Remember To Develop Your People Skills and Don’t Get Caught Up In The Hype with Mark Richards

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In this week’s show, Phil talks to Mark Richards, an experienced, hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures and other distributed systems in a variety of technologies.

He has been in the software industry since 1983 and is the author of numerous technical books and videos. He has also spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.

Mark talks about the value in developing people skills and what a difference they can make to the shape of your IT career. He also discusses why careful consideration should be employed when it comes to solutions, and why you should never be caught up in the hype of a popular methodology.

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

TOP CAREER TIP

Soft skills matter in any role you perform. Never discount the value in people skills, which can make all the difference.

WORST CAREER MOMENT

As a result of being abrasive in the workplace, several people left the organization. This led to a period of reflection, and several lessons learned.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT

Being able to build a development team from the ground up, and being able to manage the team closely. This was Mark’s first assignment as an independent, and the experience shaped the way he worked forthwith.

THE FUTURE OF CAREERS IN I.T

The advancements in the tools, platforms and frameworks available now, is incredibly exciting in terms of seeing how these factors affect and energise the careers of new IT initiates.

THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Mark has been intensely interested in science from a young age, determined to follow his passions into discovering how science and programming can change the world.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Don’t follow the money – the money will come.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Perception is reality. This belief promotes the idea that many achievements are fraudulent.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Mark would focus purely on machine learning and artificial intelligence, which he sees as the true future of IT.

What are your current career objectives? – Mark is focused upon spreading the knowledge has accumulated, which he sees as truly valuable.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Negotiations kills which Mark sees as one of the most important tools anyone can have.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Mark follows his “20 Minute Rule”, which involves him devoting twenty minute periods to furthering his career in some way.

What do you do away from technology? – Reading is incredibly important, but Mark also enjoys home repairs and remodeling, as well as hiking.

FINAL CAREER TIP

Be careful not to get caught up in the hype, and always analyse the trade-offs of everything you see. Everything in software architecture is a trade-off, and solutions that are popular may not always be the most prudent.

BEST MOMENTS

(3:15) – Mark - “It’s the role of a software architect to understand the political climate of an enterprise and navigate politics”

(7:55) – Mark - “Remember those soft skills – the people skills. This was my career differentiator”

(18:20) – Mark – “That creative piece of IT tends to be overshadowed sometimes when we have to deal with the mundane technology aspects of the zeroes and ones”

(26:42) – Mark – “Having negotiation skills is one of the only ways of doing your job as a software architect”

ABOUT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organizations to design, develop, and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.

CONTACT THE HOST – PHIL BURGESS

Phil can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at phil@itcareerenergizer.com and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer

ABOUT THE GUEST – MARK RICHARDS

Mark Richards is an experienced, hands-on software architect involved in the architecture, design, and implementation of microservices architectures and other distributed systems in a variety of technologies.

He has been in the software industry since 1983 and is the author of numerous technical books and videos. He has also spoken at hundreds of conferences and user groups around the world on a variety of enterprise-related technical topics.

CONTACT THE GUEST – MARK RICHARDS

Mark Richards can be contacted through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markrichardssa

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markrichards3/

Website: https://www.developertoarchitect.com/

Book: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1492043451

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