Monday, December 29, 2014

How to Switch from Non IT Industry to IT Industry

Here are few examples of how someone can move from Non IT Industry to IT Industry



Scenario 1: Someone with a degree in English Major wants to move into IT programming job


If you want to move from a X industry or domain to computer science then you need to be cautious and plan it well. Here are few key steps...

1. First recall why you did get into English Major, what was your initial goal? Is it not relevant anymore?

2. As suggested by most folks, getting into computer science should start with learning. So do some research and join some good programming course.

3. Finding jobs related to programming might not be easy as there is competition out there. So allow yourself more and more time to practice programming and also practice giving interviews (the more your fail the better you become for the next interview)

4. You may also want to marry your capability in English to Computer Science by looking for opportunities in technical writing, training/ teaching, business analysis etc.



Scenario 2: Someone with an MBA and working for a Bank wants to move into IT


Since you have an MBA and work for a bank I am assuming you have experience of the finance domain. If that is correct, one of the best route to get into IT industry is to become a Business or Functional Analyst/ Consultant on Finance domain. You may want to join a course in one of the ERP solutions, for example, Oracle Applications R12 Finance Module and then seek opportunities in the IT industry.

For reference: http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E26401_01/nav/financials.htm here you can find user guides and implementation guides on Oracle Financials R12


Scenario 3: Someone working in Manufacturing Industry wants to move into IT


SAP is a good option if you want to work on a ERP solution. Another option is Oracle Applications (Oracle Apps) R12/ 11i.

Make sure you are careful when you do the switch, consider following points:
(1) How will you gain knowledge on SAP/ Oracle Apps/ Any other ERP Solution?
(2) If you are learning it on the job, that is great.
(3) If you are going to learn by joining some course/ institute then make sure they provide enough hands on training and potential job opportunities.
(4) ERP is world where domain knowledge helps a lot. So if you have some background in manufacturing industry then SAP may suit you. Or if you have background in Finance domain then Oracle might be better suited.

Other than SAP and Oracle there might be other options available as well so do your due diligence and research before you take the next step in the right direction.

PMP or PRINCE2 or ITIL or CSM

There are multiple project management certification options available in the market today. Here are some tips which will help you decide which one is better suited for you and why:

Project Management Professional(PMP) by PMI

- You should go for PMP certification if you are leading or managing projects for US based clients. Refer Article: Tips for PMP Aspirants  for some good pointers on PMP preparation.

OR

You should go for PRINCE2 if you lead or manage projects for UK based clients

OR

ITIL - IT Infrastructure Library certifications
As far as ITIL certification is concerned, it is for the IT Service Management professionals. It suits those who manage IT Production support operations. 

OR

CSM - Certified Scrum Master 

These days many organizations execute projects in the Agile way and it is becoming quite popular in the industry. Refer www.scrumalliance.org to find out more about CSM certification.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ideal Time For A Job Switch

Most IT professionals often wonder if there is an ideal time to switch jobs. The answer to this question is not straight forward as it depends on multiple factors which may vary from person to person.

Here are few key pointers that you may want to consider before making this vital decision:

Why Change?


First things first, find out your core reason for changing your current job. It may be aspiration for more salary, desire for promotion, need for better job responsibility, work environment, family relocation etc. Once you find out your core reason for job change, let this reason drive your passion for the search of desired job. Remember, there is no point in making a half hearted attempt.

Plan it Well


Now that you know the reason for making a job change, ask yourself of the potential employers that you want to target. Also, identify specific job location/ city/ country that you want to start the hunt in.

If you want to search in a specific city then you may want to plan it accordingly, please read:

How To Get A Replacement/ New Job in City of Your Choice

If you want to search jobs outside India, that is in foreign countries then you may want to refer these methods:

How Can A Software Developer Get Job In Foreign Country


The Timing


Once you have identified your core reason/ passion for job change and have planned it well as mentioned above then you need to look at the timing aspect. This is important for various reasons:

(a) Different companies have different appraisal cycles (some have January to December others have April to March, so you may want to ensure that you time your job change in such a way that you take advantage of appraisal cycle in your current company as well as in the company that you are going to join

(b) Identify the right point in time of your career when you want to make the move. This is driven by your core reason for change. Make sure you have a real big and genuine reason for making a job change. Avoid making too many job changes in a short period of time.

(c) Timing of a job change is also sensitive because one needs to take into account the market health factor as well. Sometimes the job market is hit by global economic crisis. These are not ideal days for making a move. If the market is dull it is ideal to stay put.

Along with the timing, in the modern world it is equally important that you also consider newer ways of hunting the right job for you.

Refer, Various Ways To Perform Job Search

Saturday, December 27, 2014

How Do Part Time Courses Help?

How Do Part Time Courses Help Professionals?

It depends on lot of factors:

(1) What are you doing currently as a full time job?

(2) What are you planning to do part-time?

(3) What do you mean by personal achievement?

