I would just like to say this post is in NO WAY insinuating I am a great engineer. I believe that no matter how much you know or think you know, there is always room for improvement and development. That being said these are some things I believe makes a technologist really stand out from the rest of the crowd.
This next post will be about the social aspect of being a great engineer. Being a part of the technology community is an essential a part of someone’s career and growth within IT.
Social networks like twitter are a great place to network and connect with other “Like-minded” people. I’m not gonna lie its sounds kind of creepy when I say “Like-minded” but none the less twitter is a great place to get in touch with some amazing and very smart people. You will find some great bloggers like Duncan Epping ( @DuncanYB ), William Lam ( @lamw ) and Sean Thulin ( @Sthulin ).
You will find some great bloggers like Duncan Epping (@DuncanYB), William Lam (@lamw) and Sean Thulin (@Sthulin ), just to name a few. But twitter is also great for touch with the companies that create these awesome technologies. Vmware (@VMware), IBM (@ibm) Cisco (@Cisco) Dell EMC ( @DellEMC )
Technology forums Like VMTN and VMware Reddit are a plethora of information, i would strongly consider these as social forums you will see a lot of VExperts and VCDX’s on both sites doling out information like they are making money. They are sites that you should take a look at.
It is important to connect with these people for a couple of reasons, the most obvious one is the networking aspect of our jobs. Networking is essential to gaining ground in your career, always having friends in a lot of different places is not only good if you get Laid off or looking for a career move, but is also good when looking for advice. Whether you want to reach out to these contacts for advice on a new product that might be a right fit for your environment or even better if you have an issue and your contact works for that company. The opportunities are endless when you have a great network of people at your side.
I guess the hardest part of this is finding those mentioned people. Some people will find this the hardest part of networking, is breaking the ice. In my experience, I have never had an issue at a local meeting or conference that I was pushed away for ease dropping on a technical conversation. Usually starting with a ” Hey I overheard you talking about (Insert here)” usually is a pretty good ice breaker. Learning to carry on the conversation is key though and i would have to write a whole blog post on that topic. Becuase if you know me you will know that I can keep a conversation going and have no issues with talking to people i don’t know, obviously sometimes to my detriment.
Honesty and confidence
The Last section i have for you tonight is the most important. What makes an engineer stick out is his/her ability to talk about technology with honesty and confidence. Knowing a product is one thing, a lot of people know one technology or another but very few can master that technology and live to tell the tale. Speaking honestly about your experiences is essential to being a great engineer. there is no other community out there that can smell bull shit like IT and most of the time they don’t mind calling you on it. It takes a great engineer to say “I don’t know” it proves that you are humble and understand that you won’t have all the problems solved. But the ability to take that “I don’t know” and make it into a learning experience is key. Being honest to yourself is the most important part. You may not have the answer to every question, but a great engineer knows where to find it.
Confidence is essential for anyone not only in IT but any industry. When you are confident in your beliefs people trust you. Confidence is one of those things that strikes comfort in the heart of people. When you go to a client or manager and say “I know the issues to the problem X,Y,Z, And these are the solutions.” It gives them the perception that you knowing what you are doing, But also makes them feel like you have done this before, even if you haven’t. Comfort from upper management or clients is how decisions get made and how things get fixed potentially. But remember the rule above. YOU MUST BE HONEST! If the task is out of your reach or if you don’t have experience don’t get into a corner you cannot get out of.
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