Information technology is defined as the development, installation an implementation of computer systems and applications. It can also be defined as (ITAA definition) the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer based systems particularly software applications and hardware. It deals with use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information securely.
There are a number of IT professionals (information technology degree, 2008): database management, networking, engineering (software and hardware), computer specialist and software publisher to name just but a few. My career interest is in database management. This is because with database management you can work in any well established firm anywhere in the world. Any well established firm has databases ranging from finance records, contacts of business partners, employee or product details etc. Good management of such databases can lead to growth of the firm through efficient operations.
To be a competent database manager you need to be privy in the following areas in IT: Networking (to allow authorized officers in various offices to access the database) computer specialist (Repair and maintenance of the computer hence maintenance of the database) and software design (To design security based software to permit/ restrict access to database, change of database etc as a way of ensuring constructive use of database). A database manager requires a number of skills in order to function competently.
These skills are broadly divided into two groups: technical skills (e. g. Programming, networking etc) and personal skills (e. g. communication skills, interpersonal skills etc). The technical skills /required by a database manager include: Networking, Programming and ability to design and implement system security and other security measures. (Stein, 2007). Networking skills help in linking all the authorized users of the database to the main system to enable them access, update or delete sections of the database as appropriate.
Programming language skills helps the database manager to design software some of which can enable the implementation of system security and other security measures. A close analysis of my technical skills reveal the fact that I am exceptionally good in networking but lacking in programming and consequently the implementation of system security and other security measures. On the other hand, some personal skills are mandatory for a competent database manager. These include (Steiln, 2007) organization skills, management skills and surveillance.
Other skills include (job database, 2008): communication skills, strategy development skills, conflict management skills not forgetting (Career builders, 2008) strong analytical skills, excellent project management skills, documentation skills, consulting, partnership and critical thinking skills. Last but not least are the initiative and self starting abilities. Considering the above stated personal skills and on close analysis of my personal skills, I believe that I possess all the personal skills listed above except analytical and project management skills.
These skills I possess have been internalized into my subconscious mind by constant application. These are the skills that I have learnt both formally and informally. Formally, I have attended training on a number of personal skills such as conflict management, organization, documentation, presentation, communication (both oral and written), and capacity building skills. The capacity building course enabled me to develop initiative and self starting abilities.
Informally, I have learnt to be a team player thus acquiring partnership skills and communication styles that achieve results. On the technical arena, as indicated earlier, I am privy to networking but lacking in programming. I acquired my networking skills through a formal training. The skills have helped me a lot especially when I want information from another computer far from me but linked to the one I am presently using. Self appraisal and Personal Development Plan (PDP) are both aimed at establishing the strengths and weaknesses of an individual.
The weaknesses can then be remedied and the strengths improved. According to my PDP, I aspire to correct the deficiencies in both technical and personal skills. The personal skills I lack include analytical and project management skills which I intend to correct by signing up courses in both to bridge the gap. The technical skills that I lack also need the same action (taking courses in them) Having remedied all my technical and personal skills’ shortcomings then I shall be contended as a competent database manager should be.