Here is what I can suggest based on certain assumptions:

(1) If you are in IT industry and want to learn a new skill by doing a part time course then yes a part-time course will help you acquire knowledge of the new skill.

(2) If you are in Non IT industry and want to learn some IT skill by doing a part-time course then it might help as well.

Having said that, a part time course will help you gain knowledge in the area of your interest. However, it may not help you get skilled immediately which means you have not get immediate returns on your investment.

Therefore, before you join a part-time course you need to consider following important points:

(1) How is the course going to help you in short term?

(2) How is the course going to help you in long term?

(3) How reputed is the institute?

(4) Does the institute help in job hunt assistance?

Various Ways To Perform Job Search

Various ways to go about job hunting:

(a) Register on Linkedin. Build your network with professionals

(b) Register on job websites and set alert for desired profiles(Monster, Naukri and other country specific job search websites)

(c) Reach out to consultants. Share your CV

(d) Reach out to your seniors, friends, acquaintances. Share your profile

(e) Look for job openings in newspapers and advertisements

(e) Use social media websites to join interest groups for job search

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Quora
  • Blogs

How To Study Along With A Job/ Work

Where there is a Will There Is A Way

If you have a job and still want to study and that is your passion then you need to create time for it. 

Some tips:

1 - Wake up early in the morning, say 4 AM. Study for an hour or two before your daily routine hits you.

2 - In order to get up early you will need to sleep early.

3 - In order to sleep early you will need to come back home (from work) on time.

4 - In order to come home on time you will need to finish your work within the working hours.

5 - In order to complete the given work within working hours you will need to be organized.

6 - Make sure you avoid distractions at workplace. Don't entertain people walking to your desk and asking irrelevant questions. Don't take long breaks.

7 - If you think your workload is such that it is going to take more than 8 or 9 hours in a day to finish then you have a bigger problem. Go and talk to your supervisor. Make sure they understand you being over worked. Once they understand make sure you offload the extra work to others or extend the deadline to complete it the next day.

8 - Avoid unnecessary TV and Internet time. Use these tools only when required. Invest this time in completing other day job or home activities so that you can sleep well on time and get up early to study.

9 - Another option it to take a break from work, say a sabbatical for few months to complete your studies.

These are just some examples, which may or may not work for you based on your situation. 

Hope it helps in some way.

Career Paths And Career Options For Software Engineers and Testers

Here are the career paths for Software Engineers and Testers:


Software Development

-> Junior SE -> SE -> Senior SE -> Team Lead -> Sr. Team Lead -> Project Manager-> Program Manager -> Delivery Manager -> Senior Management





Testing

-> Junior Tester -> Tester -> Senior Tester -> Lead Tester -> Test Manager - > Quality Manager -> Senior Management (Quality or Project/ Program Management)





By the time you reach the Managerial position you have already re-skilled yourself from being a software engineer/ testing associate to being a manager. Now it depends on how well you can manage an IT project(development, support, consulting etc) and become a Program delivery manager or People manager.


What do you need to do for consistent growth

  • Work Hard. There is no replacement for hard work
  • Be proficient and master the skills to be the best within the competition
  • Add value. Get Visibility for your good work.


How Many Years Does It take to Grow in the IT Industry

  • 1 to 2 Years - Junior Software Engineer/ Junior Tester
  • 3 to 5 Years - Software Engineer/ Tester
  • 5 to 7 Years - Senior Software Engineer/ Senior Tester
  • 7 to 9 Years - Team Lead/ Tech Lead/ Test Lead
  • 9 to 10 Years - Senior Tech Lead/ Senior Team Lead/ Senior Test Lead
  • 10+ Years -  Project Manager
  • 12+ Years - Program Manager


Alternate Options:

  • If you are really good at technical design and architecture then you can continue to improvise on your technical expertise. Become a Technical architect over a period of 7+ years

  • If you are really good at understanding the business domain you may become domain expertise. Become a business analyst over a period of 7+ years

  • If you are good at presentation skills and have good technical/ domain knowledge then you may become a corporate trainer

  • If you are really really good at building or creating software then you may also look at the option of creating your own software products and selling it directly to the customers

How To Get a New/ Replacement Job In The City of Your Choice

Problem - You are not able to get a new/ replacement job in the city of your choice. This is making you feel negative about yourself.

Solution -

Concentrate on the positives of your life, specifically your achievements. Remind yourself of the good stuff from the past. This will help you gain the positive perspective.

Now, if you have been rejected by few companies does not mean that you have lost what it takes to get a new job. All it means is that you need to plan, prepare and prepare more to approach this job hunt in a new organized  way.

Here is what I suggest, you should do...

1. Make a list of potential employers/ companies in the City of your desire.

2. Visit the website of these companies and check what kind of openings they offer.

3. Also, visit the job search web sites and look for opportunities in these specific companies.

4. Change your profile/ CV to make it appealing for the specific job openings in these companies.

5. Prepare yourself for the selection process which may involve written test, case studies, technical interview rounds and HR round. Look for interview resources and information on internet. You will get plenty.

