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!