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New Post 2/22/2008 4:41 PM
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User is offline Richie
6 posts
10th Level Poster


Software Developer wants to become Business Analyst 

I am a software developer with a bachelor's in business information systems. I have almost 8 years of experience in software development for 4 different companies, small, medium and large. I also was kind of a manager for a very small company so got involved in the business process to a degree. I also once tried to start a business, it failed, but it was fun for a while. In 2000 I took 3 years off life to go to Panama where I was the director of a church mission. So I have software development skills, understand how small businesses run, and have directed a "business" (if you can call a mission that) myself.

I am not a "techie" - computers are not my passion, but that's where my skills and experience lie and I want to go into something related to it. Business analysis seems like a very good fit for me. I have IT skills, knowledge and experience. I have good business sense and some experience. I have excellent communication skills (e.g. I have 17 years experience as a lay teacher in my church and have travelled all over North America in this role, and I have written magazine articles).

Is business analysis a good fit for me? My current employer does not use business analysts. I have been thinking of at least a job change for the past year. How do I get started? Help!!

 
New Post 2/23/2008 2:09 PM
User is offline Chris Adams
323 posts
5th Level Poster






Re: Software Developer wants to become Business Analyst 
Modified By Chris Adams  on 3/3/2008 5:56:29 PM)

 Richie wrote

I am a software developer with a bachelor's in business information systems. I have almost 8 years of experience in software development for 4 different companies, small, medium and large. I also was kind of a manager for a very small company so got involved in the business process to a degree. I also once tried to start a business, it failed, but it was fun for a while. In 2000 I took 3 years off life to go to Panama where I was the director of a church mission. So I have software development skills, understand how small businesses run, and have directed a "business" (if you can call a mission that) myself.

I am not a "techie" - computers are not my passion, but that's where my skills and experience lie and I want to go into something related to it. Business analysis seems like a very good fit for me. I have IT skills, knowledge and experience. I have good business sense and some experience. I have excellent communication skills (e.g. I have 17 years experience as a lay teacher in my church and have travelled all over North America in this role, and I have written magazine articles).

Is business analysis a good fit for me? My current employer does not use business analysts. I have been thinking of at least a job change for the past year. How do I get started? Help!!

Hi Richie,
 
If you take a look at some of the other posts in this forum you'll find some great advice which will be useful to you. Here are some things you should consider:
  • Be sure that you clearly understand what the profession is all about and ensure that it's the type of work you would enjoy and find fulfilling. As a developer you probably have worked with Business Analysts before and having a reasonable understanding of the role.
  • Consider getting some formal training to aid in your career switch. You can find some training courses in the ModernAnalayst.com training directory.
  • Consider attending some IIBA chapter meetings in your area.
  • Finally, any transition to a Business Analyst role is always going to be easier if you can do it within your current company. You mentioned that your company doesn’t use business analysts today. Perhaps you should try selling them on the benefits. Check out the following post for an executive summary of some new research that explains the vast benefits of excellent requirements. It almost always takes a separate business analysis group to achieve these kinds of high quality requirements.

www.modernanalyst.com/Community/Forums/tabid/76/forumid/-1/threadid/814/scope/posts/Default.aspx


Chris Adams
Core Member – ModernAnalyst.com
LinkedIn Profile
 
New Post 2/23/2008 2:44 PM
User is offline Jarett Hailes
155 posts
6th Level Poster




Re: Software Developer wants to become Business Analyst 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 2/23/2008 5:54:38 PM)

Hey Richie,

I was in a similar situation - IT background and wanted to be involved on the people/business aspect more.  Here are some of the steps I took:

1) Go to the IIBA website.  Persue the Body of Knowledge (it's a long read, so even just reading Chapter 1 will help) and understand the basics of what a BA does.  Note that BA's can also be asked to perform other tasks, depending on the project or company.  Some other tasks include: market analysis, strategic planning, business case development, etc. 

2) Learn the BA market in your area (assuming you don't want to move).  Check out Monster and other applicable job sites for your area, and see who is hiring BA's.  In my case, there are a few small/medium size companies hiring BA's, but most work in one form or another for government (either directly or through consulting firms) or for one of the 10 large companies in town.   See if you know anyone at the places listed and ask them to get you in touch with a BA who works there to ask more about the daily work.  If you're still interested, go to a recruiter (internal to that company or a local headhunter) and get them to review your resume and see what they think your chances are.  The greater the demand, the more likely people are willing to take a flier on someone with little or no BA experience provided they can present themselves well and are congenial.  I think one of the reasons the transition was so easy for me is because I enjoy interacting with people and I think that came across very clearly in all my interviews.  An effective BA puts people at ease even in tense situations (which some projects can be due to politics, history, etc.) and can get the necessary information out of people. 

3) Revisit your work experience and pull out tasks that you did that were BA related (discussing product features with customers, facilitating a meeting, etc.).  Highlight these in your resume provided they actually occured. 

4) Check out the IIBA website and see if there is an approved Education provider in your area.  I'm going through my University's BA Certificate program right now, and it's very tied to the IIBA's BOK and CBAP exam.  This will help me get the designation when I have sufficient experience and is also another good thing for your resume.  See if your employer would spring for part or all of the tuition.

 

 
New Post 2/23/2008 2:52 PM
User is offline Adrian M.
764 posts
3rd Level Poster




Re: Software Developer wants to become Business Analyst 
Modified By Adrian M.  on 2/23/2008 5:53:51 PM)

Hi Richie,

I'm assuming that your current role is that of a software developer.   While there are many ways to get into business analysis, what I advice developers is the following path:

Software Developer => Systems Analyst => Business Analyst

Since you are a software developer with a BA in business information systems and great communication skills you should not have any problem landing a systems analyst job.  Make sure the Systems Analyst position you get is involved in developing functional/technical specifications for business systems so you're not an SA who just takes care of the network.  Since you are a developer you know the type of information a developer expects to see in a functional specification or technical document.  At the same time, you should gain skills and knowledge of modeling standards and methods (i.e. activity diagrams, sequence diagrams, class diagrams, etc.).

A position as a systems analyst would most likely put you in direct contact with the business analysts on the project and you'll be able to see what they do, how they do, and even help out with business analysis tasks.  This way, your transition to business analyst will be much easier.

Having said that, given that you have strong communication skills, if you take a couple of formal courses in business analysis (requirements elicitation, requirements management, and business process modeling) you should be able to find a business systems analyst position with no problem.

Best of luck and keep us posted on your progress!

- Adrian


Adrian Marchis
Business Analyst Community Blog - Post your thoughts!
 
New Post 2/23/2008 3:00 PM
User is offline Richie
6 posts
10th Level Poster


Re: Software Developer wants to become Business Analyst 

Thanks for the advice everyone! I have been looking at this program:

http://www.tech.ubc.ca/businessanalysis/index.html

Does that look like the sort of thing I'll need?

 
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