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Commercial Awareness

 
Greenhorn
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Hi
What about some controversy?
Rumor has it (or so I am told by the Europenan HR Manager of a well known technology company), that computer staff, including Java programmers, developers and architects, typically suffer from two flaws. These flaws are so common that they are simply accepted as being a fact of life. The first relates to communication skills (that is the ability to talk to non IT staff understandably); and secondly a lack of commercial awareness.
The first point I cannot help with, the second - possibly.
Before you start screaming that "I have been a contractor for x years and know how to run my own business" then please accept that I do know this. While running a one man business where you typically work for one client at a time, is running a business, it is rather different from running an international organisation.
For my own part, After graduating from University with an honours degree in economics, I went on to become a Chartered Accountant, with price Waterhouse, before becoming professionally qualified in Marketing. After leaving Price Waterhouse I spent six years running my own consultancy business (with premises and staff, dealing with numerous clients at a time). While I originaly studied computer programming at University in 1983, and have used computers daily since, I have only fairly recently turned to formalising my computer skills. I will be sitting the three SCEA J2EE exams fairly shortly.
For my part my varied business background has been invaluable in getting me in the door. With a recession approaching employers are going to become more selective in the use of computer contractors as projects are shelved. Perhaps those computer staff with commercial awareness will be in a stronger position to win the plum assignments?
I would be interested to find your opinion on the combination of commercial awareness and computer skills. What do you think?
Looking forward to hearing from you. If you want to criticise this posting, then please do - constructively!
Stewart
 
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I would like to think that a combination of computer skills and a commercial background would give a person an advantage. I am in a situation that is a little bit different. I graduated from college this past Spring with a degree in English, and I plan to take the SCJP in the coming weeks. Without a degree in Computer Science, I hope to capitalize on a high score on the exam, and my ability to communicate well. I'm not sure if this separates me from any other candidates, but I feel that I must take advantage of my degree and convince potential employers that this gives me an advantage over other candidates. I have already spoken to one recruiter at an IT company about my situation, and he felt that it would help me indeed. I guess we'll have to wait a couple of months to find out. What do you think? Do you think I have an angle that is worth pursuing?
 
Trailboss
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Since this doesn't really apply to this forum, I'm gonna move this to another forum. The only forum I can think of is "meaninglss drivel" - even though this isn't meaningless, there are similar discussions there.
 
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