Tech Skills, Dinosaurs and What does it mean for IBM/Lotus Techies?


10 Tech Skills Heading the Way of the Dinosaur – 2012 Edition.

I came across the above article a while ago and had meant to blog on it – however life and work got in the way. Good thing is that gave me some more time to think and I have my own conclusions on a few things that might be heading down Extinction Ave. along with the dinosaurs:

Note: I have been working on this post for a few days and reread it again - it was getting a bit long. The conclusion is still worth reading, but I will add the one-liner versions here to save you the time if you don’t feel like scrolling down to read it all, recent notes are in RED:

  • “Old” Skills

Update and learn – you need to make sure you are not left behind

  • One handed Bandits

Add a skill to your arsenal - one hit wonders never make it past the current season

  • Antisocial Behavior

Social is coming – even if yo have no use for Facebook, you can learn about social to get the basics

  • Blinders

Look at what is out there – closing the door will not make the Gremlins go away (somebody already fed them after midnight …)

  • WebSphere

Learn WebSphere - you will HAVE to deal with it, like it or not.

“Old” Skills

Well, this one is pretty straight forward – if you have not updated your skills lately … . Judging by the job/project offers I have received over the last 6 months and the type and amount of jobs being posted on http://www.ssmcjobs.com then 2012 will be the year of the upgrades and migrations …. and of new technology being implementd.

If you have not kept your skills and knowledge then this year might prove VERY touch on you. This has always been the case but I think this year will be especially hard because the only technology you are good at might be replaced this year and where will that leave you?

One Handed Bandits:

Another pun on luck, fate and being a “thing” with only one game in it. Companies always try to do more with less and the current push/move to social (I repeat myself here once more: it will be BIG!) is another indicator: If you have one main skill and not much else then you might find yourself under pressure. Even if your company is committed to Domino, you might find out that Connections and social mail is coming – so start learning something about “social” in general and  software specifically. and my advice would be not just to get familiar with Connections but other software solutions as well, it always pays off to have a more rounded knowledge base as your company might be looking at several socultions and having some knowledge about them will make you more valuable.

If all you have is one game, your chips might be up sometime soon.

Antisocial Behavior

I hope this is self explanatory. Social is coming, whether you like it and embrace it or not. It makes no difference whether you think it makes sense and if it might be a good fit for your company – or not. In my experience many companies start looking at technology once they see more of it “out there”. I remember the first time I had to deal with a Blackberry server: the CEO of my then company played a round of golf with another big-wig who had one and watched him use it, read some important documents/emails and make some snap decisions with it – we ordered our first BES a week later, true story!

I have often seen technology implemented without anybody having a clue how it might be beneficial just because management had gained the impression that “everybody” in their business space was implementing it. so – you might be called to a meeting sometime next month and hearing about a new project – best be prepared for it.

Blinders:

Self explanatory I guess – if you looked at what came up at Lotusphere this year you have to believe that allot  of that is coming your way. Companies put allot of time and money into products – but only if they think they will sell. Yes, some of those products don’t break though but  … if you see a family of products for several years in a row (social, Connections, etc.) … you can be pretty much count on it being a big thing. If you are not withing 2 – 3 years of retirement you need to learn the new technology BEFORE it leaves you behind.

WebSphere

My biggest pet peeve – just about everything that IBM puts out will sooner or later either run on WebSphere or integrate with a product that runs on WebSphere. Chances are that you will need to deal with the WAS sometime soon. LEARN WAS – buys a book, get a test version of some product that includes WAS and learn it. you need to understand the basics: Cells, Nodes, where to find the log files, what kind of log files there, java heap sizes settings … it sounds like allot but if you get into the basics you will notice it is not – it is manageable. If I could wrap my feeble mind around it so can you. .

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