IT is constantly evolving. The technologies in use are consequently adjusted. What’s more, what is a standard procedure today, can become outdated with a single patch tomorrow. You don't want to be out of circulation. Keep your skills and knowledge fresh. you will need update them. As today is Women's Day, we have asked our female specialists here at Global4Net about what competencies and skills are important in the IT business, both for new and seasoned practitioners.
Where to begin?
When you want to join any company, you need to go through the recruitment process. It’s a standard procedure for all the businesses. Nevertheless, the norms and the process itself differ based on the industry you’re interested in. At Global4Net, the recruitment side of work falls under jurisdiction of Magda Paczynska. As she herself underlines, the most important thing in this phase is preparation.
Every employer wishes to see the applicant’s engagement. It’s about the basic orientation of what the company does. What projects it realises and what technologies it uses.
You should also look for articles linked with technologies and skills the company you’re interested in is looking for. You need to know the business trends if you want to work in IT. Free articles about IT and e-Commerce can be found online. They will provide you with information that may make you look less of a novice. Moreover, it is a frequent of IT companies to maintain their own blogs, which include content related to their technologies and projects. What’s even better is that this content is written and checked by professionals, who work on those solutions on a daily basis. Obviously, it is the right place to start your IT journey.
What should we learn in IT?
After you know what criteria are required to apply for a given job offer, you must start learning technologies and skills the employer is after. Most importantly, don’t try to learn everything at the same time. Concentrate on one main skill that you find to be crucial and will be most usable at the given company. Alicja Fassa, head of QA at G4N says:
In a well-versed team you certainly can count on support of others, and the experience will come in time.
When it comes to technologies used here at Global4Net, such as, Magento, our specialists utilise the PHP programming language. This very language is responsible for the creation of over 75% of web applications. It’s exceptionally effective and popular among the software companies that deal in online business solutions. Therefore, here at G4N we use this language for e-Commerce projects, because it is supported by numerous frameworks, such as, the one used by us – Symfony. It’s great for both beginners and experienced programmers because of its cost-effectiveness, open-source accessibility, productivity and flexibility.
Although, the classic path to work in IT would be a degree in informatics, the industry is filled with people who decided to rebrand and could not afford spending a couple years in a university. In the modern times, the Internet offers a multitude of studying opportunities: from paid courses, through training videos, to tutorials.
We at Global4Net have a specially prepared library with studying materials and programming languages manuals, including PHP.
If we are not sure of what path is best suited for our plans, it is worth looking for opinions on sites like Github, or search for dedicated articles on professional blogs, like ours.
It’s not all code…
Programming is indisputably the backbone of software development companies. However, the IT industry is something more than the endless lines of enigmatic codes. It’s also experts from HR, business analysis, UX and graphic design. At Global4Net one of them is Monika Chojnicka, graphic designer responsible for creation and adjustment of visual elements in our projects.
In this field, you need not know the programming languages, but have a creative mind and artistic skills. Monika works in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe XD, which are the industry-standard software for project design. These two apps are extremely popular. Additionally, they are really simple to learn for the beginners. Happily, there is no shortage of studying materials, often being free tutorial videos. The programs are quite intuitive, however, as Monika advises, an extra step for making things easier would be getting a graphics tablet.
Working on a tablet is one of those things that you wished you were doing from the beginning. It makes designing much more practical and quicker than the standard solutions.
While Photoshop is mostly used for pure graphic design, Adobe XD is used in UX – user experience building, which plays the crucial role in e-Commerce. User experience is a constantly changing factor that needs to be analysed and followed in order to be successful.
XD helps to create ux-wireframes used for e-business website design. UX is a complex field dealing with how one has to adjust to the customer’s needs and expectations.
Soft skills in IT
We’ve talked about the role of programming in IT and about other technical specialisations. However, what is a mostly omitted and unknown responsibility is the contact with the client. It’s quite a shock for the uninitiated, but the picture of the IT industry being an asylum for a stereotypical introvert developer is just another myth. Nevertheless, it can still surprise many new workers. Among them was Monika:
Meeting a client was completely new for me. I had to translate technical terminology to a language that is both understandable and attractive to a person unfamiliar with IT.
That is why it’s important to develop skills of telling about complex technical features in a business way. At Global4Net we always pay attention to the way we present our solutions to a client. For example, one of them is PWA, standing for Progressive Web Applications. It is specially designed for making the working and using web services faster and smoother. It aims at increasing the conversion ratio of sales. When employing it, the user doesn’t have to install a native application to obtain all the advantages and more. PWA also allows the user to access a service in offline mode. The task set before the G4N and the whole IT industry is to explain those things to the client, so they will understand how certain solutions meet their needs.
What attitude pays up in IT?
What approach is necessary to work in IT? Alicja Fassa and Monika Chojnicka from G4N think that most importantly, “you have to fight for your own”. Alicja advises:
Don’t be afraid to engage in projects from fields in which you’re not experienced.
Everything is difficult until it’s easy. The process of one’s development in the IT industry does not undergo behind closed doors in separation. Your colleagues from work can be more experienced than you and it’s them, who you should turn to when in doubt.
Remember though, you’re not a novice! It is talent and determination that brought you here. It’s time to show them. Don’t be afraid to step forward with your propositions and ideas, if you think they are worth implementing – reason why you think they are. Only let them go after a solid discussion on why they are useful. Only because you’re new at your job doesn’t mean your ideas don’t matter.
Lack of fear to speak up won’t get you up in the world of IT, just by itself. Similarly to most of the advanced fields, IT requires continuous progress. Magda agrees with that and highlights that “you always have to keep trying”.
You have to develop yourself and invest time and resources in your advancement. The IT industry is constantly changing, it runs and evolves. If you want to function in it, you’ll have to do that as well.
In Global4Net we know that developing single workers also develops the whole company. That’s why we have internal and external workshops led by experts with experience. We also finance numerous courses that could help you in further expanding your knowledge.
When working in IT prepare for changes
The development doesn’t only apply to single persons and companies. What’s more with development always comes the change. Change of the project hand-ins deadlines, industry-standard technologies and UX trends. Change affects workplaces as well, especially in IT. You’ll have to get used to the fact that at any moment your co-workers can change and the whole cooperation model might evolve. Learning new apps can also be required from you.
The environment is very dynamic. The only constants are: lack of boredom and hands full of work. – says Magda Paczynska.
An environment of such dynamicity requires suitable tools. At G4N, we’ve decided to use Jira to track our progress, organise tasks, projects and materials needed for their completion. Additionally, Jira is not only available to our practitioners but to our clients, as well. Jira allows real-time insight into all the changes happening on the project-level. This further improves interdepartmental communication and contact with the clients.
Check everything twice. And then check it again.
Alicja, who is responsible for quality assurance at Global4Net, thinks that:
Nobody is as precise and meticulous as a woman – use it to your advantage in QA.
QA is a branch that cannot be cut off from the IT tree. Before the project is handed in, it is compulsory that all the comprehensive tests and quality checks are conducted. Additionally, it is necessary that the initial targets of a project are achieved.
The reputation of specialists and the company as a whole, relies on thorough testing and QA checks. That is why, at Global4Net, we combine the latest technologies with meticulousness and preciseness when it comes to the solutions’ tests. This combination leads to the success in the IT industry.
What will tomorrow bring?
As we’ve said in the beginning, the IT is still evolving. However, some things never change, and among them is the reliance on knowledge of experienced specialists. Specialists like our female colleagues at Global4Net. For Women's Day, we wish them all the best in their professional and private lives. We wish the same to you dear readers, and we invite you to read other of our articles.