My fellow Head Geek and Microsoft Data Platform MVP, Thomas LaRock, defines hard skills as a tech certification, a college degree, or any tech skill including any vendor- or industry-specific skills. These hard skills represent an achievement or acknowledgement of base expertise at a specific point in time. They are static by nature but represent job security.

 

Unfortunately, the only constant in IT is that things change over time. And this puts IT pros in a precarious position. Our industry is changing so fast that the skills refresh cycle of IT professionals is shortening to the point where certain certifications earned today may not get you and your career through tomorrow.

 

So when do you say goodbye to yesterday’s IT? Technology? Company? The answer tends to be, "it depends," which is unsatisfactory, but apropos given the many factors to consider, such as experience, expertise, investment, etc. That’s why it’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday. How do you mind the gap? Soft skills. Of note, the top three soft skills beyond the tech are communication skills, teamwork, and adaptability, as noted in this THWACKcamp 2017 session. As an IT pro, are you skilled in any of these? How have you gone about improving these soft skills? Let me know in the comment section below.

 

P.S. Who wore it better? Dez adatole sqlrockstar or me?