Alternative Career Paths for Software Developers

5 min read

Career Trends: July 12, 2022
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Given the broad scope of software development applications, semi-technical and technical-adjacent positions are available in all industry sectors.

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Software developers create computer applications that allow users to do specific tasks and the underlying systems that run the devices or control networks. Software Development is an intense career, even if it comes with more perks than most other STEM careers. It begins with a graduate’s degree in computer science engineering or similar disciplines, learning to code in high-level programming languages, and staying ahead of the curve by acing additional programming languages, newer database platforms, and so on.

Given the broad scope of software development applications, semi-technical and technical-adjacent positions are available in all industry sectors.

Here’s a look at a few such positions in this diverse arena:

Tech Adjacent Alternatives

Coders who’d like to keep working in the technology field but want a change in their work responsibilities can explore alternative technical options like:

1. Technical Recruiter

  • Technical Recruiters are subject-matter experts who can verify a potential candidate’s knowledge, education, and experience via technical interviews, tests, and other measures.
  • They’re primarily responsible for hiring positions in software development.

2. Technical Trainer

  • Experienced coders can train recruits, team leads, and other software developers in the languages and platforms they’ve aced.
  • This role can also entails some mentoring duties.
  • It’s like taking on a teacher’s role in a technical environment.

3. Technical Writer

  • Technical writing jobs include writing white papers, research papers, SDK documents, API documentation, test schedules, user guides, project plans, business standards, and high-level design documents.
  • It also entails general writing for a niche technically-sound audience.

4. Technical Support (High-End)

  • High-end technical support involves troubleshooting for employees in software development and adjacent fields like online operations, applications development, maintenance, etc.
  • It requires knowledge of cloud services installation and management, remote applications, online workspaces, database platforms, etc.

Managerial Career Paths

You can move further onto senior developer positions or branch out into managerial roles such as:

5. Product Manager

  • Product Managers oversee the entire process of managing the software development life cycle, from the planning to the launching stage and everything in between.
  • It’s a leadership role that requires financial, planning, and product ownership.
  • The product manager rallies developer teams to execute the client’s vision.

6. Project Manager

  • Project management in software engineering entails leading technical and non-technical teams to achieve technical goals.
  • Project management involves liaising with all stakeholders and individual contributors, procuring resources, troubleshooting everyday problems, and keeping track of the budget, timeline, and resources until project completion.

7. Enterprise Software Manager

  • Engineers with in-depth knowledge of database management systems like Oracle, Salesforce, etc., can branch out into this role.
  • It requires hands-on management of enterprise software handling teams, their day-to-day operations, database upkeep, etc.

Data Science Roles

Most positions in this field require low coding and offer the most lucrative jobs in the technology field:

8. Database Manager

  • Database management requires creating, installing, configuring, and managing unique databases for clients and corporates.
  • Database managers know the ins and outs of the systems they work with and are responsible for their security, proper functioning, and troubleshooting.

9. Data Analyst

  • Data Analysts use data and study it in context along with trends and social cues to provide business advice and solutions to industries, media organisations, social media platforms, etc.
  • They convert learnings and insights into actionable solutions and effectively communicate the findings to solve emerging and existing problems.

10. Research and Development Engineer

  • Like every other field, software technology also requires research and development to advance its output.
  • R&D Engineers are responsible for conceptualising these research projects, leading them, coming up with theories and guiding principles, as well as creating experiments, prototypes, and models to advance their understanding of the subject.

Sales & Marketing Positions

Here are a few sales and marketing roles you can pursue with a background in software development:

11. Sales & Marketing Engineer

  • Sales and marketing engineers help salespeople, marketing folks, advertising professionals, managers, and clients understand the ins and outs of a software product or service, its technical aspects, and so on.
  • They also provide technical assistance in realising marketing goals in addition to data collection, collation and analyses.

12. Product Evangelist

  • Product Evangelism is akin to promoting a particular product to the general public, businesses, or teams within a corporation.
  • Sound technical knowledge of specific software, a new programming language, or a database system is handy when trying to drive broader adoption
  • It’s different from traditional marketing in that the Evangelist’s expertise, knowledge, experience, and body of work are what the audience bases their purchase on.

13. Developer Advocate

  • Experienced software developers can leverage their expertise and knowledge in particular areas of coding or a product or service, say Amazon Workspaces, and teach other developers the best way to use it.
  • Your superior knowledge helps augment the entire community’s understanding and usage of this product once you start sharing your process, methodologies, insights, and more.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

7 Skills for a Successful Career in Corporate Law 

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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