Having recently resigned from my full-time job to start down the path of consulting, I was contemplating the importance of a few important things to remember in the IT industry.
- Honesty. One thing I learned early on is that honesty is your best friend. Whenever you’re late on a project or struggling with a particular part of a project let your client know. I have not met one client yet that does not understand If you tell them you are struggling and that the task might take longer than expected.
- We’re all in this together. IT is one of those unique industries where the lines between customer and supplier must be blurred. Neither can sit back and expect the other to do everything, it’s a give/take thing.
- Continuous Improvement. There is always a better, easier and faster way to get something done. There is always more to learn, you will never know everything.
- Make friends. Yes, clients can also be friends. Don’t forget the people that helped you get where you are. Keep in touch with old colleagues(the nice ones, and the lesser nice ones)
- Leave emotions at home, and leave work at the office. Work and clients are challenging enough, throwing emotions into the mix will make it even worse. Always, always remain professional.
- Respect. Need I say more?
And one of my favourites, from Jerry Weinberg’s book The Psychology of Computer Programming:
The only true authority stems from knowledge, not from position. Knowledge engenders authority, and authority engenders respect — so if you want respect in an egoless environment, cultivate knowledge.
And most important: Enjoy what you’re doing, If you love what you’re doing and have enthusiasm for it, people will find it contagious.