I have been talking to a number of software developers, interested in changing roles to business analysis. If you are one of those software developers, then this post is written to show you how to switch careers from software development 🙂
There seems to be some bias against switching roles to business analysis from software development. It’s a subtle form of discrimination from folks who stereotype all software developers as nerds with poor presentation and communication skills!
But is that really true? Are you poorly suited for a business analysis role just because you’re a software developer?
On the contrary, software developers can make good business analysts and I will dedicate the rest of this post to debunking this myth … just as I have done with several urban legends on this blog 🙂
There are several reasons why a software developer like you would be interested in changing careers to business analysis and some of these could be:
The Junior Programmer: you are new to computer programming and you are not enjoying it. Hence you wonder if you will be better suited for business analysis
The Experienced Software Developer: you have learned all you can about software development and would like to start a new, challenging career in business analysis.
The Accidental Business Analyst: you take on the roles of a business analyst at your company and you want to get formal recognition as a business analyst for your efforts.
The Soft Skilled Developer: based on your communication, presentation or analysis skills, you feel that you will make a good business analyst.
The Competent Developer: you are seen as being highly competent or responsible by your manager and because of that, you have been tasked with additional business analysis responsibilities..
Whatever the reasons for changing roles to business analysis, you are in for some good news … you are wanted by the job market!
Contrary to what you may think, having a formal software development background can actually prove to be a bonus or an advantage and here are some of the reasons why:
Right Background: IT business analysts are required to have a good understanding of the software development life cycle.
Your background in software development can be used to fulfill that requirement easily.
Better Fit: IT managers need business analysts who can understand developers and talk with them at the system level.
That means having enough technical knowledge to create UML diagrams or entity relationship models or even help translate business requirements into technical specifications.
Reduce Risk: IT shops need business analysts with a technical or systems background so that they won’t be at a lost in a challenging or complex software development project.
When managers undertake a complex software development process, they want to reduce risk by hiring business analysts who can bridge the gap between the software development team and business because of their software developer background.
So, having a software development background puts you at an advantage in such situations.
Can you Market Yourself: The good news is that your software developer background does not have to count against you at the job interview and that is where this article becomes quite helpful!
First, you have to be sure of the value you will bring to your job if you are hired as a business analyst. Next, you have to convey that value clearly to the hiring manager!
So, using this article as reference, elicit all the reasons why hiring you will be helpful and then work on how to convey that to your hiring manager.
Now you’ve learnt how to switch from a traditional software developer role to a business analyst role … it is time to take action!