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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

In Pursuit of Excellence in Technology

Naresh Shah
Friday, April 1, 2011
 Naresh Shah
Technology leaders the world over maintain a high standard of technical competence along with diversity in their manpower. Organizations today require managers with sound technical and managerial capabilities in IT, to keep pace with the evolving industry. Balancing the scales between leadership and technology is a daunting task for those aspiring to climb the senior management ladder. Leadership usually takes precedence, partly because technical insights become less critical as one advances in their career.

In India, the IT industry needs a fresh brigade of technically sound people, now more than ever. One of the biggest challenges the industry faces is the dire shortage of skilled professionals with vertical domain expertise. And for us to stay ahead of the value chain, we need to groom experts who are versatile with emerging technologies in this evolving segment.
On the bright side, India can boast of a large pool of potential workforce in software development, testing, technical support, etc. However, India is found wanting when it comes strategic and innovation led solutions that drive the sector and this is mostly controlled by the West.

Technical Ladder vs. Managerial Ladder
Engineers face a dilemma as they forge a path in their careers and are up against a fork. One road leads up the technical ladder and the other is the managerial ladder. The rationale for choosing an option is often influenced significantly by myths and perceptions of the opportunities available in both paths.
Technical and managerial ladders are indeed very different career choices. The managerial ladder comes with a status symbol, job responsibilities, and role expectations which are much better understood and recognized by the society than the technical ladder.

By definition, technical depth implies that one has spent years developing expertise in a domain and the skills may not be easily transferable from one technical job to another. Also, the perception among IT professionals is that a smaller number of jobs are only available in the technical arena. This could be a factor for fewer professionals pursuing the technical path. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of technical experts in the industry who have chosen to remain individual contributors and can perform critical and high value chain tasks, like new product innovation and product architecture.

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