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Women in Technology

Having spent 12 years in the technology industry, I feel obliged to share my insights on how to progress in your technical position. Additionally, I am eager to see more women thrive in this field and achieve success in their careers.

Side note: One topic that stands out to me is the under-representation of women, particularly African-American women, in technical roles. According to the National Center for Women and Information Technology, only 27% of computing/technical jobs are held by women, with just 3% of those women being African-American. Similarly, the British Computing Society reports that only .7% of women in technical roles are African-American. These statistics are alarmingly low and warrant attention.

Stay Market Relevant

It is important to avoid becoming overly comfortable in your job and assuming it will remain the same. The truth is that technology is always advancing, so it is crucial to stay informed about the latest system and code updates. It is also beneficial to keep an eye on job market trends in your field and make sure your skills are up-to-date with current practices. This will help you stay competitive and ready for any changes or opportunities that come your way.

As someone with experience in SAP Business Warehouse, I've noticed that the job market currently requires knowledge in SAP S/4HANA, SAP Ariba Procurement Solutions, and SAP Master Data Governance. To stay relevant and advance in my career, I need to seek out opportunities to learn and apply these technologies. It would be wise for me to also gain experience in related fields in case I need to switch roles and remain competitive.

Never stop learning. Always be working to upskill yourself.

It is all Business

I have attended numerous meetings where individuals become highly emotional and argue over trivial matters. These include assigning blame, determining responsibilities, and refusing to let go of outdated procedures that no longer benefit the company.

It's essential to keep your emotions in check regarding business matters. If you need to present an idea or argument, provide evidence to support your claims. If the team decides to go differently, avoid taking it personally.

When in an argument, it's important to remain calm and avoid arguing back. Instead, try to listen to the other person's perspective. Allow them to fully express their point of view without interrupting, and consider taking notes on their arguments. If you have evidence that supports another solution, present it respectfully. To acknowledge their perspective, you can say things like "I understand your point of view. However, have you considered this issue/situation occurring?" or "You make a good point, but here's why this won't work [solid evidence]." It's important to be willing to try out other solutions, even if you don't think they'll work. Working together and challenging ideas as a team is key.

During a meeting, if other team members have a disagreement, you have two options. One is to let the argument continue, which may result in HR needing your input on what happened. The other option is to demonstrate your leadership skills by postponing the meeting until everyone calms down or deescalated the situation. In both cases, it is important to respectfully capture everyone's attention. To deescalate, address the issue and make sure you understand what needs to be resolved. Then, review the facts and determine actionable solutions. Only end the meeting if no resolution seems possible. After the meeting, if there are no solutions or actionable items, work to identify the root cause and potential solutions.

Remember, this only business, and it is nothing personal.

Know When it is Time to Leave.

Parting ways with a company or team can be a challenging experience, especially when you've developed close relationships with your colleagues or clients. Therefore, it's essential to approach this matter with care and consideration.

If you have already asked your manager or product owner for more work, but you still have a significantly lighter workload, it may be time to consider leaving your current company or team. This could also be the right decision if you have discovered that your current area of work no longer offers opportunities for growth, or if your requests to advance have been denied. Additionally, if the system you are working on is becoming obsolete with no plans for reassignment or training on a new system, leaving may be the best option.

Never Given Them an Excuse

A boss of mine shared this piece of advice with me long ago, and it has proven to be very accurate.

“They are looking for a reason to say something bad about you, do not give them one.”

Maintaining a professional demeanor while at work is essential, even when socializing with colleagues over drinks. While it's natural to want to unwind and have a good time, it's crucial to remember that your behavior could be scrutinized by others looking to discredit you and boost their reputation. To avoid any negative consequences, it's best to limit your alcohol intake and avoid discussing controversial subjects.

After having significant conversations, it is crucial to follow up with an email and ensure that any necessary responses are addressed. I've witnessed numerous situations where individuals discuss changes verbally, but when mistakes occur or issues arise, they promptly shift the blame or claim that they didn't mention it.

When facing challenges or issues, it is essential to maintain a positive attitude and avoid complaining.

It's important to maintain a professional demeanor at all times. During the calibration meeting, aim to receive only positive feedback about your work ethic and avoid anything that could undermine your professionalism.

Write Your Review

To ensure a successful performance review, it's crucial to take ownership and keep track of your accomplishments that align with your team's objectives and company strategy throughout the year. Be sure to have specific and detailed examples for each goal. It's not advisable to solely rely on your manager to write your review since they may not always remember everything you have accomplished.

See Something Missing/Wrong – Work on the Solution

If you come across any significant issues, areas for improvement, or missing items that may affect your work, don't hesitate to speak up and suggest solutions for how to resolve the problem. It's important to be proactive in helping the company reduce costs and achieve its goals. The company's leadership is always looking for ways to cut down on technical debt and streamline operations.

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