The tech sector is constantly on the move, and the demand for qualified managers has skyrocketed. If you are a technician or software developer, now is the time to prepare to move up, otherwise, you might end up getting left behind like your 98’ VCR player.
Let's break down the role of a Technical Manager, and identify the key technical and management skills you should be working on now to prepare for your bright future as a tech manager.
TECHNICAL SKILLS TO HONE
Know Tech And Know It Well
The first things you'll need to be familiar with is handling different software tools and building a strong understanding of distinctive programming languages. Make it your business to stay on top of all the new software applications. Learn to communicate with different machines by studying numerous programming languages (SQL.JAVA.). Play with various systems on the client and server side of things.
By working with a broad range of tools, you're essentially preparing for the future. Skills learned are also skills to one day pass on to the team you'll be managing.
As a future leader in the technology field, you must keep current with the constant advancements in tech. Being proficient in the latest software applications, and maintaining a general understanding of upcoming tech puts you in a strong position to keep growing your abilities. Have sites like Cnet or Techradar bookmarked to your dashboard to stay up on tech news, and subscribe to sector specific groups on LinkedIn. By keeping up with relevant companies and technologies, you’ll increase your relevancy within the job market.
Solve Till You Dissolve
Once you are leading a team, you're often going to be called on for numerous solutions and reports. It’ll be your job to guide your team through different situations, using unfamiliar tools, in unusual settings. You won't have to know every answer, but you will need to know the steps to get to the right one.
Experience is the only antidote when its comes to improving your problem solving capabilities. So put yourself out there and don't be intimidated by the game of trial-and-error.
DEVELOPING YOUR MANAGEMENT SKILLS
As the point person on a project, it's going to be your responsibility to constantly relay messages from upper management to your staff and vice versa. You will come across numerous situations where you'll have to communicate different steps, in their correct chronological manner. If you fail to relay all the necessary components an entire job can be put at risk. It’s crucial that you are able to breakdown the essential info and understand all the variables, especially when you're communicating with customers. Being a proficient communicator will positively increase your workflow, your team’s productivity, and ultimately your performance.
Being a leader is much more than barking orders at your team. To be effective as a leader you must lead from the front. Your work ethic sets the tone, and your ability to communicate clearly ensures that the team can work as one. Show your team that you’re willing to get your hands dirty. Create an atmosphere where your crew can pitch in ideas and suggestions. Build a level of trust. You're only as strong as your team.
The Three P’s
Prepare. A well executed plan only gets accomplished after a considerable amount of preparation. Create a system or a step-by-step solution playbook for common problems that you and your crew can refer back too. Strong strategies prepare for you the unexpected.
Prioritize. As a manager, you'll need to be able to prioritize your jobs and the routes to complete them. Scalability and resources at-hand are a few of the factors that go into scheduling jobs that deliver on time. A strong awareness of time management and procedures are vital to your success.
Proceed. You'll need to delegate tasks to your crew. For an effective outcome, you’ll need to be aware of your team's strengths, weaknesses and assign accordingly. You have a team of professionals, so match them with a project that will utilize their maximum potential.
To prepare for a jump into management keep learning, whether it be new applications, new systems, or new skills. This industry is growing at a much quicker rate than the supply of qualified candidates can keep up with. Get in the game!
If you are ready to advance your career, get in touch with a leading recruiter in your field, they are your best resource to test if you are ready for the leap.