How to grow an IT manager at a university?

    In preparation for the Summer Analytical Festival 2012 , this article was born, in which the following questions are raised:

    • Who are IT managers?
    • In which universities can they be prepared?
    • What should they read at a university?
    • How to prepare an employee at a university for your company?

    Both startups and companies that have long and successfully run a business have a dilemma: to look for a ready-made specialist or grow them within their walls. And we, in 1997, starting our own software business , also almost immediately felt a shortage of software sellers, consultants and project managers. The alternative option we offer, on the one hand, requires some effort and time at the initial stage, and on the other hand, it allows you to get a qualified specialist.

    The main question : Is it possible to raise a sensible IT manager at a university?

    The most common answer : No, especially given the current level of higher education and the market's frenzied need for qualified IT staff.

    A survey conducted by the department of APU SPbGETU in 2010 among 30 St. Petersburg IT companies showed that they mostly prefer to raise managers on their own, mostly from programmers and other technical specialists. An IT manager is an interdisciplinary specialty, so the growing process will be long, laborious and extremely expensive for companies. Unfortunately, no one has yet seen alternatives. The level of training of specialists in Russian universities leaves much to be desired. The old educational programs, the teaching staff, which gives the theory of twenty years ago, and the lack of practice in total give an extreme shortage in the Russian market of sales managers for solutions and complex technical systems, system and business analysts, as well as other managers in the field of information technology.

    The Runet is replete with articles of headhunting "experts" on how to obtain and retain qualified specialists. Advice comes down to luring promising employees from colleagues in the shop, paying salaries higher than the market average, constantly motivating with interesting and non-routine tasks. But personally, I don’t understand how such wonderful options will help to increase the number of qualified specialists in the market.

    Our answer : Business needs to establish cooperation with technical universities.

    First, let's define the terminology.

    Who is an IT manager?

    manage ch. total to lead; to govern; to manage; stand at the head; be able to handle (with anything)
    manager noun total supervisor; administrator; Director Manager

    "Manager" repeated the fate of many borrowed words, somewhat losing its original meaning and acquiring new shades. So, ordinary people, and many IT people, are called managers of any office worker. For clarity, we turn to official classifiers and other authoritative sources.

    A long-drawn up, but still valid document :

    THE ALL-RUSSIAN CLASSIFIER OF PROFESSIONS OF WORKERS, OFFICERS AND TARIFF DISCHARGES (OKSTDTR) was adopted by the Decree of the State Standard of the Russian Federation of December 26, 1994 No. 367
    • Manager in the department (services) of computer software
    • Head of Department (Computer Support)
    • Head of Department (Computer Support)
    • The operator of electronic computers and computers
    • Director (Head) of the Computing (Information Computing) Center
    • Researcher (in the field of computer science and computer technology)
    • Head of Computer
    • Research Assistant (in Informatics and Computer Engineering)
    • Computer Technician (Information Computing) Center

    Professional IT Standards
    The website of the Association of Computer and Information Technology Enterprises (AP KIT) has uploaded 10 standards for IT specialties.
    1. Programmer
    2. System architect
    3. Information Systems specialist
    4. The system analyst
    5. System Administration Specialist
    6. Manager Information Technology
    7. Manager Sales solutions and complex engineering systems
    8. Information Resources Specialist
    9. Database Manager
    10 Information Security Specialist

    It cannot be said that they are perfect, but you can focus on them in the process of determining the requirements for specialists precisely.

    What does Yandex all Russia say?
    Key phraseFrequency of requests per month
    sales manager +96669
    HR Manager37396
    Office Manager29268
    client manager15553
    top manager13440
    Company manager12410
    management manager11440
    advertising manager +11298
    manager + work + customer service11295
    Purchasing Manager +11217
    project manager8536
    Content manager4993

    The number opposite each position is not a salary.

    IT headhunters are
    guided by the needs and established market formulations, such as
    IT-Dominant in its review for 2011 mentions the following managerial positions:
    • Content Manager / Site Administrator
    • Software Testing Manager (manual and / or automated)
    • Quality Engineer / Quality Manager
    • IT Director / IT Manager
    • Web Project Manager / Web Studio Project Manager
    • Software development project manager
    • Software Development Manager / Product Manager (Software)
    • Account Manager
    • Box / Scalable Software / Web Portal Sales Manager
    • Sales Manager of individual large-scale solutions for a specific customer (software)
    • Key Account Manager (Software)
    • Marketing Specialist / Marketing Manager / Market Analyst
    • PR Manager / Advertising Manager
    • HR Manager
    • Secretary / Office Manager