6. Prepare more.

7. Once you are convinced that you are prepared then apply for similar job openings in other cities where you actually don't want to join. Give some interviews. This is your live practice. Even if you get rejected there is no impact. If you get selected, you may think of joining or not joining based on need.

8. By now, you should have the confidence and enough preparation for sending job applications with the potential employers in the city of your choice.

Note: Changing a job is a career move and requires planning and organized approach for getting the desired profile. Above steps may or may not work based on the industry type.

Hope it helps.

Typical Day At Job

Typical Day at job for few professionals:

Teaching(School, College) - 

Day to Day Activities - 

  • Creating lesson plans
  • Imparting lectures on various topics and subjects
  • Attending meetings
  • Conducting meetings
  • Conducting exams
  • Creating question papers
  • Evaluation of exam answer-sheet, etc.

Skills Needed - 

  • Knowledge on the subjects/ topics/ tasks
  • Ability to deliver the subject with expertise 
  • Ability to manage student behavior
  • Physical ability to stand throughout the day to teach or supervise
  • Ability manage the extra curricular activities


Software Engineer - 

Day to Day Activities -

  • Performing analysis of business problems
  • Creating technical designs
  • Writing programs to solve business problems
  • Performing testing
  • Participating in release activities 
  • Creating documentation for all of the above tasks

Skills Needed - 

  • Analytical skills
  • Technical knowledge of the programming language
  • Ability to write complex algorithms and programs
  • Ability to work within the team
  • Ability to communicate well in English(verbal and written)

Job Titles - IT Management Roles

Some titles commonly used in the IT industry for management roles:

  • Project Manager - Manage a project with a specific timeline and goal/ objective/ outcome
  • Operations Manager - Manage an ongoing operation, for example, IT Production Support
  • Transition Manager - Manage transition from one team to another or from one phase to another
  • Release Manager - Manage the overall release activities of one or more projects

  • Test Manager - Manage the overall testing of an software development Project
  • Quality Manager - Manage the overall quality assurance of one or more projects
  • Program Manager - Manage more than one related projects by resource optimization
  • Portfolio Manager - Manage more than one projects or programs with a common strategic goal
  • Delivery Manager - Manage delivery of more than one programs and portfolios
  • Service Manager - Manage delivery of operations in the service management framework

Thursday, December 25, 2014

How Can A Software Developer In India Get A Job In Foreign Countries

Here are some tips for the software developers in India who are looking for a job in a foreign country:

1. Be Proficient: Make sure you are on top of your game with respect to your skill. It doesn't matter whether you are a technical engineer or a functional expert, all you need to do is work hard and be proficient in your area of expertise. This is the first step towards getting a job in a foreign country.


2. Work for a Indian IT Services Company: One of the best option to get to work outside India is to work for a IT Services Company. These companies have multiple customers/ clients all across the globe and they do need proficient software engineers to work at these client/ customer locations in foreign countries.


Once you have got a job in one of the Indian IT Service Company, you will need to work your way up the ladder and do the right things so that you are selected for the Onsite opportunity.

Few tips:
  • Be prepared to work hard - If you dream to go onsite, you need to work hard. There is no short cut. Be ready to spend extra hours at work.
  • Become an SME, that is, gain the status of a subject matter expert in your team. This will come only when you have the ability to learn and improve continuously.
  • Communication skills - Make sure you polish your communication skills. This includes not only the spoken english skills but also the listening skills.
  • Visibility - Make sure that you perform well at offshore so that the client/ customer has complete visibility of your work and has confidence in you.
  • Make sure you have relevant documents, passport and visa ready. Different companies have different policies to process various types of visas. You need to have an open mind and be ready to capture the earliest opportunity.
  • Look for opportunities: Keep your eyes and ears open. Apply common sense and select the right project where you are aware of potential opportunities. Be very open in calling out to your manager that going onsite is your top priority.
3. Use your networking skills:  If you are looking to get a job directly with a company outside India and do not want to go through the IT Services company then you will have to hunt it yourself. Floating your CV to consultants is the old proven method but there are multiple ways to hunt jobs in the modern internet age. Using your own network of people is the best way to go about it.
(a) Identify all your contacts, friends, colleagues, consultants, customers etc.
(b) Float your CV/ profile and mention that you are in the market and would appreciate their help.
(c) Use the social media to your benefit, tools like :
- Facebook
- Whatsapp groups
- Twitter
- Quora,
- Blogs
- Linked in
- Job search websites for specific countries

4. Understand the work permit and visa regulations of various countries. Do not trust the consultants or new companies blindly. Never pay money to get a job. Be organized in your approach for hunting the the right job. Never underestimate any medium of communication. Use all of them to their complete potential.


All the best.


If you read this post, you will love to read the following interesting posts:

How Much Money Do Indians Save In USA?

How To Go Onsite/ USA from IT Services Company?