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Author Joseph, Damien ♦ Slaughter, Sandra A. ♦ Ang, Soon ♦ Chang, Roger H. L.
Source ACM Digital Library
Content type Text
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
File Format PDF
Language English
Abstract Introduction What qualities make a successful it professional? Certainty strong technical skills are sine qua non. As a result, the technology geek remains the stereotype of an information technology (IT) professional. Indeed, when companies hire IT professionals, their focus is often on the "hard" skills needed to perform the work, such as years of Java programming experience. However, there is a growing (and gnawing) awareness that technical skills alone are insufficient for success in IT, particularly in today's dynamic, distributed and complex workplace. Companies are exploring outsourcing and offshoring to become more flexible and contain costs while strategically leveraging IT. Consequently, IT professionals (whether onsite or offshore, in-house or outsourced) must acquire a broader set of skills beyond their traditional technical skills. These broader managerial or interpersonal skills are generically labeled "soft skills." Despite the increasing importance of soft skills, very little systematic research has conceptualized such skills and even less has measured these skills. Given this gap in the literature, this article introduces "practical intelligence" as the overarching concept that could provide a better understanding of this broader set of skills required of IT professionals. We describe the development of the SoftSkills for IT (SSIT) instrument for assessing an IT professional's level of practical intelligence, and report the results of a study that validates this instrument by comparing the practical intelligence of experienced IT professionals versus novices. We conclude by drawing out implications of our study for IT recruitment, training and development, and suggest future research directions.
Description Affiliation: Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (Joseph, Damien; Ang, Soon) || Georgia Institute of Technology (Slaughter, Sandra A.) || University of Cincinnati, Ohio (Chang, Roger H. L.)
Age Range 18 to 22 years ♦ above 22 year
Educational Use Research
Education Level UG and PG
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2005-08-01
Publisher Place New York
Journal Communications of the ACM (CACM)
Volume Number 53
Issue Number 2
Page Count 6
Starting Page 149
Ending Page 154


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Source: ACM Digital Library