Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Come on Barbie, let's go party!

Photo by Carol Esther used under a Creative Commons license



After rolling off a project that seemed a little longer than the 5 months I was there, I've had cause to look forward to what comes next. There are options. There are always options. Everyone has options.

The interesting trend I've seen lately is that consultants with social skills are often pushed in to roles that express those talents. That's fine, except if you are an engineer. Software engineers with the ability to not frighten the clients are encouraged openly, explicitly, implicitly and suggestively to walk down the one-way street to the post-technical role.

My feet are firmly planted on the ground and I'm not moving in that direction. To me that is not even a valid option and it shouldn't be for poly-skilled engineers. I have decided that there will be no such thing as post-technical for me because I enjoy technical too much. However, I will be extending my skills in other areas that are not purely technical.

At university we were told that software engineers covered all parts of software development, regardless of methodology. There are no strict roles. You must understand and participate in some way in all aspects of listening, enabling, communicating, coding, testing and building software. To me, the days of sitting in a dark room and "cutting code" on a green on black console never truly existed. Even experienced long term programmers will tell you they work across the project or product from go to whoa. There are no strictly defined vertical roles.

From now on if anyone asks what my role is, I will tell them that I am a consultant with an engineering background. Break the mould and resist the classic definitions given to people in IT.

3 comments:

Bronwen said...

I just tell people i type a lot ;)

Ricky said...

i hadn't thought about that.

i guess i would be a code monkey with human appearances.

but an entrepreneurial monkey, like one of those that dance on the pavement holding a metal cup.

Mana said...

All good options so far :)