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Which technology areas consume most professionals' time?

Source:  TechTarget

When asked which three technology areas occupied most of their time, all respondents said at least one topic was application development and design. At 29% each, application management and general IT management rounded out the top three. The same technology areas were also cited as the top three in last year's Salary and Careers survey.

Success isn't as subjective as one may think. When asked what top measures are used to determine success in their position, 54% said helping reach a goal and another 52% said timely project completion. Providing reliable services and improving delivery rounded out the top four indicators.

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How do you measure success at work?
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The ability to learn new things, to work on interesting problems, to interact well with a team I like and respect, and feel they like and respect me, and to feel like the work I am doing matters in the long run. Earning a good living is a really nice aspect, too, but earning a good salary without the aforementioned other aspects would feel like a hollow definition of success. Having the former list, I'd consider working for less money and still consider myself successful. YMMV of course ;).
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It's funny you mention work environment, Michael. My friend and I were just discussing this last night. A huge paycheck doesn't matter much if you are miserable going in to work every day. After making a certain wage, it really does come down to the people you work with/for.
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Business success, team success, or personal success?
These may go opposite.

I'd say, how do you feel about your work, is a useful heuristic to use.

As for the money question.
Have you heard of Gerald Weinberg's "Principle of Least Regret"?

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Actually, found the citation!
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Set the price so you won't regret it either way.
When I set a fee, there are two possibilities: One is that the client will accept it, I'll do the work, and I'll be paid that fee; the other is that the client will reject it, I won't do the work, and I won't get that fee. I should set the fee so that whatever happens, I'll feel more or less the same.

To apply this principle, I must know my feelings about money, time, travel, and varieties of work. For example, suppose a client offers me a problem in which I'm only moderately interested. Suppose further that I recently worked on a similar problem and charged $5,000. I recall that on that previous job I was rather bored and felt sorry I had taken the work.
On the basis of those memories, I might raise my price for the current job to $7,500. If the client accepts and I reach the point of boredom, I can say to myself, "Well, at least I'm getting an extra $2,500 for doing this. That means I can take a couple of days off when I get back from this job. So, it's worth it." If the client turns down my offer, I can console myself by thinking, "Well, I know that if I took this job for less money, I would have regretted the whole thing before I was through."
~ Gerald Weinberg, The Secrets of Consulting
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Im my everyday work life, the biggest time consumption is specifically setting up of test environments and making them ready for active testing. Note; I'm a software tester, so this should seem perfectly reasonable, but my point is that I spent most of my time just getting set up to test. If I have to work on multiple stories, the switching of gears can take up a considerable amount of time (not so bad if I have parallel environments, but they still need to be set up, and each one takes a good percentage of the time I could be testing.
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Is test setup something that can be automated, Michael? Or no way around that?
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Ben, Automation helps a lot, and we certainly have automated most of the end-to end-setup tasks, but even with automation, spinning up environments, having them configured, and put in the proper situation to be testable, all that takes time, and that time is not trivial.
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