What are the hot skills to work on in 2011? I found this article that gives you a list of some of the things that companies will be looking for according to a survey in Computerworld. It’s a fairly standard list of generic skills that companies are looking for, but it ended with something that I think that people often overlook: business acumen and communication skills.
How many of us have to work with someone regularly that is not a technologist? How many times do you have to explain something to a business person in a way that is devoid of technical jargon? I would bet that most of us have to do that. However it seems that too many technology professionals still want business people to better understand what we provide with our computer hardware and software. Instead of us learning more about the business, we want the business to tell us what we should do.
Building your soft skills, especially your communication skills, is important, but too often technology professionals give lip service to any effort. We tend to write poorly, we struggle to explain concepts like disaster recovery in a way that those outside of technology can understand.
I like to write, but I also learned early in my career that there was a huge advantage to being able to express myself clearly to everyone that I had to work with. I talk about this at The Modern Resume, but there really is no substitute for making some type of effort to learn to write better. It’s a great skill that I’m sure will provide benefits in 2011, and every year after.