About me

Stephen G.
Politics, Economics and Philosophy
Politics and Economics
United Kingdom

About this profile

IT Architect
ICL, Unisys, BT, CSC, IBM
United Kingdom

About the job

What I do

I started as a developer, became a designer, then a project manager and spent the last 25 years as an IT Architect. In that role I lead teams and/or guide senior business leaders in deciding what IT systems and applications will improve their performance and then implement them.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Understanding requirements, both from what the client says and from what I have learned needs to be known about.
Interest in people and businesses and what drives them and how they work.
Deep understanding of technical and business aspects of telecoms and communication provider companies gained over 25 years on projects with them.
Tools and understanding how to plan and estimate a programme of work as a single project or a set of projects.
Ability to communicate the right level of information for the audience, be they client business people and my employer's commercial managers who don't care how a system works or fellow technical staff who only care how it works.
A wide range of technical knowledge that just keeps changing. Keeping up is the challenge and the interest.

What I like most

Working with very bright people to solve hard problems and getting a result that the client and their customers like in the end.

What I like least

People who duck the issue rather than fixing it. Making unjustified and unchecked assumptions. These are often related.

What surprised me most

Endless different points of view from clients. Huge differences in understanding of what a project or system needs to make it a success.

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

Being head-hunted. Always the best way. When I needed to take the initiative, I looked up which recruiting firms worked in my preferred industry and job role and approached them. Try to solve a recruiters problem and they will love you.

How I found out about the job

Recruitment agency

The recruitment process

I have been through simple two discussion recruitments, formal assessment tests and lastly I had an initial meeting with recruiter, 2 meetings with client hiring managers then an offer I accepted. It is much more rigorous now with formal assessments.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Think what kind of environment will enable you to develop. Do you know enough to have a lot of control in a small business? Or do you want to be in a big company that (hopefully) will push a lot of information to you and put you into a range of situations that will each teach you something? Do you want to run and control systems for a business that will rely on these systems to work? Or do you want less control but more variety working for a provider of technology or services that has a number of clients? If you can think that through you will know where to look for a job.

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