations of Life (2010), a cultural anthology and published Wanna B Prez? 10 Life Strategies from President Barack Obama’s Journey to the White House (2012), a YA motivational YA book, and Renike comes to America (2016), a novella.  

Abi writes multicultural fiction and nonfiction for children and young adults.  She shares her writing through speaking engagements, performances, storytelling, and classroom visits. 

For more information about Ms. Adegboye’s publications, or to connect with her, visit her

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