Working as part of an information technology (IT) team sounds like your dream career. These are the people who keep companies on the cutting edge of technology and ensure all of their tech needs are met and maintained. Who wouldn’t want an important, high-powered career like that?
But it’s important to understand this isn’t a one-man show. It takes a team of skilled and savvy tech pros to keep things protected and running smoothly. This means you don’t have to know it all to be a coveted member of the IT team. You just need to play your role and play it well.
So where do you fit in? We enlisted the experts to identify nine essential elements of an IT team. Take a look at these descriptions to see if any ring a bell. Your personality and skillset just might be the missing link an IT team is looking for!
9 MVP members of an IT dream team
An IT team is greater than the sum of its parts. Each member contributes unique, specialized knowledge and proficiencies to meet the needs of their company and clients. Learn about the nine individuals no IT team should be without.
1. The firefighter
Unexpected problems are an unfortunate reality of working in IT. Every IT team needs someone who can put out those fires without losing their cool.
The firefighter should be “a go-to guy who’s seen it all,” says Ryan Armstrong, Director of IT Support at Miles Technologies. This is the person who always remains calm under pressure and takes action to keep the team afloat when problems arise.
2. The graphic designer
IT teams aren’t just responsible for making websites functional; they also need to make sure they’re providing first-rate design that aligns with their customers’ brands.
Unless the customer is providing their own artwork, you need to be able to deliver top-notch assets to clients, according to Alex Merkulov, CEO of 8th Sphere. “Many developers and customers I know are challenged in this area,” Merkulov says, which makes the graphic design guru an invaluable member of any IT team.
3. The quality assurance (QA) specialist
Every IT team needs a QA specialist who “maintains their own testing environment . . . for everything,” Armstrong says. The last thing you want is for a glitch to go live and interfere with user experience—not to mention reflect poorly on your customer and your company.
“To be an expert, you have to push the boundaries, and that means testing,” Armstrong explains. “Uncovering issues in your own environment is a chance to mess things up and fix them again without taking down a company!”
4. The fearless guy/girl
The technology world is constantly changing. Your IT team needs to stay on top of new developments in the industry or risk being left in the dust. Having a team member who is always looking to embrace new products and processes will take your team to the next level.
“If all team members are stuck in the past, the team won’t be effective,” says Armstrong. “There has to be someone who doesn’t fear change and pushes the team to respond.”
5. The one who plays it safe
There’s a flip side to that coin. Sometimes the fearless one is too eager to release something that isn’t quite ready for the public yet. An overly cautious team member can save everyone from embarrassing mishaps and angry customers.
The ideal play-it-safe guy or gal employs technical knowledge and approaches change from a level-headed perspective, recommends Armstrong.
6. The customer service rep
Technology errors are bound to happen. You need a natural customer service rep on your side when they do.
“Customers expect a quick reply, especially when dealing with annoying issues,” Armstrong says. Your customer service rep lets your customers know they’re valued and the problem is being resolved—and then they take initiative to solve the issue ASAP.
7. The details guy/girl
The smallest details can make the biggest difference in the world of IT. Your team won’t excel without a detail-oriented team member who’s always tuned in to the small stuff.
This is someone who is “technical and forward thinking, who goes above and beyond everyday issues and can bail everyone out,” Armstrong says. This team member is a problem-solver at heart. You can’t go wrong with their troubleshooting skills on your side!
8. The automation ninja
It can be a drag to take care of recurring routine tasks, but it doesn’t have to be if you’ve got an automation expert on your squad. Having someone who can write code that automates tedious tasks will be invaluable in saving your IT team time and frustration, Merkulov advises.
“They can stay up all night to perform an emergency upgrade of your production servers,” he says. “They can be trusted with the most sensitive data.”
9. The project manager
The ideal IT team will have many different personality types working together. An IT project manager keeps everyone on the same page and ensures projects are on track to meet their deadlines and objectives. He or she is well-organized and great with people.
“Keeping a calm head is essential,” Armstrong adds. The project manager should also be able to “de-stress situations and deliver results on time.”
Are you ready to join the team?
Did any of these profiles sound like a profession you could handle without even breaking a sweat? You could be a company’s next valuable IT team member!
You may have the natural talent to play one of these positions, but the knowledge and technical skill is equally essential for success. Learn how a degree in technology can help qualify you to join a powerhouse IT team.