The lack of skilled IT workers is hurting the deployment of emerging technology, according to a new survey from Gartner. In areas from cloud to cybersecurity, this crisis is expected to last for years to come.Sometimes attend professional events. I say "sometimes" because it's not enough to be just another face in the crowd at these events--that won't bring you to the attention of employers. Try leading a discussion panel or offering to be a guest speaker. You can also start your own resource board for fellow industry professionals to share marketplace news, activities and perspectives. A small group of 4-10 people meeting regularly for coffee is all it takes, and while such groups exist online, face-to-face meetings are the most effective way to build community. Studies show that 30 percent of executives admit to having hundreds of digital connections but very few physical friends.Never launch a conversation by talking about yourself. When meeting people, steer the conversation to the other person, listen closely and show meaningful interest in the other person. Start by asking a few questions about their current projects, recent events they've attended, their hobbies, and so on. Based on their responses, you'll come up with ideas and observations to keep the conversation going.