What’s It Like to Work in IT? The Scoop from IT Pros

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you wondering what technology culture is like for people working in IT careers? We’ve interviewed a few IT pros to help you get a better understanding of what their day-to-day jobs are like and their experience of working in technology in general. If you’re wondering, “What career is right for me?” our interviews with these IT professionals may help you decide that a career in IT is right for you.

 

What do you do?

JavaScript development and architecture, with a focus on Angular and enterprise

What do your kids think you do?

My daughter works with me as a junior developer, so she knows what I do, and my son thinks I’m the best Angular developer in Houston, and I let him think that!

What do your friends think you do?

They think I do everything computer-related. I don’t think they know. Anything that’s related to computers, they think I do – fixing them, programming them, etc.

What does your family think you do?

They think I write code. I don’t think they know anything about my career except that I write code, and they’re not really sure what kind of code I write or what I do with it.

How’d you get into this role?

I like emerging technology. I like a challenge. I like learning the latest cool stuff. The web development industry is always going to be changing, and that’s exciting. I happened to stumble across Angular at the serendipitous time and have sort of become a subject-matter expert because I stuck with it.

A few years ago, when I first started learning Angular, it was very new, and there weren’t that many resources to help me learn. Starting an Angular Meetup and working with other developers helped me become an expert.

As a junior developer, a lot of what you learn can be self-taught, but, as a senior developer, there’s only so much you can learn on your own. I think it’s essential for senior developers to get involved in the community and learn from each other.

Developers benefit so much from things like working with open source and talking to other developers. A lot of developers are self-taught, but you’re going to get to a point where you can’t grow anymore on your own. You have to start branching out and learning things from other developers.

A lot of software developers struggle with that, getting out, and it has to do with confidence. They think, “I don’t want to contribute to open source not because I don’t need help but because I’m worried I’m not good enough.” The only way I was able to get involved was to not take myself too seriously. Don’t worry about being an expert. Just participate, and you can learn so much.

What’s your typical day at work like?

I work remote, so I get up in the morning and go to my home office. I sit here and write code most of the day. I collaborate with other developers and do video chats. Most of the time I just sit here and write code, though, and I love it. It’s the greatest job.

What kind of technical skills do you need to succeed in your position?

A solid understanding of programming – TypeScript, specifically. And you get that by putting in the time to learn it. The only way to learn programming is to make mistakes. Coding is hard to explain to someone unless they’ve gone through the process of using it and problem solved using it. When you’re learning to code, you have to make mistakes so you’re better at anticipating problems in the future.

What type of personalities are a good fit for your job?

Curious and stubborn personalities. I got to this point because I had curiosity and tenacity. I’m stubborn, which is a good thing in this career. I come across things that I don’t know how to do, and I have to have the tenacity to figure it out. A patient personality is also helpful.

Which soft skills do people in your role need?

Patience and confidence. You have to believe in yourself.

“When I first started doing this, I worried I wasn’t smart enough. I thought developers were all geniuses and that you can’t be a developer unless you’re ‘born smart.’ But, no, that’s not it. “

You learn this stuff as you go along. You understand more each time. Also, I think it’s helpful if you’re a healthy person, because a lot of the job involves sitting, especially if you work remote like I do. Being active outside of work is a plus.”

What does the career path look like in your position/field?

Awesome! There are definitely a lot of employers looking for developers, especially developers who know Angular. There are so many people now using it, and there are a lot of teams looking for someone with experience to help them.

How would you describe your work–life balance?

It’s great. I was a single mom for a long time, and I used to be an administrative assistant and worked my way up to an executive assistant position. In that job, I worked longer hours for less pay. Right now, I’m getting paid not just for the time I’m working but for the time I spent learning those skills. My job can be intellectually difficult, but I get every weekend off and every Christmas off. I can take off time for family when I need to. I didn’t have that luxury in previous positions, and I think my work–life balance is a lot better now that I’m a developer.

 

 

What do you do?

Currently, I do technical support, help desk support and network engineering. I work at a small company, so I get to do a lot of different things. At larger companies, everything is sectioned off, and you don’t always get that variety.

What do your kids think you do?      

My two-year old daughter is not really aware of what I do, but I think my older twin boys have a better idea. In general, they think dad fixes everyone’s computers.

What do your friends think you do?     

In IT circles, we have a running joke that everyone thinks we can do anything. People might expect me to know how to use Photoshop, but that’s not my area of expertise!

What does your family think you do?

My parents often ask, “What is it you really do?”. As they’ve gotten older, I think they have a closer understanding, but it took a while to explain it to them.

How’d you get into this role?

Networking. I’ve gotten most of my jobs through knowing people in the field. Only my first job right out of college was different. I found it through CareerBuilder.

“Networking skills are so essential, and you have to be willing to push yourself out of your comfort zone to make connections in IT.”

What’s your typical day at work like?

Right now, I do anything from help desk tasks, like helping people reset passwords, to stuff on the opposite end, like managing servers and setting up virtual machines. There’s a lot of variety!

What kind of technical skills do you need to succeed in your position?

A background in computer engineering that covers software and programming is helpful. Knowledge of networks is also important. There are definitely times when technical skills can be picked up along the way, but you do have to have a basic understanding of the inner workings of computers.

What type of personalities are a good fit for your job?

Any personality! I’ve seen both introverted and extroverted people succeed in technology culture. Also, a good sense of humor is a plus. You have to be able to laugh when you’re problem solving in an IT job.

Which soft skills do people in your role need?

Listening skills, communication skills (the ability to hold a conversation), the ability to work well with all kinds of people. In my job, you’re working with and helping people all the time, so it’s better if you can build a rapport with them.

What does the career path look like in your position/field?

There are a lot of opportunities out there for people with my skillset. There’s a lot of room for growth in the field. Right now, I’m definitely happy with where I am and am always striving to improve at what I do and suggest innovative new things to the company.

How would you describe your work–life balance?

The work–life balance at my job is amazing. My boss is flexible when I have to leave early for things like my sons’ baseball practices and games. And our executive even sent an email out to remind people to use their PTO! My supervisor is very understanding, too, if I need to take sick days or even mental health days off. I don’t have to explain myself, and I get plenty of time off for the holidays.

 

 

What do you do?

I work mainly on server deployments and infrastructure management. In general, I provide maintenance and support to business applications.

What do your kids think you do?

They think I’m an IT guy and that I work on computers. They don’t know exactly what I do but think I’m a computer guru.

What do your friends think you do?

They think I can fix anything on computers. If there’s a problem with any type of technology, they think I’ll know how to fix it.

What does your family think you do?

They think I’m the “computer guy,” too. My mother always asks me to fix her computer or calls me when she needs help using it.

How’d you get into this role?

I’ve been in the IT industry for 23 years. I have performed several different roles, as a developer, network engineer, systems administrator and IT manager.

What’s your typical day at work like?

I configure scripts to perform server maintenance and functioning and load balancers and database deployments.

What kind of technical skills do you need to succeed in your position?

Knowledge of networks and sever infrastructure as well as network security and server scripting.

What type of personalities are a good fit for your job?

“Thinkers, people who use common sense and are able to react quickly to solve problems.”

It also helps if you’re skilled with computers and like understanding how they work.

Which soft skills do people in your role need?

Independence, flexible, the ability to be self-adaptive, the ability to work well under little or no supervision.

What does the career path look like in your position/field?

I would like to continue to move toward management, like a CIO or a CTO position in a small to medium business.

How would you describe your work–life balance?

My work life is between 40 to 60 hours per week, and I spend plenty of time with my wife and kids. I also take time off for vacation at least once or twice a year. My work–life balance is great.

Overall, these IT pros are happy at work and seem to be looking forward to spending the rest of their careers in IT. They all sing the praises of technology culture for its flexibility and opportunities for growth. If you’re considering a career switch, take our quiz to see if an information technology career is right for you!

Original Article: https://www.comptia.org/career-change/why-change/it-pros-career-insights#:~:text=My%20work%E2%80%93life%20balance%20is%20great.,flexibility%20and%20opportunities%20for%20growth.