If you’ve ever played, coached or watched a youth soccer game, you know the difference between technical skill that sparks oohs and ahhs from the crowd, and technical skill that puts the ball in the net. In the world of IT, there is a similar divide among coders. There are the programmers who enjoy challenging themselves with the coding equivalent of juggling soccer balls off their knees or their heads. They have deep skill sets, and they want to put them to use by creating complex applications (whether or not complexity is called for). And then there are the employees who have the dexterity to perform freestyle tricks all day long, but their focus never strays from the primary objective – moving the business down the field toward its goal.
For chief information officers, the trick in building an IT team is to find players with the technical prowess to handle any challenge in the game, as well as the business acumen to recognize when they can best achieve objectives by running straight toward the goal without any fancy tricks along the way.