This article from InfoWorld touches on a number of key areas where technology people should be focusing for long-term job security and growth.
In particular, what sticks out strongly for me, a Senior Business Analyst in the Hosting & Application Services division of one of the largest and best-known telecommunications corporations in the world, "business skills... are increasingly important. Many of these are people-oriented skills."
The article cites a 2007 Microsoft-commissioned survey of 500 U.K.-based board-level executives that "found that 61 percent said that interpersonal and teamwork skills were more important than IT skills."
While it is obviously vital that you and your peers possess the necessary technical skills to get the job done right, I completely agree that it is the people skills that put you ahead of the pack when working with clients who have a choice of vendors. The ability to relate complex topics and concepts to people who haven't gone through the education, years of work experience, crunch times before go-live, and all those rounds of debugging, is what is going to put you and your organization first in your Clients' minds.
So, bring the technical chops, but bring your empathy, humility, integrity, humor and humanity along too. You and your clients will benefit tremendously.
This post originally appeared at http://becraftsblog.blogspot.com. Your feedback and personal experiences are welcome.