IT field is a skilled field. Not everyone aspiring to become an IT person is cut to be an IT person. End of story.
Harsh? yet true. Some work out their way as accountants, writers, artists during college days, but end up as one good ingenuine IT person. And well, the others? They have good ambitions, but are less fit for their goals.
So what makes a good IT person?
1. I asked my mentor once whether he believes that when one techie can memorize commands from a linux box, then he's 'the one'. I felt a tone in his voice when he said "Hindi". It actually sent out a "Are you stupid to ask that question?! Hell, no!" (well, this was how I interpreted it)
2. I have been through challenging yet boring times of interviews with so many applicants. I'm always kind enough to make them feel comfortable so that I could extract more sensible stuffs from them.. but I think they more or less were overdoing it.
Me: So in what version of MySQL are you very adept? Applicant #1: Oh, MySQL 7 po. (Note: MySQL 5 palang ang meron)
Me: Among the languages / scripts that you claim to know of, which is the best and how does it compare with the others?
Applicant #2: I like PHP because its for the web and very easy and it its not yet OOP.
(Note: Maybe this guy is talking about PHP3, and that was Jan 2007)
The "real" IT person will not claim to know everything. You just have to check whether he's making enough sense and surely seem to know what he claims to know (even without hands on).
3. College education seems to be the best jumpstart for skilled people. You pretty much learn from your professors that are willing and accomodating to share their knowledges. So, college peeps, understand that they talk sense (especially when talking out of experience). And with this, learn to experiment and apply. The good IT person will seek to understand the two sides of every story. If it works well, and there are more stuffs that say it does and its the right way, then stick with it. The right way may be more difficult but definitely more rewarding in the end!
4. The IT life is not an easy life. Learning doesn't end at school, a tutorial or a certification. IT is being updated all the time, and one who claims to be techie but is left behind is not techie at all! Master the right resources to read, and read a lot of them. Once you've read them, criticize them and take in only as much as needed. Not everything good is edible.
5. Architects are for buildings and structures, and so are developers. The real IT guy never misses out to improve his lot, or share his knowledge. This person must never pass out a chance to correct a spotted mistake or loophole. Failure to do so is wrecking a reputation. Never settle for "this will temporarily work", or "I won't argue, I just know its wrong".
6. Mingle with people who tickle your brain. If you do get into a group where you're the best, fancy a little and amuse yourself, but don't stay. Staying put is slow death. In a month or two, you can never tell how much bytes you've lost from your memory.
7. Keep coding and be spontaneous. Never stop creating codes, reading codes, and criticizing codes. This is fuel to the heart of the real IT guy.
Now, these are just top-of-my-head list of things that I always follow. Pitch in your own set or aggregate to mine. I believe this will help the future aspirants of the IT career.