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Balazs Refi
Balazs Refi

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I created our “IT course for HR leaders” blog series to help HR leaders learn about the world of IT. In this series of blogs, I want to introduce the most common IT job positions.

We just published the Bluebird IT Salary Guide, which provides an overview of IT salary ranges based on position, technology, and level of experience. Since a first step, we wanted to properly classify the IT roles, as this, in my opinion, allows the gross salaries to be evaluated more clearly. Before agreeing on a (simplified) technique based on the categories given below, we examined several categorization methods.

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The most common IT roles
The following positions will be presented as general IT roles:

Project manager
Business analyst, System analyst
Software developer
System operator
The main IT roles might obviously be defined differently, but for the time being, we will stay with this approach. This method follows the traditional software development lifecycle.

Let’s look at a basic project (there aren’t any!):

A standard project

  1. The project manager is involved in the project from the beginning to the end and is aware of everything that happens.

  2. The business analyst is present at the planning stage. Their responsibility is to gather and document all business-related needs.

  3. When the plan is finished, the software developers develop the application in line with the requirements (system plan) created during the planning phase.

  4. After the program has been implemented (built), it is tested by testers, and errors are corrected by developers.

  5. After the final acceptance tests are completed, the system is implemented (yay!) and passed over to the operators.

Project Manager
The major responsibility of the project manager is to guarantee that the application/deliverables are delivered on time and accepted by the client, resulting in the project’s completion. Their major duties revolve around the project plan, the team, and the customer. To put it another way, they follow the project plan, lead the team, and communicate with the customer.

Business analyst, system analyst
The business analyst’s major job is to guarantee that the system is developed and implemented in line with the clients’ expectations. To accomplish so, they must first comprehend the precise procedures that will be implemented, as well as identify the system’s end users and specify what data the application will handle and how it will manage it. What exactly is the difference between a business analyst and a system analyst? The domain expertise in the field for which the application is built is held by the business analyst.

(In the case of a complaint management system for banks, for example, they are aware with the complaint management processes, rules, and banking stakeholders.) In contrast to the system analyst, who may or may not be aware with the business context of the future system but possesses technical competence (ex.: data model planning, SQL). It is tough to draw the line in real life, yet they may be distinguished along these lines.

The business analyst/system analyst creates the system plan/specifications. This is his major responsibility.

Software developer
In a nutshell, the software developer creates applications that are based on the system design. In reality, it is not always so easy, because a flood of difficulties concerning the system plan may occur throughout development. During this time, a huge number of planning activities may also arise. Consider the case of object-oriented programming, where the developer is always in the planning-implementation stage.

Software developers were also known as coders at times. There is no coder as an IT job title in my opinion. I can’t imagine someone “coding” as a working software engineer. Software development involves a highly structured thinking processes, as well as careful planning and implementation.

Let us continue with our example: after development, the application needs testing. To keep things simple, let’s suppose the testers are the ones that do this. I’ll explain why this isn’t true in the next articles of this series. That is far from the case. For the time being, however, we will declare that testing is the duty of testers.

The software is given to the operators if it is bug-free and ready to use. Typically, the operators follow a set of instructions. This specification contains both the requirements for building the live environment and the operational tasks.

And our project is finished!

Naturally, the description is brief and achieves the goal of simplicity. In the next parts of this series, I will go through the precise tasks of each IT position and how they relate to one another. There will be countless overlaps, and we will conclude that what is interesting is the specific task of one particular IT professional, not the role itself. But let us take things one step at a time!

What a project manager does will be the subject of our upcoming blog post.

If you have any questions relating the above, please contact me via Linkedin or email me.

*Source: Bluebird Europe blog / Bluebird blog

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