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Business Management

Gabriel Cogo (Brazil) - The Future of the IT Professional in Brazil

Not so long ago, an article was published about the IT professional. He was compared to TV Show "House's" main character: the doctor itself. The senior IT professional was very good at his job, capable of developing complex systems and solving the most diverse problems. However, he was very poor at communicating with others, wasn't fond of being around other professionals, and was incapable of transmitting all his technical knowledge to other teammates. A lot has changed since that time.

The new IT professional not only needs to have a proficient technical background, but also has to be capable of participating in multi-department tasks; to be very able in people skills and not only know how to create a system, but also know the client's processes to ensure the product works both as the client wanted and as the client needed. For the IT industry, this creates a giant gap. Originally the profile of the IT professional was the computer focused person, that didn't care to learn much else. This is reinforced by the computer science universities, centering their disciplines on technical concepts, and giving very little attention to teaching how to do business.

In Brazil, most companies complain about the fact they can't find the right professional for the job, especially as there are hundreds of unemployed workers waiting for a chance. Sometimes it's not just the qualification that counts, but the ability to handle activities beyond the usual tech process. Now some employers work the other way around by hiring experienced well developed professional from different areas. The only problem is that most of them don't have any system analysis background, so they have a hard time trying to get in touch with the tech team.

This means the most sought after professional and therefore the hardest to find, is the professional with the entrepreneurship profile; i.e., with the ability to work in multi-department teams, and with a technical formation. In Brazil, there isn't one university or organization that can provide this type of training. In my opinion, this is one of the primary things that prevents IT in Brazil from reaching "strategic" status.

This situation can be easily seen in any Brazilian company. In my own experience, generation Y still is a question mark for most Human Resources. On one hand, you have professionals with great learning potential wanting fast growth in the company, but on the other hand they have even greater difficulty committing to a employer and patiently waiting for a salary rise or a promotion. If young top performers don`t get fast recognition for their work, they don`t wait much before changing jobs. That creates a problem for companies that want to shape their trainees into future managers. With IT, this creates a key issue; finding someone young and giving them the opportunity to take on a strategic place is risky, but without that risk being taken another one can arise: the loss of capable professionals to lead in future decades. What do you think the solution is?

 

Gabriel Cogo has a BA in Business Administration from UFRGS and has worked as a SAP Consultant for Gerdau SA.

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