This is my second post for this blog and I want to keep this post around “Why is there a need for Apprentices’ to do a Technical Role?” and expand into the opportunities for learning/developing technical skills alongside the recommended courses with IBM.
Why is there a need for technical Apprentices?
In personal development books or strategies, I have rarely seen anything mentioned on how to develop and maintain strong technical skills.
I believe having solid technical skills is becoming increasingly important and I don’t see this changing any time soon. This is because computers (and indeed most other technologies) are becoming easier to use but cutting edge technology is more complicated than ever. I think it is this complexity that can intimidate people and they therefore don’t consider learning or developing their technical skills.
For Example: Why Do We See Technical Skills in Business Analyst roles?
Most Business Analyst roles now involve working on IT projects meaning that a large part of the solution they are working on is implemented in software. Importantly however, to perform BA work you don’t have to be technical or have a technical background.
Having said that, I believe it is important to have some general understanding of software systems. A basic knowledge of servers, databases and client side technology is definitely helpful as this will help to lead more effective communication with the implementation team to understand how long a particular piece of work will take.
As a Technical Solution Specialist and having been an IBM apprentice for just over 16 months now, I believe it is important to have some understanding and skills on the technical side of IT.
My Current Role: Functional Tester
As a Functional Tester my role is revolved around “BASE24”.
BASE24 performs a number of functions, all of which are designed to support payment systems. “It is used to acquire, authenticate, route, switch, and authorize financial transactions across multiple channels” and supports transactions over other ‘interchanges’ such as VISA LINK and MasterCard. One of its main functions is to operate as “an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) processing and switching system that provides ATM support and management including transaction routing and authorization, Electronic Data Interchange, settlement, reporting, network control, and stored-value card functionality.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BASE24
BASE24 can run on high availability servers to ensure that businesses are provided with resilient and high performance payment processing solutions to ensure they can process the required level of consumer transactions.
This is my fourth role in 16 months so you can see that within IBM there’s nothing stopping you from developing and moving on in the organisation.
Opportunities with IBM
Being on this particular role for over 4 months now I have decided to specialise and do one of the recommended courses – ISTQB® (International Software Testing Qualifications Board) – within IBM. As a ‘Functional Tester’ it is a good opportunity for me to develop and have this qualification for my growth so I can progress in future. Now that I have written this post you can see there isn’t anything stopping you to do what you enjoy.
Apply for the IBM Apprenticeship and develop yourself into what you enjoy.