Understanding the business is just a “plus”

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

Apr 10

If you look at many positions for job openings, you’d never know what business you are going to be working in. I don’t know about you, but if you actually know a lot about a particular business, it’s an advantage to you in comparison to others. Yet, IT departments routinely ask for commoditized (read: outsource capable) job skills without regard for knowing the business.

Consider these real job requirements for a Senior Engineering position and see what business all of this cool programming is for:

  • Senior-level engineer with experience developing high performance, high volume applications in a Linux and/or Unix environment using C and Java.
  • Experience with DNS, ENUM and the ACE framework is a plus.
  • Experience with Java application server technology (i.e, Tomcat, Websphere, etc)
  • Experience with Oracle and SQL
  • Comfortable with NT and Unix/Linux environments
  • Strong troubleshooting skills
  • Strong oral and written skills
  • Strong time management skills
  • Good team player

In addition to this knowledge, the person has to have a lot of experience:

  • 8 years experience developing high volume applications in a structured team environment
  • 6 years experience using CVS and/or another version control system
  • Experience with Java and/or J2EE
  • Familiarity with telecom provisioning or numbering a plus
  • BS in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering or related technical field

And here are the position responsibilities:

  • Design, develop, test and document software with little supervision
  • Troubleshoot software issues and implement fixes under time pressures
  • Assist management with project scoping and scheduling
  • Interface as necessary with other internal groups such as Product Testing, Database Administration and System Administration

Did you catch it?

“Familiarity with telecom provisioning or numbering a plus.” You’ll be programming systems that deal with number-portability in the telecom industry.

It’s just a “plus” to know about the business. And technologists wonder why there is such a disconnect between the business and IT.