Selecting Career Paths in IT

IT is a vast field and has a lot of career paths to choose from. There are always so many terminologies making headlines on the podcasts, TVs, and so on i.e., what is blockchain? Who is a solutions architect? And so on.

In this post, I will try to demystify the job roles and associated terminologies to help people seek out a path for themselves when entering the IT job market.

Some Background

Forbes includes IT as the second growing industry. Most of the time the projects help the end-users save cost or improve efficiency. When most of the projects are meant to be used by the end-users, they are built based on some requirements. These requirements are acquired from the stakeholders. Next, the project is assessed. This assessment includes translating the business requirements into a technology product. This is where the code and coding come in. After coding, the product is tested against the accepted business requirements to ensure that it meets the business requirements and expectations. Finally, the product is then released to the users for testing and then released for live usage. This is where DevOps comes into play. It is a relatively new field. Applications are now delivered using cloud technologies, so Cloud-native DevOps is a whole field dedicated to it. Sometimes the product needs marketing where a whole new field has begun. I will go on it later.

Roles and Job Descriptions

In the above description, there are multiple roles involved.

1.      Requirements Gathering

This is done by the business analysts. This is one of the most critical product or project development stages. The critical nature lies in the commitments and acceptance of the requirements. If any of the requirements is wrongly assessed the whole project can be down the drain. If the project is someone else, then the requirements come from the stakeholders who are going to own it, and analysis is done by the business analyst. If the project is the company’s venture, it’s called product and the requirements come from the product owner who is responsible for determining the products.

2.      Designing the Product

This is where the solutions architect’s job comes in. A solutions architect’s job is to design how the IT project should be built, what stack to be chosen, how to deploy, how to save the data, and how to make the overall code more manageable and adaptable to change. Here are design patterns, knowing the technology, understanding the environments, and the final visualization of the effort. This is an experience-requiringjob. AWS, Azure, and other vendors have released their whole certifications and paths for becoming experts in their products.

3.      Project Manager

A project manager can have a technical role but is more concerned with managing the overall project progress, delivery, risk management, estimating the costs, knowing the team pulse, identifying the bottlenecks, meeting the deadlines, and so on. In short, a project manager is responsible for the complete and smooth execution of the project until its conclusion and release. For this role, there are a lot of certifications available. Companies like Scrum alliance offer PMP certifications for this post.

4.      Developer

This is probably the most talkedabout and mentioned job description. Developers are the people who code the whole product by looking at the user stories and features description. Again, how the product needs to be built is recommended by the solutions architect. Developers fall into two categories: Front end and back-end developers. Front-end developers are most targeted toward the UI or user interface design while the back-end developers are responsible for building the complex features. The business logic is held at the backend and delivered to the front end using the APIs (application programming interfaces).On backends, these days Python, .NET Core, and Node Js are in. On the front end,Javascript-relatedtechnologies are used such as Angular, React JS and Vue.Js.

I talked about the user interface, and this is the next item in our discussion.

5.      UI Designers

Every product has a look and feels design. This design reflects the company’s branding and the overall flow of the screens. People who love designing should come to this field. Those who wish to be a part of this team need to know Photoshop, CSS, HTML, Figma, and advanced designing tools.

6.      Tester and Automation

The product needs to be tested against the business requirements. Testers are the people who do it. This role is commonly called Quality Assurance. Companies perform manual testing frequently, but also write automated testing flows. These flows ensure that all the flows of the product are working fine even after adding new features. Selenium is a popular testing framework for writing automation test cases.

7.      Security and Audit

IT security is perhaps the feat no company can even compromise on. Security breaches, unauthorized access, or usage have become a problem and the products need to be tested thoroughly to ensure that no aspect of security is compromised. This is a lucrative field and also risky.

8.      DevOps

Every product needs to be delivered. The iterative nature of the product means more and more versions of the product to be released with varying features. Managing releases and versions of the application is a challenging task. Further, we have to run all the tests, automation, and integrations and make deployments. DevOps people need to know all about managing resources on Clouds like Azure and AWS.

9.      Data Scientists and Machine Learning

Today computers are delivering data more than ever. This gave rise to a whole new field which was termed the sexiest job of the 21st century. Data scientists are the people who derive the knowledge out of the data by applying statistics and statistical models. Statistics is not a new field. But previously we did not have enough computing power needed to perform the analysis. Thanks to cloud computing today we can have all the power needed to run the analysis on loads of data such as petabytes!


In this post, we looked at how software engineering works and what kinds of roles are available. If you love designing, you can switch to a user interface designer. However, if you are inclined towards statistics, then being a data scientist should be your go. Feel free to explore all the career paths and opt for the courses to stay updated.


Birbahadur Singh Kathayat is an entrepreneur and online marketing consultant. He is founder of the online marketing company LBSWebsoft. He has 10 years of work experience in digital marketing and helping small business. He advises several startups and established companies in India and other countries. You can follow him online at Google+ or @bskathayat.

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