It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness; poverty and wealth have both failed. -Kin Hubbard
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Tips on Building Successful Technical Career
Sharad Sharma was General Manager, VERITAS India. He has immense experience in the Telecom and Software industry. These are tips excerpted from an interview with him aired on Bangalore's RadioCity, 91FM.
Do checkout Sharads blog too at Orbit Change - a favorite business blog of mine.
  • Building a Successful Technical Career involves working with cutting edge technology and building high performance technology organizations.
  • One should be globally competetive in ones field of work.
  • Push yourself, not in a corrosive or destructive way but in a good way - set an achievable goal for yourself and then plan and meet that goal over time.
  • One thing people should add to their drive, ambition and discipline is long term perspective. As half life of software becomes shorter over time, people must take the long term perspective. This is counter intuitive and hence difficult to do. Note that the Warren Buffet's of the world, rather than the day traders, make money in a volatile market.
  • Plan your career in 7-10 year horizons. Pick an industry trend and not technology trend. Align yourself with an industry trend.
  • Reducing risk in managing information is a trend that will stay for some time to come. This will be achieved by enhancing security, increasing availability of systems and reducing complexity. Usability engineering and systems management will be important. Reducing costs will be important, so will India.
  • On choosing the right course : Transition from one S curve to another S curve - taking a course can accelerate that transition. For example transitioning from being a developer to a project manager will benefit from a management course.
  • Identify where in the value chain do you want to be : Sophisticated End user Organization (ICICI Bank), Consulting Services (MindTree Consulting), Product Engineering organization (VERITAS).
  • Invest in yourself. All good companies will encourage you to do that.
  • In terms of strengths, people tend to be Inch Deep and Mile Wide, or Mile Deep and Inch Wide, both profiles can be improved upon. The right combination is a T profile - depth in core area, overlayed with industry context - the top part of the T.
  • Software is a team sport - soft skills and communication skills are important, particularly written communication skills. Having a Personal Code of Conduct is most important. Say what you mean and do what you said you would. Be proactive in sharing both good news and bad news.
  • At the end of the day, produce results and not reasons.
  • Sharad's Formula : Take a long term view, invest in yourself, and be nice to others.
  • The Mountaineering Analogy : Its better not to aim at Mount Everest to begin with, but to aim for an achievable target. You need to plan for the trek, and you need a team. You need the mental strength and stamina to overcome inevitable problems on the way. Reaching the peak should make you feel good not for having beaten other people, but for having beaten your own limitations.
Jun 2005
Author : Sharad Sharma (Excerpts)
Message in Public Interest
Laughing ...


Human. Professional. Technologist. Musician. Naturophile. Linguaphile. Traveller. Philosopher. Friend. Don't-Worry-Be-Happy-ist.