IT is rapidly developing itself. New tools, methods and techniques are rapidly coming towards us. In addition, the demands of users and consumers are also getting higher. The system or the software must always and in particular work properly. IT is becoming more and more a commodity. Just like water from the tap or electricity from the socket.
Imagine you are queuing at the checkout without any cash in your pocket and there is a failure with the ATM. Or there is not enough money in your account and you want to transfer some money from your savings account to your current account but the banking app is not working. That should really not be happening in this day and age!
The quick changes also have an impact on those who work in IT. The traditional management and development are replaced by multifunctional teams. An Agile way of working becomes more popular compared to the waterfall way of working. And DevOps becomes more and more the way how this work is organised. This also means a lot for the competences of IT staff!
In the past a system administrator could manage his or her system in a small room with closed door and the developer wrote his software somewhere in the basement. Eventually the result was thrown over the fence after a few months and ended up at the tester.
Nowadays you see that they sit physically together and that they must communicate with each other in order to cooperate properly as a team. A system administrator who now also must be able to read programming language, the tester who now also must be able to program and the developer who now also must have knowledge and expertise of bringing software to production. Not just having knowledge and expertise within your own traditional field, but also expertise in other areas: The contribution of the IT professional is becoming broader and broader.
Apart from that, we must definitely not forget about the soft skills, these are becoming increasingly more important. The testers, developers, administrators and all other IT staff must be able to communicate properly. Also with the people outside the IT department. Empathic ability and being able to read the customer’s need is becoming more important. A full set of hard and soft skills that are needed today if you are an IT professional.
And let us not forget the cliché competences such as pro-activity, independence, taking initiative and responsibility.
You see that the traditional positions slowly disappear from the IT workplace. System administrators, Tester, Test Coordinators and Test Managers are actually a dying breed. Nowadays they are all engineers. Ops engineers, Test engineers, Dev engineers. These engineers must have in-depth knowledge not just within the own field of expertise but indeed also within the other fields of expertise. In other words: A T-shaped person, or rather a TT-shaped person.
Because if the direct colleague is ill one time, such a multidisciplinary team, that is obviously self-steering and self-organising, must have the knowledge to take over the work of this colleague.
So, you could say that the traditional positions are disappearing and that the competences of the IT professional are becoming more and more important. The IT professional must possess more competences and also of a better quality. The same applies for the “testing”” competence, that is becoming increasingly more important.
The engineers in a multidisciplinary team must all be able to test. Being able to invent tests, to write tests and to automate tests. The quality of the software must obviously be at the highest level and you achieve this partly be testing properly. Positions like “Tester” will disappear, however the “testing” competence on the other hand is becoming more and more important.
You probably already know what DevOps is or you have heard of it, otherwise you wouldn't be here now. What many people do not know, or do know but underestimate, is that DevOps also has a soft side. The soft side of DevOps is everything that has nothing to do with technology, automation, software and hardware. It is everything that is interpersonal.
If we look at traditional organisation these normally have a structure or organogram in the shape of a rake. They usually have a number of operational departments with a number of staff departments above them. A HRM department, account management, product management, marketing & communication, finance & control and ICT.