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Steve Thomas

Steve Thomas

Executive Director at Data Warehouse by Design
  • I've been in the IT management consulting world now for 30 years. And it has always been interesting to see how the IT business views "soft skills".

    If you read the articles and the job descriptions, you'll see mid to upper management saying things like: "we greatly value communications skills and

    I've been in the IT management consulting world now for 30 years. And it has always been interesting to see how the IT business views "soft skills".

    If you read the articles and the job descriptions, you'll see mid to upper management saying things like: "we greatly value communications skills and business knowledge. We want people with great interpersonal skills so our IT staff can effectively interface with our business stakeholders". But these guys are not the ones hiring people. For the hiring manager, it is always "technical skills, technical skills, technical skills."

    Perhaps it's a self-perpetuating cycle. Today's managers likely came up as technical people with little regard or perceived need for soft skills. Or perhaps it's a matter of cost. In general, with our internationally diverse IT workforce, those candidates from other countries are often very highly skilled technician, but lack the language communications skills that are "nice to have". And often they work cheaper.

    But still, what we think we're hiring isn't what we're really hiring. And the cycle goes on.