When it doesn’t matter that there are more jobs around... but agility does

I picked up from The Register that research published by CWJobs was showing some good trends at the back end of last year. That’s good news really. I don’t know about you but I’m a bit tired of this whole economic situation, and I take encouragement where I can find it.

As an organisation we have to think of this both as a market/sector but also as a place where individuals exist. What I mean by that is that it is all very well to say there are jobs out there, but if you’re an individual who needs a job and can’t get a look in that doesn’t really help. You don’t need more places to apply to, you need a job.

There are all sorts of reasons why it might be difficult; for example the unhelpful way recruitment is often done and the attitudes involved. Another is that IT jobs are not all the same, and while over the last few decades the IT sector has generally grown (and you can get some really high salaries in the right places) the skills and capabilities necessary are constantly shifting.

That makes continuing professional development really very important for those in the IT profession, and I’ll be talking a lot more about that later (no, wait! come back!). We need to stay agile. Pun intended.

One thing The Register surprisingly didn’t pick up on was that Agile is listed as the up and coming skill, and the report was suggesting that by the end of the year it will be the most sought after skill.

I love agile methods, and the agile manifesto is my kind of stuff really. I’m a fan in other words. I’d therefore strongly recommend that if you don’t have a comfort level with agile methods that you should seek to change that.

I also think that agile isn’t a process methodology but something more fundamental. I think it is about mindset and culture, and about integration and accountability to your organisation or to your customer. It is about tightly wrapping ourselves around goals and around issues - and meeting or solving them. It embeds the concept that requirements constantly change, so we should stop pretending otherwise.

So this is more than just moving from C to C# (and hey, a good programmer is always programming in FORTRAN, aren’t they?). This is more than just learning a new project method, it is changing the way we operate individually and as organisations. That can be a challenge.

It’s a challenge we can help with. BCS has a very active and interesting specialist group, and you can find a lot of video content of their meetings and see their upcoming meetings. You can join the group through the secure area and get on their mailing list.

The only trouble I find is that the meetings tend to change location / size regularly, and they don’t have any chairs*.

We also have an agile tester qualification we offer, and as agile continues to gain momentum there’s no doubt we’ll be doing more and more.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. I wrote it quite quickly and it isn’t quite up to spec but I decided to publish it and gain feedback before I post a new version in a few days**.

*It’s not actually the case. That’s an agile joke, albeit not a very good one.

**That’s also an agile joke, but hopefully due to iteration a slightly better one.

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About the author

Thoughts on membership, the profession, and the occasional pseudo-random topic from the BCS Policy and Community Director.

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