A guide to launching your software career - What are my options?

 
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In the first part, ( read it here) I promised to write about things that you must know as you set out to launching your career.

Let’s start by understanding what your options are.

The options can be looked at from multiple POVs (points of view) - role, skill, type of company and so on.

Let’s start with the most fundamental - role.

Though the lines are beginning to blur - many companies continue to list separate roles for Software Developer (or Programmer) and Software Tester (or Quality Engineer).

As someone taking the first step into a long and accomplished career in software - you can’t go wrong with either of these. 

While as a software developer, you will gain depth in certain aspects - such as how to write code for creating a shopping cart on a website, as a tester you will gain a broad understanding of the domain.  So, you would learn how a certain process works end-to-end - for instance, the entire journey of a customer from registration to authenticating their Aadhar number on a bank's portal.  As a tester, you  may also do some cool coding of your own to automate test cases. 

Regardless of the role, the operative word here would be learning - it is a priceless reward of taking on your first job. Any company, any role - there will always be a huge amount of learning for the first  few weeks/months. Don’t let it overwhelm you - enjoy the experience of learning in a non-classroom environment. 

Just for completeness - the other possible roles that you could be offered are (by no means a complete list) Trainee Systems Administrator (setup and manage computer servers/storage/networks), Trainee Systems Analyst (work with customers/end users to gather requirements for the software needed to be built), Trainee Ux Designer (for the right-brained creators of beautiful designs), Trainee Technical writer (for word-wizards who can document the working of the software succinctly) - all vital roles in technology firms. 

Next part: Options from a skill POV

About the Author :

Nagen Nyamgondalu is the Co-founder & Principal Advisor at Skill Velocity. After over two decades of technology leadership roles in software majors like IBM, and leading a spin-off as Director of Engineering at Honeywell, Nagen bootstrapped the concept of SkillVelocity. A true blue technologist at heart, he has a Masters degree in Software Engineering from Brandeis University, USA. 

 
Suparna Rao