Creating Cross-Functional Technologists

One day I was having a healthy dialogue around the virtual “water cooler” with one of my former colleagues and friends, Flavio de Rezende — Solutions Architect at Redis. I was pitching to him the idea of technologists learning concepts and gaining hands-on experience along the way. Kinda like which comes first the chicken or the boiled egg (one of my fav ways to eat eggs lol).

Thinking back over my career, I have worked with all kinds of smart people. One thing I noticed about them is they were able to carve out agile careers based on continuous learning and building a network of subject matter experts (SMEs) they could engage when needing to know info about a particular subject on the fly. As they continuously learn, they are picking up deeper skills along the way. Technologists tend to have the mindset that I have to put my hands on the tech before I can talk about it. In fact, that used to be my standpoint until I moved into an Architect role. As an architect, you may not always get a chance to put your hands on the tech before you talk about the subject. You must know a subject well enough to break down complex ideas and discuss potential implementation recommendations. These recommendations are backed by extensive research and tapping the SME network.

DevOps is a methodology that impacts the culture, practices and tools across the software development life cycle. So this leads me into the idea of the cross-functional technologist me and my CEO, Conor Delanbanque, have been discussing. The image below speaks of the various concepts that are associated with software development. Each of these concepts have their own culture, practices and tools.

Concepts associated with software development

Here at Strategio, we are training cross-functional Technologists that first focus on learning the concepts and then we expose them to various tools associated with that concept. As a Strategio Technologist, you will develop architectural knowledge and skills across each one of these concepts and specialist depth in one or more of these concepts. Strategio Technologists can move from project to project and even Enterprise to Enterprise knowing the concepts and have the technical acumen to learn the Enterprise’s specific toolchain. For example, at Strategio we train on cloud computing concepts and then apply this concept through exposure to a particular Cloud Service Provider, such as AWS, through hands-on exercises. If technologists focus on just a particular tool, they pigeon-hole themselves and become less valuable to an Enterprise that subscribes to continuous innovation.

As a Strategio Enterprise Simulator Leader, I am intentional about Strategio Technologists’ understanding the WHY and not only WHAT so they can add value to Enterprises by solving business problems.

Remember SHARING KNOWLEDGE is POWER and KEEP Learning! I would love to hear your feedback on this matter. Please share it in the comments.

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