Soft Skills for Sri Lankan ICT Professionals
The report ‘The national ICT work force survey 2013’, (ICTA 2013), conducted on behalf of the Information Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has identified a growth of ICT work force of 50,159 in 2010 to 75,107 in 2013, a 50 % increase. The projected figure for 2014 had been 82,854 and the momentum is expected to continue, with a shortfall of nearly 500 ICT graduates in 2014. The report quotes the Central Bank Report for 2013 according to which the country had earned US $ 600 million from the ICT sector that year. The ICTA report identifies 26 university faculties and 45 private colleges providing ICT degree and other programs. Further, according to the report ICT professionals are expected to provide core, technical and soft skills. As guidance to ICT trainers the following is stated at the final conclusion. “An area that needs special attention is developing soft skills that have ranked high among the skills in demand by employers. Among others, supply situation of soft skills seems to be unhealthy.” Objective of this research is to broadly investigate reasons for this short fall and to seek for ways of improving this situation. Whereas core & technical skills belong to the cognitive and psychomotor intelligence, soft skills will be considered as pertaining to emotional intelligence as identified by researchers, see Coleman (1992, 1996). Matters such as shortfalls in creative thinking and team work & professional ethics are national issues which needs wider inquiry. Special emphasis will be made on the English language issue as it is connected to communication & presentation and even to team work and also because it is relevant only to our country. To use concepts of emotional intelligence to improve the CIT industry three levels of activity are identified, which are (a) the national, (b) training institutes, (universities & others), and (c) by ICT firms itself. Describing what need be done at the national level will be a wasteful exercise and will be treated only in passing. There are matters that institutes providing ICT training should make use of as emerging from emotional consideration conceptualized by Coleman and these will be discussed. There are activities that ICT organizations can adopt to improve team work and communication skills. The technique SCRUM, used in most US companies and Extreme Programming (XP) will be discussed, see, Pressman (205); Sommerville (2009).
- Computing