Anurag is a technologist with over 20 years of rich experience in building solutions for financial services. Prior to joining Wissen, Anurag worked at MSCI as the head of the application development group at Mumbai and led the development of key analytical capabilities for the BarraOne platform. Anurag has also worked as an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley for over 8 years from their Mumbai and New York offices. During his tenure, he provided leadership to development of several solutions for Equity Research, Prime Brokerage and Secured Financing groups and was also instrumental in growing the application development group at Mumbai. Anurag holds B.Tech and Master of Management in Finance from IIT Bombay.
The business landscape hinges increasingly on nuances of technology applications making it a great time to be a technologist today. However, with a rapidly evolving tech landscape and a laundry list of technologies moving from aspirational to the mainstream, the career path of a technologist can become confusing. The technologists’ challenges are also evolving as we move into a hybrid work environment. Navigating a tech career successfully can become complex at times especially as we get surrounded by VUCA.
Should engineers move into people management roles if all they care about is code? Which next technology or development methodology should they add to their portfolio to get the maximum advantage? How can they manage the everyday challenges of their work? How will work pan out in this hybrid work environment? How will the evolution of technology impact career paths and progressions?
Why are Tech Managers the Best Mentors?
Technologists, too, have many challenges and struggles and need the support of mentors and guides to drive their career paths. And who better to guide them than tech managers?
Perspective and context
Tech managers can be the best mentors for technologists because they are technologists first, last, and always. They rely on their technical expertise and problem-solving skills and analytical abilities to build their careers. Having operated in the work environment of the technologists gives them a clear idea of the exact work challenges that could impact a technologist’s career.
Since they have this knowledge, they stand in a better position to empathize with and understand the challenges of fellow technologists and identify roadblocks that could be impacting their growth. Having context and perspective makes the technologist also confident of the guidance and more impactful as a mentor.
Creative and collaborative problem solving
The life of the technologist is only getting more complicated with the accelerating pace of evolution and new working models. In this day, the power of collaboration, creative thinking, and problem-solving are strategic skills. Developing the technical vocabulary also involves building the business vocabulary and gaining an understanding of how technology solutions impact real life.
With problems becoming more complex and the choice of solutions increasing, technologists can often find themselves at crossroads asking themselves what will be the best and the most appropriate solution or evaluate how technology can solve the problem. Developing creative and collaborative problem-solving skills can need some guidance.
Tech managers become the best mentors to help technologists navigate this journey and assist them by allowing them to draw from their own experience. The experience builds context and context builds confidence in the solutions.
Build clarity and understanding
Given that tech managers have been on the ground getting their hands dirty, they are the most qualified people to guide technologists. A mentor provides guidance using lessons from their line of operation. The analogies thus are those that are relevant and contextual to the problems or challenges the technologist could be experiencing.
When information is presented with context and insights, it goes a mile in building clarity. This also helps in building a shared understanding of problems which then contributes to greater awareness and increases the technologist’s capacity to be adventurous and push boundaries to get answers.
Knowledge drives change
Tech managers also operate on the ground level which helps in making mentoring a more continuous process. Since the pace of change in tech is evolving very fast, having access to mentors increases the ability to keep pace with everything that goes on around you. Choosing to have tech managers as mentors also ensures mentoring continuity.
Mentoring is not just about providing resources and support. It is about helping technologists identify their problems and change their approach towards problem-solving. Since tech managers have been in this playing field, it gives them the best view of the landscape, the kind of problems or challenges to anticipate, and the understanding of how challenges could pan out, both for technical issues and professional career paths.
With tech managers becoming mentors, organizations can make sure that their technologists receive the best and most qualified information and the right guidance. It can be the best place to help technologists understand how to think about and take tough calls, even when they are out of their comfort zone. Tech managers are the most suitable resources to help technologists understand what the right questions are to ask, get them to step outside and look at overall outcomes, and assess, identify and create structures that work for them.
Success in the technology landscape is determined not just by the degree of smartness but by the ability to keep pace and learn from others. For organizations, tech managers are the best resources to become agents of continuous learning and take their work beyond simple task management. Managers know how to build teams. They know what challenges and vulnerabilities are and the impact of their experience. And as such, they become the best people to mentor technologists to help them succeed by providing clarity, context, and knowledge.