10 Skills Every IT Person should have

I often wonder about the skills an IT person should have to be actually called “IT person” I often see people that call themselves IT people, but lack the basic IT stuff. In this list I compiled 10 IT skills a person should have to be legitimately called an IT person. IT managers, check your IT staff for these skills, if they don’t have them, shitcan them.

  1. Be able to do basic IT stuff. This include basic stuff like mapping network drives, mapping network printers, add memory to the system etc. You don’t need to be an expert on registry hacking, or CPU overclocking, but people expect IT people to know the basic computer stuff.
  2. Understand Basic Networking. Anyone working in the IT field should understand the basic networking stuff. What DNS is for, and how to do basic troubleshooting, how to change TCP/IP settings, or why a network needs a domain controller etc.
  3. Scripting. I hear you saying, I’m not a programmer, yeah that’s true otherwise you’d be working at Microsoft, but as an IT person you need to be able to create simple scripts to map network drives, printers etc automatically. Scripting daily tasks can be a huge benefit for an IT team, so is essential that you possess this skill to automate some daily pain in the ass tasks.
  4. Document. Yes, whatever you do don’t assume other people know it, so write down your procedures and storage them on a network location where everyone have access to it. That will save time by cutting research time among your IT fellows.
  5. Willing to work   long hours without complaining “I’m off shift.” IT is a wonderful career, but sometimes things get ugly, and IT folks need to work long hours nonstop until the problem gets resolved. This sometimes require working until midnight solving a problem without pay, that is if you are on salary of course.
  6. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions, but just once. Don’t be afraid to ask dumb questions, as long as you ask them just once. Asking questions to your fellow IT colleagues is a compliment, but   just once, otherwise is annoying and rapidly you will be stamped as stupid among them. Ask questions and write down whatever answer you get.
  7. Interpersonal skills. I can’t emphasize this skill enough when it comes to IT skills, specially in the helpdesk area. Good technicians needs to have good interpersonal skills, otherwise you are not that good. Listen more than what you speak, well, I don’t need to write down all the interpersonal quality you need, but if you ever read Hamlet in High School, you should remember what Polonius tells his son Laester when he leaves for France.
  8. Read. Yeah, some people believe they can get by just doing hands on work , nay, say I. What you will know by hands on experience in your entire life, can be easily achieved by reading good books. Reading expand ideas, stimulate imagination, and make you aware of current breakthroughs. This does not need to be necessarily just IT related stuff, reading in general can make you a better person, well, in general.
  9. Don’t be afraid to debate something you know is wrong, but do it moderately. Everyone knows at heart when the emperor has not clothes right? But some people like to argue things over and over again, of course they do that when they find someone foolish enough to nurture their stubbornness. Present your ideas clearly, and argue them to a point, but if people continue arguing the obvious stuff, give yourself a favor, shut up. There is a fine line between a good idea and a tedious argument.
  10. Talk to people outside IT like if you were talking to your grandma. IT people love to talk about computer stuff in acronyms. Remember that when you talk to people outside the IT sphere they don’t know what on earth RAM is. When you tell them their computer needs RAM, they probably think you are telling them they need a RAM-BO to throw the thing out of the window. Talk to people in their language when you talk about computers, I know it is hard, but people will be grateful.

I probably should write a bonus for an IT manager that might lay his eyes balls to this post too, and that is, never put up with unskillful IT staff. In fact, only hire people that you think is smarter than you. Don’t be afraid they will take over your job, if you think that then you should quit.

Your job is not to do the network administrator’s job, neither the help desk tasks, your job is to channel staff productivity, coordinate projects, write reviews and overlook what gets done and what does not etc. To do that, you need smart people on the bus.

There you have it, 10 IT skills you need to be called an IT person. What do you think it takes to be an IT guru?

Comments [1]

  1. Edward says:

    I like the article. Im not sure I agree with the shitcan them part. Some techs I have met really do not know how much they dont know. Releasing them wont help them learn anything either. Most would love to know more, but dont know where to start or cant get help when they have questions.

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