Episode 250 – Focus on the Core Principles and Keep Reinventing Yourself with Sanjeev Sharma

 In Podcasts

Phil’s guest on this episode of the IT Career Energizer podcast is Sanjeev Sharma.  Sanjeev was an early practitioner and coach of the Scrum methodology and has become a world-renowned expert and thought leader in DevOps as well as a pioneer of DevOps at IBM.

Sanjeev has authored two bestselling books, “DevOps for Dummies” and “The DevOps Adoption Playbook”. He is now a thought leader in the emerging area of DataOps.

In this episode, Phil and Sanjeev Sharma discuss the importance of not getting distracted by the tech and ending up chasing certifications. They also talk about how to achieve a proper understanding of what it is that your customer needs.

Sanjeev also shares why initially you need to focus on learning how to learn and the core principles of IT.




Do not get distracted by the technology. Focus on core principles. In the podcast, Sanjeev explains what they are. As well as how not to fall into the trap of chasing certifications you don´t really need.



Mid-career Sanjeev walked into a project with an overconfident attitude. He thought he knew what the customer needed and had all of the answers. Luckily, the manager from the client-side took him aside and asked Sanjeev to pause and actually listen to what they thought they needed.

His doing that averted a potential disaster. But, by that point, a lot of people’s time had already been wasted. It taught Sanjeev to never make assumptions and always listen to the customer.


Being made a Distinguished Engineer while working for IBM is Sanjeev´s career highlight, to date. Getting to that stage requires you to be reviewed and nominated by your peers. It felt amazing to get that recognition and achieve one of his biggest career goals.



Sanjeev is more excited than ever about the potential of technology. It is pulling us together and enabling us to still be able to do important things like educating our children despite the Coronavirus crisis.

The fact that every business needs technology means that the future is bright for IT professionals.


(17.51) THE REVEAL

What first attracted you to a career in I.T.? – Sanjeev chose IT because he liked it more than the idea of being a doctor or an accountant.

What’s the best career advice you received? – Learn computers.

What’s the worst career advice you received? – Don´t take a risk and change the direction of your career.

What would you do if you started your career now? – Sanjeev would initially focus on learning the core engineering principles.

What are your current career objectives? – Helping clients with their digital transformations.

What’s your number one non-technical skill? – Being a good writer.

How do you keep your own career energized? – Sanjeev ensures that he talks to at least 5 other people per week about what they are working on. A habit that provides him with a fresh point of view.

What do you do away from technology? – Sanjeev reads a lot. But, in a paper format rather than on a screen. He finds that this greatly reduces the chances of being distracted.



Keep reinventing yourself. But, when you do so, try to think beyond your next job. Plan to land your dream job and take steps towards that. But, be prepared to change track.

In this ever-changing environment, there are untold opportunities. Don’t be afraid to change direction to take advantage of them.



(5.58) – Sanjeev – “Do not get distracted by the technology, focus on the core principles.”

(8.04) – Sanjeev – “Don´t get distracted by the tech and end up chasing certifications just for the sake of it.”

(11.02) – Sanjeev – “No matter how often you have done something before, don´t just assume you know what the customer wants.”

(16.06) – Sanjeev – “Learn how to master new tools quickly. Things move fast, tools change, so you must learn them quickly.”

(23.58) – Sanjeev – “Constantly re-invent yourself. But look years ahead when deciding what to learn next.”



Phil Burgess is an independent IT consultant who has spent the last 20 years helping organizations to design, develop, and implement software solutions. Phil has always had an interest in helping others to develop and advance their careers. And in 2017 Phil started the I.T. Career Energizer podcast to try to help as many people as possible to learn from the career advice and experiences of those that have been, and still are, on that same career journey.



Contact Phil through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/philtechcareer

LinkedIn: https://uk.linkedin.com/in/philburgess

Facebook: https://facebook.com/philtechcareer

Instagram: https://instagram.com/philtechcareer

Website: https://itcareerenergizer.com/contact

Phil is also reachable by email at [email protected] and via the podcast’s website, https://itcareerenergizer.com

Join the I.T. Career Energizer Community on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ITCareerEnergizer


Sanjeev Sharma was an early practitioner and coach of the Scrum methodology.  He has become a world-renowned expert and thought leader in DevOps as well as a pioneer of DevOps at IBM.

He has authored two bestselling books, “DevOps for Dummies” and “The DevOps Adoption Playbook”.  Sanjeev is now a thought leader in the emerging area of DataOps.


Contact Sanjeev Sharma through the following Social Media platforms:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sd_architect

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/realsanjeevsharma/

Website: https://sdarchitect.blog/

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