Which IT role is right for you?

Hoping for a career (or career change) in IT? Consider these perspectives for the major types of work you would be doing.

A programmer is the most well known IT job and could be considered the civil engineer of the profession. They write lines of code (build stuff) that generates logic and typically develop specialist skills in classes of progamming languages. Everyone in IT should have a working knowledge of how code works but only true programmers (most often also gamers) will love doing it for 24 hours at a stretch,such as at a codefest. [paragraph 1 of 5]

I have written previously about how the chef never runs the restaurant and this is the essence of the project manager: they get things done. Constantly juggling numerous zero-sum issues and actions, they live and breathe planning and milestones. It’s my experience that truly good PMs are hard to find and they are generally experienced in either waterfall or Agile methodologies. [2/5]

There are a number of types of analysts (or analytical disciplines) in the IT profession – business, system, information, process etc. They need a reverse-engineering mind; take things apart, understand how it works, put it back together,write it all down. The most important function is to bridge business customers with programmers; convert requirements into specifications which can be developed into software. [3/5]

Testers ensure quality standards are adhered and software is only implemented that meets requirements. As the neutral 3rd party in the business / IT relationship, they play a crucial role in establishing and maintaining trust. Entire testing professions are built around automation, regression, integration and other types of testing; usually IT testers are multi-skilled and understand most of the testing disciplines. [4/5]

When I was running a waterfall style ERP implementation IT team we ran aMyers-Briggs assessment on everyone and shared the results at a team build. The vast majority of people’s profiles contained both S (Sensing) and T (Thinking), indicating a preference in this specific IT team for results, structure and practicality. IT is a great profession but think about the type of work you want to do so you can make the right career choice. [5/5]

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