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IT industry: is there a tech skill shortage or a personality shortage?

IT outsourcing happens not just due to low-cost. Its a combination of many areas such as quality, cost, trust and communication along with people skills. 

Over the past 15 years in IT industry in Sri Lanka, I’ve seen the improvements in technology education and how our youth have embraced it. As a result an IT graduate nowadays knows way more technologies than we did (yes, there are hundreds more now). So on paper, their CV looks awesome.

Yet, I see how fresh graduates and junior IT recruits fail at interviews.

May be 1 in 5 would reach the 2nd interview. Then, if a foreign client interviews in English, another 1 out of 5 would go through. Giving less than 5% chance of being hired.

Its simply the expectation vs reality battle. So what do we need in people: communication, confidence and personality. Before we see how these 3 relate and build another, let’s see the mistakes in understanding this expectation.

The expectation is still not on pure technologies. Yes, they are needed, but not just that. With time, the technologies have changed immensely. So being able to adapt and learn new tech has been always a good skill. Still the ‘human’ aspects are becoming mostly valued with time. Its the personality.

Machines cannot replace us

In an era, where tech is automating so many things, with auto-generated code to AI driven tools, there is a lot that tech will do for you. So why do we try to learn something a machine will do better, obviously with less time and fewer mistakes ? But what about the qualities a machine cannot have, the interpersonal skills, convincing a client or understanding their requirements ?

Its because of “our educational system”. So I don’t have a choice…

We all know that there are so many areas our educational system needs to improve. But if we all come through the same, why only some acquire soft skills the businesses need ? Then we blame it on ‘opportunity’. Yes, nothing is shared equally in the world, and is the same within any country. So you you want these outside factors to stop you from achieving the best you can be ?

Story of a Genius. The unsung hero.

Imagine this story. You are a pure tech genius. Still, no one knows about you.

You know your communication skill are below average. Yet you assume, your genius skills would be so attractive and be valued. So you go to an interview, but cannot convince someone the importance of what you had done with so much effort and time. Yet you know its value. Who will take time to live with you, day in day out to see the value of your skills ? Sorry, it won’t happen. Unless someone already knows your worth.

What if you cannot talk confidently about your work ? What does it show ? Others might see as if you are not sure of your own work. As a result, your whole personality cannot be used to ‘pitch’ the next-best-idea-which-can-change-the-world !

So you blame the society.

You tell those who who can ‘just talk’ always gets a better hand. Yet, you fail to see that ‘talking’ too is a valuable skill dealing with people. You had done the hard work. Going through years of education, learning so many tech and many failed attempts. But no one learnt IT from grade 1, what you mostly use are what was learned during last 5 years or so. At the same time you had been learning English in school, for 10+ years, yet you are not confident in English communication.

So what’s the solution ?


Strong communication > uplifts confidence > better personality

So have you got anything just by blaming the society ? If so majority of the society would be successful by now, because that’s one common thing they do without a doubt.

Let’s reverse this situation.

Start from improving your communication. Its not just learning a language. If English was the barrier, all native English speakers wouldn’t have this issue. No, its both English language and effective communication.

Communication and self-confidence goes hand in hand. When you improve one, the other follows, and vice-versa.

Look for opportunities on how you can improve communication (I will write later with examples on creating opportunities). One thing for sure, you are going to FAIL. Those who do not even try might laugh at you. Yes, that’s guaranteed. Yet, you know your end goal and use the chances to practice and learn in real life situations.

When you see the results, you will see how your confidence grows, which in turn builds your personality in a positive manner. This confidence then can be directed to any aspect in your personal life, so picture yourself already reaching that goal, that will drive you.

The journey becomes so clear and fast when your personal skills improve.



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