    The authors of Habr prefer manager-people
    managers who can be played:
    • package manager
    • task manager
    • settings manager
    • partition manager
    • deployment manager
    • mailing manager
    • event manager
    • file manager
    • web manager

    And we, in turn, will not cancel or correct the formulations established in the market, we will try to comb them a little. Having summarized and systematized the data, we have the following table:

    WednesdayManagement objectPosition
    Business processesConsulting and salesCustomer Relationship Manager (Software),
    Box and Custom Software Sales Manager
    Project management Web Project
    Manager, Software Development Project Manager
    Quality controlSoftware Testing Manager (manual and / or automated),
    Quality Manager / Quality Engineer
    Marketing and PRMarketing Manager / Marketing Specialist / Market Analyst,
    PR Manager
    Information Systems / ProductsWebsiteContent Manager / Site Administrator
    SoftwareSoftware Development Manager / Product Manager (Software)
    Administrative divisionIT departmentCIO / Head of IT Department / IT Manager
    HRHR Manager
    Secretariat / AChHOffice Manager / Secretary

    Thus, the IT manager is an information technology specialist who manages not only people, but also business processes, software products and other information objects and company activities.

    With what kind of managers there are, sort of figured out, let's figure out what their activities are and what, accordingly, they can and should be taught at a university. We turn again to the APKIT standards.

    IT Manager

    The list of duties:
    1. Management of internal projects
    2. Interaction with customers / suppliers of products and services
    3. Coordination of work of system analysts, programmers and other specialists
    4. Quality control of work performed
    5. Control of filling out the necessary documentation
    6. Analysis of current messages and preparation of interim reports
    7. Ensuring information security
    8. Ordering the necessary equipment and materials
    9. Self-development

    Sales Manager for Solutions and Complex Technical Systems

    The list of duties:
    1. Maintaining a customer database
    2. Maintaining workflow
    3. Maintaining a register of customer details
    4. Maintaining accounting records
    5. Demonstrating the capabilities of IT products
    6. Documentary support for transactions
    7. Informing customers about the conditions of warranty and post-warranty service
    8. Informing clients on delivery conditions
    9. Informing customers about new products
    10. Searching for details of potential customers
    11. Obtaining and updating relevant knowledge in the region. IT
    12. Compliance with the principles of corporate culture
    13. Self-development

    Thus, we have the following basic disciplines for managers :

    • "Managing SRS Software Requirements."
    • "Designing information systems",
    • “ANSI PMI PMBOK Project Management”,
    • "Corporate Information Systems ERP / CRM",
    • “Corporate Content Management ECM (EDM / ERM)”,
    • “Organization and management of IT-infrastructure ITIL / ITSM”

    Which university to read?

    At LAF 2012, several colleagues from other cities shared their experiences, including negative ones. In particular, the following points were indicated:
    • IT managers are poorly derived from humanities;
    • It is very difficult and ungrateful to train IT managers in the "programmer" departments and faculties, but they go there for the sake of programming;
    • Economists make good managers if they read IT disciplines in the proper amount;
    • And unambiguously good specialists are obtained from "system technicians", they are taught management theory and many other old-school, but highly necessary for managers objects, and they are also taught to think in systems, "squares / flowcharts", control objects;

    And experience, son of difficult mistakes ...

    Our company ALEEE SOFTWARE was lucky. By the will of fate, our academic base back in the 90s was St. Petersburg State Electrotechnical University (LETI), Department of Automation and Control Processes (APU) . The department is one of the leading departments in the Russian Federation in the field of applied theory and design of control systems based on modern information technologies, the base department of the Ministry of Education and Science in the areas of Automation and Control and Management in Technical Systems.

    We read the following disciplines to students:

    Course "Project Management according to the ANSI PMI PMBOK Standard"
    Academic Partner : Agilidea Group
    Theory: standard from 2005 version to 4th edition. Courses: basic (bachelors), risk management, cost, duration, quality (masters)
    Practice : choosing an IT project, justification, charter, work breakdown, calendar and resource planning, risk, quality planning, etc.

    Course “SRS Software Requirements Management”
    Theory : “Software Requirements Development” Karl Wigers
    Practice : Selecting topics, defining the image of the project boundaries (business requirements, vision of solutions, boundaries and limitations, business context), project protection

    Course “ Designing information systems. UML »
    Preferably after a course on SRS
    Theory: Introduction, history, basics, UML structure, further diagrams: Details: use cases
    , classes, activity states, sequences, deployments
    Overview: component interactions.
    Practice : The simplest projects with well-known processes (online store, certification of documents online, etc.)

