Anyone else in this position? Anyone else in this position?
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  1. #1

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    Default Anyone else in this position?

    I've had 3 interviews over the last month and a half and on all occasions I've had positive feedback as to my PM skills and experience but then they have commented that my technical skills weren't strong enough.

    I find this odd as my entire 12 year background is MS and Cisco based with the last 5 years managing technical projects. As I'm sure most PM's will agree technical skills will get more out of date as time goes by due to the fact that you are managing projects rather than getting into the technical nitty gritty.

    I can appreciate that a grounding and continuing exposure to new technologies is important but not to the degree that an Analyst would have.

    I guess the only answer is to try to increase technical knowledge by doing CCNA, MCSE etc

    Any other PM's finding this problem? What is your approach?

  2. #2

    Obstinate Git

    Mich the Tester is NOT a disguised employee

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    I do a lot of Test Manager contracts but deliberately try to do test analyst contracts in between; you know, on the workfloor, knees in the mud, even if the rate's tulip, just to keep my experience up to date and make sure that testers will take me seriously.

  3. #3

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    The problem is not so much your skills but the fact that there are a lot more people available and thus competition. Under normal economic situations you'd probably have no problems getting the contract, but now it is not by any means normal.

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    I just get the feeling that hiring managers seem to be putting far too much emphasis on technical skills rather than the PM skills which are surely more important than technical skills.

    I'm there to organise and push the project forward not to get bogged down in the technicalities, that’s what the analysts are for.

    Probably just my personal frustration but that’s the impression I get.

  5. #5

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    I'll offer a flip side to that

    I got rejected after an interview last year for a dev role which fully matched my skills.

    Got rejected as I didn't have any project management qualifications! WTF! Agent didn't mention it and it wasn't in the spec, so I reckon they were just try to save money by only hiring one person

  6. #6

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    Maybe, given the competition they are looking for a jack of all trades, who can do both roles. Now is the time the shysters will be shacken out of the tree. Not that you are one of them, but employers can afford to be choosey.
    The court heard Darren Upton had written a letter to Judge Sally Cahill QC saying he wasn’t “a typical inmate of prison”.

    But the judge said: “That simply demonstrates your arrogance continues. You are typical. Inmates of prison are people who are dishonest. You are a thoroughly dishonestly man motivated by your own selfish greed.”

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagpuss View Post
    Maybe, given the competition they are looking for a jack of all trades, who can do both roles. Now is the time the shysters will be shacken out of the tree. Not that you are one of them, but employers can afford to be choosey.
    You could well be right on that - about employers being choosey I mean

    An investment in updating the techincal skill set is probably needed.

  8. #8

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    I think you have to be prepared to work a little out of your comfort zone in the present climate. If it looks like you don't mind getting your hands dirty it might swing it. Good luck
    The court heard Darren Upton had written a letter to Judge Sally Cahill QC saying he wasn’t “a typical inmate of prison”.

    But the judge said: “That simply demonstrates your arrogance continues. You are typical. Inmates of prison are people who are dishonest. You are a thoroughly dishonestly man motivated by your own selfish greed.”

  9. #9

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    I've had the flip side to this and been told that I'm too technically experienced, it's very frustrating as all PM's know it's crucial to manage the work and not do the technical stuff barring the very rare emergency stations situations where you lend a technical hand.

    I suspect that it's a combination of ultra picky clients or similar but cheaper candidates.

  10. #10

    Nervous Newbie

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    Interestingly enough, I've been a geeky techy developer/programmer all my career, but have just been hired as a project and delivery manager as the client said during the interview that they felt that an experienced/mature developer who doesn't BS was required to speak the same low-level lingo as the developers.

    Their position was that a developer who is organised, proactive and can delegate can pick up the "PM-things" ; but it's harder for a strong PM to pick up the low level techy stuff.

    I didn't disagree obviously, and got the gig (ironically, by bs-ing answers to some soft PM questions :-) ) but curious to what others think.

    Is it easier for an experienced techy to do PM work or an experienced PM to learn the techy stuff? Or is it completely position dependant?

    cheers

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