Yesterday (Saturday) I spent from 8:30am to 3:30pm at a Project Management (PM) class. Its a class designed to introduce students to what Project Management is in the context of the PMP standard. PMP stands for Project Management Professional and you can become PMP certified by working enough hours in project management and then passing a test. The PMP standard was established and maintained by PMI (Project Management Institue, http://www.pmi.org/). This particular class that I went to was put on by the Sacramento Valley Chapter of PMI, which I am a member of.
The class was a fantastic experience with a lot of really interesting people attending. One person, Jerry, that was in the class is a Sac State graduate from the MIS program. Jerry finished MIS 161 with Dr. Legorreta last year so we talked about the MIS 160 & 161 classes. Another interesting person was Julie who is a manager at the department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. At the begining of class everyone introduced themselves and I was suprised that there was quite a bit of CA State management there so when it came to my turn I had announced that I was ‘listed’ for the programmer analyst position. Later on Julie came upto me, gave me her email address, and said that she knew of an opening for that position! Nifty!
Anyways, the class itself was really amazing. The instructor, Alex, was obviously very experienced in PM and well educated. The class covered a lot of PM topics that I have learned in MIS 160&161 but really put them into context with the whole project management process. Also a lot of the termonology was a bit different than what we have learned in class, for example, in class we learn that project managemet is being on time, on target, and on budget while at the workshop we learned cost, scope, time.
All in all my Saturday was time and money well spent. In the business world PM is one of the best things you can do to advance your career, according to what I’ve heard at school and at the few PMI events I’ve attended. Alex said in class that one of the main goals of PM is too keep the projects that the Executive’s don’t want to deal with out of their hair but also produce good results in the end. After you complete several successful projects the Executives take note of that and will consider you for upper management down the road.
In the context of software development, understanding the SDLC (System Development Lifecycle) and PM and being a people person you will quickly be able to move up in any company!