A Proposal for Mapping IT Professionals' Competence Supported by Multiple Intelligences Theory

A Proposal for Mapping IT Professionals' Competence Supported by Multiple Intelligences Theory

Fabiano Rodrigues Ferreira (University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil) and Jorge Rady de Almeida Jr (Computer and Engineering Systems Department, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/IJHCITP.2018010101


Currently, many software development projects worldwide have problems with flaws, delays, and backlogs. This situation may create a highly demotivating work environment for technical workers and managers in general. This study is an attempt to better understand the reasons for these flaws and delays, by proposing the following research question: ‘Which aspects may be contributing to these flaws and delays?'. The proposed hypothesis for this article is: ‘In our IT community, professionals who have an affinity with Project Management generally do not have the essential abilities required to be a leader.' In order to address the research question and hypothesis, this article proposes a mapping /assessment of the IT professionals regarding their potentials and skills. Therefore, this article discusses a proposal for discovering IT workers' profile based on the Multiple Intelligences theory and clustering algorithms. The findings revealed correlations, which may indicate the reasons for such delays and flaws in software development projects.
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Currently, one of the most usual problems in the IT market worldwide is connected to an overwhelming work routine. According to studies (Fisher, Strider, & Kelso, 2016), the majority of all IT workers feels stress in their jobs. The reason of this stressful condition may be due to a variety of aspects like long working hours, short deadlines, a lack of technical knowledge to perform a specific task or an excessive turnover rate (Ghapanchi, Ghapanchi, Talaei-Khoei, & Abedin, 2013). Other studies (Tatnall & Reyes, 2005) suggest that the majority of IT courses does not have an appropriate level of depth when studying project management subjects. Additionally, the way that the technical knowledge is acquired may vary among IT professionals. According to some studies, there are different learning styles for IT students (Al-Azawei, Al-Bermani, & Lundqvist, 2016). Based on these facts, we can list some recurrent issues regarding IT projects:

  • Flaws and backlogs in conducting IT projects have become increasingly a commonplace and accepted by the professional community (Bassellier & Benbasat, 2004; Gido & Clements, 2014; Hinde, 2005; Wilton, 2005). Reports indicate that the lack of planning, and not attained project deadlines, are among the main issues that affect IT professionals (Pmsurvey.org, 2015; Lacity & Rottman, 2008; Seneschall, 2014);

  • In general, project managers may tend to ignore important technical details concerning projects conduction (Ross & Weill, 2002).

In order to understand the IT scenario, we looked for some studies, which have already widely described the profile of the IT professionals. That is, the professionals’ strengths and weaknesses and the relation of them to their professional activities. Additionally, we looked for some studies that may lead to a classification of different types of IT professionals using MI theory. However, we did not find similar investigations with these topics. Given this, in order to understand the IT professionals’ profile more accurately, we propose the following research questions in this study:

  • (RQ) Which aspects may be contributing to the flaws and delays of software development projects in our IT community?

Based on this research question, we propose the following hypothesis:

  • (H) In our IT community, professionals who have an affinity with Project Management tasks generally do not have essential abilities required to perform them.

In other words, this work proposes a way to better understand the potential of IT professionals using a method that can assess a variety of different skills that a person may have. Although IQ tests are useful tools, they only predict those who do well in a specific educational setting, particularly language and math/logic skills. Given this, IQ tests may be considered insufficient to assess the potential of IT workers, since it can be composed of more different aspects like abilities to cooperatively work with other individuals or a self-knowledge about the individuals’ limitations.

More recently, Gardner (1995, 1999, 2011) has proposed the theory of multiple intelligences (MI theory). According to MI theory, there are nine different kinds of intelligence, each independent of the other: linguistic, logical-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalistic and existential. Gardner, with MI theory, describes that human potential has a range of spectra and they should be considered in order to understand the profile of an individual.

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