    Course "Electronic document management ECM: EDM / ERM"
    Academic partners : ALEE SOFTWARE and EMC Documentum Corporation
    Theory : Document & Records Management
    Practice : Documentum platform , system electronic archive STOR-M

    Course "Corporate information systems ERP / CRM"
    Academic partners : the company Compass
    Theory: Inventory management by reorder point, MRP / MRPII, just-in-time, Goldrat's Theory of Constraints, ERP. Separate theory of customer interaction management
    Practice : CRM

    I intentionally do not touch computer science with programming, databases and other basic disciplines for IT professionals: they are read quite successfully without us. The list is not complete and not final, the curriculum is constantly being updated and supplemented by new courses.

    The most important part of the article for business: The
    new scheme of two-level education allows you to take masters of the first year of study who have received basic theoretical knowledge in a bachelor's program for “free” internship. According to new educational standards, the master is required to devote up to 20 hours a week to research work (R&D).

    For the first month of the magistracy, the student must decide on an approximate topic, choose a supervisor, draw up a plan-content for the master's thesis, as well as a research plan, which is carried out under the supervision of the supervisor and the head of the magistracy. The place of practical training is selected. By the way, the supervisor can be external, then a curator can be appointed from the department.

    After completing practical training, for 4 semesters, the master must collect enough theoretical, methodological and practical material for writing a master's thesis.

    Seven steps to grow IT crystals

    So, we analyzed our own experience and the experience of St. Petersburg IT companies, which also successfully raise managers in universities. We bring to your attention the following steps that must be taken if you want to join our orderly ranks.

    Step 1. Presentation of the business
    In July-August, a pool of companies interested in new employees is lined up. In September, meetings are held with bachelors of the fourth year and masters of the first year of study. Usually these are two meetings: the first takes place at a university, the second at a company office. Managers of the company talk about the main activities, interesting projects, open vacancies and opportunities for professional growth in the company. Preliminary lists are compiled (who goes where to go on internship), consultations are held with teachers on applicants (academic performance, discipline, sociability, etc.)

    Step 2. Conclusion of an agreement with a university (department)
    The formal side of the issue. Since the department or faculty are not separate legal entities, a partnership agreement is signed with the university. On the basis of this agreement, the question of the student’s free work is being closed.

    Step 3. Admission of students to practice
    Preparation of a workplace, allocation of a curator-mentor, reporting.

    Step 4. Admission of students to work
    Under this item they ask a lot of questions: “When to place an intern for a bid? After all, a student may not show the result in six months or a year! ” That's right, when he starts to show the result, then start paying. This is the value and fairness of this scheme. You do not pay until the specialist has begun to generate added value.

    Step 5. "Thank" the university
    The university’s participation in this scheme is not disinterested, otherwise, such a partnership will not last more than a year. Options: teacher remuneration, participation in the educational process, logistics, etc.

    Step 6. Further training of existing employees of the company
    While you are waiting for the autumn harvest of interns, you can improve the qualifications of existing staff by sending them to continuing education courses and retraining. And to order courses tailored specifically for your business tasks, we practice this at the university.

    Step 7. Marketing and PR
    In modern conditions of the labor market, not companies choose employees, but rather, therefore, participation in educational programs increases the rating of companies among applicants. Accordingly, such PR and HR branding is useful for companies, and even more so for universities.

    Cons of this approach:
    • Waste of time of qualified employees on teaching and mentoring;
    • Postponement of the results of growing a specialist;
    • The need for business to negotiate with the leaders of universities, to stimulate them to cooperate.

    The advantages of this approach:
    • A large amount of the necessary theory and practice is given on the student bench;
    • Savings on salary: taking a master’s practice under an agreement with a university, the company is not obliged to pay salaries;
    • Participation in the formation of training programs;
    • It is possible to select a candidate for a long-term contract;
    • Teacher recommendations;

    Over the years, we have seen the effectiveness of the approach described in the article to the training of IT managers. Of course, much needs to be improved, which we do all the time. We invite you to a discussion:

    1. / for teachers and employers / What courses do you think the future IT managers should attend at the university? What would you add to the list of academic disciplines given in the article?
    2. / for IT managers / Which of the courses you attended turned out to be really useful for your professional activity? What theoretical and practical knowledge do you lack in your current job? What do you think you should have taught at the university, but not taught?

    Also popular now: