Firstly, Thanks to DOTNETFUNDA for bringing a platform to us where we can seek a valuable piece of advice from the experts across the industry.
I have found this section ( career advice ) quite interesting and helpful. I just couldn't stop myself from going through all of the 34 pages and surprised to see experts taking some time out of their busy schedules and responding to every post. KUDOS to all of them.
Especially, Mr.Sainath, I am very much impressed with your work. I would really appreciate if you can respond to my post.
Some Background about me:
I am a software developer working for a reputed product based company. I love my company and job and have been able to justify my job 100% and got many awards & rewards for the same. I have a very good rapport with my managers, seniors and juniors and they always appreciate me for my helping nature.
So Far So Good, then what's the problem?
Here is the problem:
I am unable to set goals for myself just because I am not aware of what career options are available for me and what are the responsibilities and daily duties each position holds. Are there any resources( preferably a book )which can help me get a clear picture on this - A book which gives everyone an insight of each position available in IT industry? I just don't want to answer saying "I want to become a Team Lead in the next 5 years and Project Manager with in some X years thereafter" to the question "What are your career goals?".
Sainath's Advice on Sunday, January 19, 2014 :
It is quite evident from your question that things are going well for you in your organization at this point in time. This is a good position to be in - having said that, if you are not too careful, it can also be the strongest deterrent for your long term progress. This typically happens when a person limits his long term vision and does not really think beyond the walls of the company he works in. It is a problem everyone faces at some point in time.
People can limit themselves in the below ways :
1. People limit themselves within the borders of their organization
2. People box themselves within their role - this is widely rampant in the software development workplace today. You will find many specialist developers today who seem to think :
(a) Setting up the programming environment on their PCs is the job of desktop support
(b) Troubleshooting DB issues is the specialist area of the DB Admin
(c) Troubleshooting OS level issues is the job of the Unix Admin
(d) Troubleshooting performance issues in the application is the job of the COE (Center of excellence) group who in turn seem to think that their job is only to provide consultancy and basically deliver nothing
(e) Architects who seem to think that project deadlines are the sole responsibility of the Project Manager
(f) Project Managers who seem to think that anything considered to be core technical in the project should not head in their direction
(g) Developers who restrict themselves to 1 platform only - for e.g I want to be a J2EE architect, I want to be a .Net Architect,etc
Thankfully, in all this chaos, a select group of people across the world are truly "pursuing excellence" in the software field and they are the ones worthy to be followed, none else.
My advice to you is plain and simple, rather than boxing your thinking towards becoming a Team Leader, Project Manager, etc just do this:
"PURSUE EXCELLENCE RELENTLESSLY" in the software development field.
Just look around, there are so many experts to learn from. I have named quite a few in my previous post:
I would like to add another name to this growing list : Chad Fowler
I would strongly recommend that you read his book "The Passionate Programmer"
Whatever he has said makes so much sense given the fact that we have experienced the same things in our careers as well.
If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
- Sir Isaac Newton
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.”
? Stephen R. Covey
The path of pursuing excellence has many rewards
1. It probably never ends
2. It is a journey which fills the one who undertakes it with deep satisfaction - not just a superficial feeling which can arise out of immediate peer or social recognition.
My point is, we are all guilty of adopting the "frog in the well" mindset at some point or other in our careers, myself included, the only difference lies in the size of the well which we chose as mentioned above in points above.
Just benchmark yourself with the best in the field, pursue excellence relentlessly, success and greater success and deep satisfaction will follow you unconditionally.
Your job is to solve the biggest business problems by delivering the best possible software solutions - just make sure everything else is geared towards this end goal : be it practices adopted, skills learnt, type of people recruited,etc.