Many IT projects are substantial undertakings. Without a great project manager, many Silicon Valley tech departments would struggle to reach their project goals. This is true even if the team is otherwise highly skilled, as skill sets along aren’t necessarily enough to guarantee success.
If you are wondering why tech departments need excellent project managers in Silicon Valley, here’s what you need to know.
Risk analysts need more than strong technical capabilities; they also need a solid complement of valuable soft skills that can help them excel. Without certain soft skills, a risk analyst won’t be as effective in their role. As a result, most employers seek out candidates and invest in employees who have these capabilities.
If you want to make sure that you are a standout risk analyst, here are the soft skills you need to cultivate.
Data engineering has been a top trending job for some time. In 2019, companies continue to seek out professionals for data engineering positions. According to one study, there was an 88.3 percent increase in the number of job postings featuring the phrase “data engineer” over a 12-month period. As a result, data engineer is considered the top trending job so far this year.
If you are wondering why data engineering remained in the top spot, here’s what you need to know.
Tech employees enjoy the challenge of new technology, but that isn't enough to make them love their jobs. Managers often think a paycheck and bonus expresses the company's appreciation for employees' work, but that isn't enough, either. At the end of the day, even technical employees spend their day interacting with people, and it takes a personal touch to make them feel valued. Here are seven tips you can put into practice to make your IT team feel valued:
1. Celebrate team successes
When your team succeeds, make sure you take the time to celebrate with them. Because projects can take years to complete, don't wait 'til the end. Acknowledge the successes along the way, like when they hit a milestone.
2. Say “thank you” often
It costs nothing to say "thank you," but this is one of the most basic and most overlooked ways of making people feel valued. Don't just casually throw out a "thanks;" say what specifically you're thanking them for, and what the value of their contribution was.
3. Let people know that others recognize their contributions
Don't claim credit for your team members' ideas. When they have good ideas that you pass along to higher-ups, tell the supervisors where the idea came from, and make sure you let your team know there was a positive reaction.
4. Encourage contributions
Have an open-door policy, and seek out input from employees who may be too shy to initiate conversation. As much as possible, involve team members in project planning and other decisions that affect when and how they do their work. Be sure to act on their input; otherwise, they'll recognize it's a waste of time to make suggestions.
5. Talk to people as individuals
Make sure you talk with everyone, not just team leaders or employees who report directly to you. Not everyone will want to share details of their personal lives, but if you can get to know employees as people, they'll feel less like corporate widgets. Be aware that issues in employees' personal lives can affect their performance at work, and offer appropriate assistance when necessary.
6. Offer challenges
Give your team members challenges and opportunities for new experiences. Help them find mentors who can help them grow. When they've outgrown their current role, help them find a new position within your company that will offer them the growth you no longer can.
7. Be honest
Respect your team enough to tell them the bad news, as well as the good news. While everyone would rather receive compliments, honest, well-intentioned feedback shows you care enough to offer constructive criticism, rather than taking the easy route of ducking a difficult conversation.
The San Francisco Bay Area is perhaps better known as Silicon Valley—the place where multi-billion dollar tech companies are born. SV is the home of household names in technology: Google, Apple, Facebook, HP, Yahoo!, Netflix, eBay, and hundreds more thrive in this area. Tech-leaning entrepreneurs salivate at the prospect of starting up here, and the brightest IT talent flocks to SV in hopes of being snagged by one of the giants.
But why is this particular place Silicon Valley? How does the Bay Area continue to incubate the best and most innovative tech companies that survive for the long haul? Here are a few of the reasons technology lives in SV, and fizzles out in other areas.
The Silicon Valley state of mind
Many entrepreneurs starting out in SV share a number of similar traits that uniquely position them for unprecedented success. Among them are a willingness to collaborate and a strong competitive drive, as well as openness to innovation, experimentation, and even failure.
But perhaps the most important piece of the SV puzzle is dedication. Innovators and entrepreneurs come to Silicon Valley with the knowledge that building a hugely successful, standout technology company does not happen overnight—and they’re willing to make the long-term commitment that represents the only path to success of Google proportions.
Not for profit—yet
In Silicon Valley—and to some extent Seattle, the only other area to come close with the production of more than one multi-billion-dollar tech giant—profits are often not the first concern of a startup daring to dream big. This idea seems to fly in the face of sound business theory, because why start a business if you’re not going to make money?
That’s not to say that Silicon Valley startups aren’t interested in money. It’s simply not that high on the list of requirements for the earliest stages of the long-term plan. For instance, Facebook and Twitter both focused on growing massive and unprofitable user bases, waiting years before introducing any type of monetization to their networks. Seattle-based global online retail giant Amazon has continually operated in the red since the company’s inception in 1994.
One of the main issues with this type of approach is sustainability. Long-term operation without immediate profit is not only high-risk, but also requires substantial investment of resources. And many non-Silicon Valley investors simply aren’t equipped to provide this type of financial investment, which results in early exits and sellouts in order to turn a profit, rather than staying the required course and placing big bets on developing massive companies.
Truly, madly visionary
Attempting a Silicon Valley style breakout requires a certain level of instability—a kind of systematic irrationality that allows startups and entrepreneurs to disregard logic, pass over sound business decisions, and take chances that from the outside can appear downright disastrous.
Most investors and entrepreneurs, rather than investing ten years or more in building an enormous technology corporation, prefer to grow the company to nine or ten figures and then flip it into a near or mid-term payday. And in perhaps a majority of instances, this is the right choice. Selling a fledgling company to a larger conglomerate provides the personnel and financial resources that can make or break a success. But for many in SV, there’s a greater willingness to roll the dice, and hope the company stands on its own.
One of the most well-known examples of this type of apparent insanity that can ultimately pay off occurred in 2006, when a struggling and unprofitable social network turned down what appeared to be the deal of a lifetime. Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was 22 years old, and the company had been launched less than two years before Yahoo! offered $1 billion to buy Facebook.
The company’s three-person board turned down the offer, despite elder advisors’ attempts to convince Zuckerberg to accept. The reason the young CEO gave for their refusal was that Yahoo! “had no definitive idea about the future. They did not properly value things that did not exist, so they were therefore undervaluing the business.”
As it turned out, Zuckerberg’s choice to stick to his guns was the right one. Facebook is now worth more than $200 billion, and the CEO’s personal net worth is over $33 billion.
Success in Silicon Valley hinges on dedication, ambition, and a vision to build a technology company that will be around forever. It’s more than a place—it’s a state of mind that serves as an inspiration for entrepreneurs and startups everywhere.