How to be an IT Professional

What makes a good IT Professional? What skills or qualities do you need to succeed and excel as IT Professional? I have been doing this for a while so I thought I'd put together what I think goes a long way in this industry.  

It's only a few thoughts.  I'm not putting myself forward as any sort of role model.  I hope though this could perhaps help someone.

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IT Professional Skills

​Here are my top three qualities that I believe every IT Professional should have to succeed. 

1

Analyst

​An IT Professional will look beyond whats presented, will ask questions, unravel the matter at hand. Not taking anything at face value, pathfind a way forward, quickly eliminating red herrings.

  • Break down problems into logical components 
  • Reduce complexity
  • When trobleshooting, look for patterns, what's repeatable and what appears random
  • Flag risks or deficiencies 
  • Using systems like Trello, OneNote, Office 365 Planner can help track myriad of factors
2

Researcher

An IT Professional will experiment, test scenarios, evaluate new features.  Hypothesize and find evidence of solutions that are appropriate.  

  • Have lab or test equipment, whether it's an Intel NUC, HP Proliant Microserver, a whitebox, Azure Virtual Machines or Amazon Web Services, you get the idea
  • Try out new technology.  For me that's stuff like Windows Server 2016, Containers, Azure, Configuration Manager, Docker etc
  • Compile findings, noting steps, what worked and what didn't.  
  • Identify benefits, gotchas, workarounds anything that would come in use later
3

Innovator

​Thinking out of the box, spotting trends, anticipating shifts and risk taking when the occasion calls for it.  Being informed, taking an interest in how IT services are consumed and can be improved.  

Communications, project management and presenting are all valuable associated skills.

  • Get a good RSS reader, I highly recommend Inoreader and my Microsoft IT Pro Bundle which is a list of 30 Microsoft feeds that I curate
  • Join user groups and get active in whatever communities work for you.  I recommend the Microsoft IT Pro Network on Yammer.
  • Use a fail early approach, to hone and refine solutions 

IT Professional - Thoughts?

I hope that was of interest.  Find me on Twitter @CianAllner and let me know what you think.