Tying your career closely to vendor products can be a mixed blessing, says technical consultant Srinivasan Vanamali.
Developing interests in certain technologies can make you valuable but sticking with vendor-specific products can also prove risky, he says. "I have seen people with a very strong Novell background who have failed to jump on the Microsoft bandwagon and lost certain career opportunities.
Mali, as he is called, assesses the e-security of corporations for Computer Associates in Auckland. He has more than 12 years' IT experience, six in programming, then networks and security. His raft of industry certificates back his belief that education is hugely important for success.
“IT and in particular the security field is very dynamic and it is important that one understands the latest developments. Education - formal or self learning - plays a huge role in that process, he says.
Mali says techies are often too proud of their affiliation to product than technology. “This is one of the reason some find it hard to make a switch and understand trends in the market. Always keep a open mind and don't ever get hung up on products."
Mali says careful planning and picking on certain technologies, not driven by market hype, has helped him move up. “I have been very open to technologies and products. I am always keen to play an important role in the niche market and see how best I can stand out from the crowd. If there is not much recognition within the organisation for your specific skills and/or the organisation doesn't support it in a positive manner, moving up through change of job often works,” he says.
Career goals should not be static, he says. "I have always reviewed and changed my goals every two or three years and review the industry and pick on something. This becomes tiring over the years but I think now I have picked up security as the best bet for my career goal,” he says.
Mali says he has never missed out on promotions or been made redundant, but advises the positive approach. “Take rejection in your stride, tweak the resume and talk about your positive qualities and explain you would be a valuable member of the team."