Developers
August 13, 2020

The Top Alternative Career Paths For Developers—Part One

Software development doesn’t have to be the destination; it can be the journey to something else.

For many, a career in software development is a dream come true. The idea of creating an application—be it desktop, mobile or web—and seeing it come to life is a thrill like no other. Add in the possibility of an application becoming a hit, let alone a game-changer, and the thrill becomes even greater.

For others, however, a career in software development doesn’t hold the same appeal. While it may be a well-paying job, the downsides may outweigh the positives. These include working in a high-stress industry, constantly staying up on the latest developments, countless hours chasing down obscure bugs and more.

For developers who fall into the latter camp, software development doesn’t have to be a dead-end road. Instead, it can be a significant stepping stone to something else. Here are some of the top career paths open to developers.

Project Manager

One of the top roles software developers can move into is that of project manager. Project management is an excellent option for developers who like to focus on the big picture and work with people.

In this role, the project manager must juggle the needs of the business with the abilities and talents of the developers working on the project at hand. This can be a rewarding challenge for developers who enjoy working with people more than individual lines of code.

Low-Code Developer

Low-code development is gaining traction in the world of development as an important alternative to traditional programming. With low-code tools, a developer can visually create the app, while the platform does the heavy lifting in the background.

Because of its lower barrier-to-entry, low-code is an excellent option for developers who have a high-level understanding and proficiency, but have no desire to drill down any deeper. Low-code is also widely used across departments, as it gives other parts of an organization the option to have a hand in the development process. Like project management, specializing in low-code development can open the door for more focus on people than code.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are in greater demand than ever before, with most career resources projecting it as one of the fastest growing jobs. Data scientists specialize in using the vast troves of data companies collect to drive insights into business decisions.

While the job is not considered software development, a background in development can be beneficial. A data scientist may need to write scripts, or small programs to process data, run calculations and more.

UI or UX Designer

For developers who have a flair for design and aesthetics, a career in user interface (UI) or user experience (UX) design may be in order.

User interface design focuses on the interface elements of the application or website. The windows, menus, buttons and graphics are all in the UI designer’s arena, along with virtually all things visual. A UX designer’s field is broader, focusing on an app or website’s workflow and how the end users will interact with it.

In both cases, however, these disciplines require—or at least greatly benefit from—a fundamental understanding of basic development principles. Knowing what is, and is not, possible can significantly improve the overall design process, not to mention cooperation between departments.

Technical Writer

Another field that benefits from a background in software development is technical writing. A technical writer is responsible for writing the manuals and documentation for software, development environments, application programming interfaces (API), operating systems (OS) and more.

While not strictly required, a background in software development will make it much easier to understand and communicate the concepts to the reader, especially as they relate to more complicated subjects.

Teacher

The old adage says that ‘those who can’t do, teach.’ While that may be true in some cases, it most certainly does not apply in development. Teachers who specialize in computer programming must be proficient, and keep up with developments in the field.

Individuals who choose this profession usually don’t do so because they can’t develop software, but because they enjoy imparting knowledge of the field to others. This is a great career choice for individuals who enjoy working with people, mentoring others and teaching young (or older) minds and helping them learn the joy of software development.

Conclusion

While many software developers can’t imaging doing anything different, there are just as many who would rather use their knowledge of software development to move into a parallel field, especially one that caters to their individual strengths.

In this article we’ve looked at six career paths that may be good options for individuals of different backgrounds. In Part Two, we’ll look at additional options, and the advantages they offer.

TagsAlternative Career PathsDevelopers
Matt Milano
Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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DevelopersAugust 13, 2020
The Top Alternative Career Paths For Developers—Part One
Software development doesn’t have to be the destination; it can be the journey to something else.

For many, a career in software development is a dream come true. The idea of creating an application—be it desktop, mobile or web—and seeing it come to life is a thrill like no other. Add in the possibility of an application becoming a hit, let alone a game-changer, and the thrill becomes even greater.

For others, however, a career in software development doesn’t hold the same appeal. While it may be a well-paying job, the downsides may outweigh the positives. These include working in a high-stress industry, constantly staying up on the latest developments, countless hours chasing down obscure bugs and more.

For developers who fall into the latter camp, software development doesn’t have to be a dead-end road. Instead, it can be a significant stepping stone to something else. Here are some of the top career paths open to developers.

Project Manager

One of the top roles software developers can move into is that of project manager. Project management is an excellent option for developers who like to focus on the big picture and work with people.

In this role, the project manager must juggle the needs of the business with the abilities and talents of the developers working on the project at hand. This can be a rewarding challenge for developers who enjoy working with people more than individual lines of code.

Low-Code Developer

Low-code development is gaining traction in the world of development as an important alternative to traditional programming. With low-code tools, a developer can visually create the app, while the platform does the heavy lifting in the background.

Because of its lower barrier-to-entry, low-code is an excellent option for developers who have a high-level understanding and proficiency, but have no desire to drill down any deeper. Low-code is also widely used across departments, as it gives other parts of an organization the option to have a hand in the development process. Like project management, specializing in low-code development can open the door for more focus on people than code.

Data Scientist

Data scientists are in greater demand than ever before, with most career resources projecting it as one of the fastest growing jobs. Data scientists specialize in using the vast troves of data companies collect to drive insights into business decisions.

While the job is not considered software development, a background in development can be beneficial. A data scientist may need to write scripts, or small programs to process data, run calculations and more.

UI or UX Designer

For developers who have a flair for design and aesthetics, a career in user interface (UI) or user experience (UX) design may be in order.

User interface design focuses on the interface elements of the application or website. The windows, menus, buttons and graphics are all in the UI designer’s arena, along with virtually all things visual. A UX designer’s field is broader, focusing on an app or website’s workflow and how the end users will interact with it.

In both cases, however, these disciplines require—or at least greatly benefit from—a fundamental understanding of basic development principles. Knowing what is, and is not, possible can significantly improve the overall design process, not to mention cooperation between departments.

Technical Writer

Another field that benefits from a background in software development is technical writing. A technical writer is responsible for writing the manuals and documentation for software, development environments, application programming interfaces (API), operating systems (OS) and more.

While not strictly required, a background in software development will make it much easier to understand and communicate the concepts to the reader, especially as they relate to more complicated subjects.

Teacher

The old adage says that ‘those who can’t do, teach.’ While that may be true in some cases, it most certainly does not apply in development. Teachers who specialize in computer programming must be proficient, and keep up with developments in the field.

Individuals who choose this profession usually don’t do so because they can’t develop software, but because they enjoy imparting knowledge of the field to others. This is a great career choice for individuals who enjoy working with people, mentoring others and teaching young (or older) minds and helping them learn the joy of software development.

Conclusion

While many software developers can’t imaging doing anything different, there are just as many who would rather use their knowledge of software development to move into a parallel field, especially one that caters to their individual strengths.

In this article we’ve looked at six career paths that may be good options for individuals of different backgrounds. In Part Two, we’ll look at additional options, and the advantages they offer.

Alternative Career Paths
Developers
About the author
Matt Milano -Technical Writer
Matt is a tech journalist and writer with a background in web and software development.

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