Thursday, August 2, 2007

Know to talk? The job is yours !!

Communication is the most important skill required in a IT job. With the whole world becoming a small village, IT employees are spread out all over the world. You should be able to effectively execute projects with a team of people. You should be able to communicate with everyone in the team clearly and confidently. You are lucky if your team members sit across your cubicle. Chances are high that your team members are in a different office or from a different timezone. If so, the complexity of communication increases. What are some of the things that we do in an IT company that makes communication very important:

1) We get requirements from customers in written or oral form. You should be able to listen/read and understand the requirements. You should be able to ask the right questions to the customers to get clarifications regarding the requirements.

We have regular 1-on-1 discussions. Many a times, you may have to talk to your colleague to discuss about issues and resolutions. Your colleague may sit across your cubicle or sit across the globe.

3) We have to update status regularly to one or more folks. You may have to report your status in writing through status reports or in oral form during meetings.

4) We have regular conference calls. With the advent of conference calling facility and software tools such as Skype, Gotomeeting, Webex etc., we are constantly interacting with a group of people across the globe. Even if all the employees are sitting in one office, your customers may be spread out in the world. You may have to interact with your customers.

5) We write specifications and develop documents. Our job responsibility not only includes developing/testing software. It also includes documenting technical and process related interactions. You should be able to write documents that are comprehensive, complete and correct.

6) We have brainstorming sessions. Very frequently we have brainstorming sessions with our colleagues or customers. We solve problems by getting opinion from several folks. You should be able to effectively assimilate others' thoughts and present yours during such meetings.

7) We have technical/non-technical presentations/seminars. Many a times, someone has to present their design proposal or project proposal to their peers or to the management/customer. You should be able to effectively make presentations.

You may be tested during interviews for communication. Many companies provide training to their employees for them to improve their communication skills. Communication is not only key for the success of individuals but also for the success of the whole organization. So, prepare yourself for all of the above situations.

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