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Cover image for The Tech Career Guide

The Tech Career Guide

laurieontech profile image Laurie ・4 min read

There have been so many wonderful posts about various directions to take your technical career that I wanted to put them all in one place!

Consulting

This was my post on consulting and the diverse roles and skills that you use in the field. In it, I discuss the work I do and the way in which I found myself in this career. In my mind, this is the variety pack of technology careers.

If you're looking for a different approach to that career type, Nader Dabit did a great write up on his experiences. As a consultant, he was on his own and acting as a specialist. The Prosperous Software Consultant

Individual Contributor

The role of "IC" is what we normally use to refer to developers who are a ways into their career and are not acting as managers. There is constant debate about how well defined these paths are in various companies, and whether they are recognized appropriately. The posts below are various takes on what it means to be a technical lead.

UX Engineering

A few weeks ago Emma wrote a great post on the somewhat unknown area of UX engineering. A midpoint between design and development, this role is all about ownership of the user experience and interfacing between a number of different teams.

UI Design

The artist of the technical world! Being a UI designer is a combination of psychology, art and attention to detail. This is a great post highlighting the benefits of this job. If you agree with the points outlined it might just be the field for you.

Site Reliability Engineer

Often called an SRE, this field is the Hulk of backend developers. Their focus is to keep everything running smoothly no matter the traffic spikes or dependency outages. This first post Molly dives into some of the skills that help her succeed.

Another great post on this topic is by Alice Goldfuss. In it, she discusses the field and her experiences. She also dives into the fact that roles titled "SRE" can differ greatly in their job descriptions.How to get into SRE

Security

Another interesting field is computer security. This is a large field, and there are even more specialties within it. This post talks about some of the ways to gain experience in the field so that you can start exploring the available career paths.

A more specific guide, focused on cybersecurity, is available as well. This one talks about the path to success in this field and even dives into available certifications.

Developer Relations

This is the hot new field, right? Developer Relations, or Evangelists or Advocates, they have so many names! This field is all about being an internal company advocate for the developers who use your platform and finding out what they need. It's almost like consulting in some ways but the client vs. colleague relationship is reversed.

Engineering Manager

Many think of management as the ultimate destination for all who travel the career ladder, but that's not really fair. Being a manager should be a conscious decision with the full knowledge that it takes a different skill set than an individual contributor path does.

Meta

Regardless of what direction you decide to go, whether you specialize are not, here are a couple of posts about growing your development career. Whatever that looks like!


Oh, and see a career path you like better than the one you have now? I might recommend starting here. It's never too late.

The best part is this list is incomplete. There are so many more career paths in this industry than the ones listed here. Pop into the comments to add your own!

Posted on May 21 '19 by:

laurieontech profile

Laurie

@laurieontech

Software dev at Gatsby | DC techie | Conference speaker | egghead Instructor | TC39 Educators Committee | Girls Who Code Facilitator | Board game geek | @laurieontech on twitter

Discussion

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What a great article! The research work on this is fantastic and I am sure it will guide some in the right direction.

I have found this dev roadmap. It is well detailed so you can rapidly find where you are at. It helped me consolidate knowledge about what in the field is "basic knoweldge". It lead me to awesome discoveries aslong the way.

 
 

I know right! I constantly look at it, check where I am and just google everything I need to in order to progress. I like those kind of graphics.

 

Wow great article. I didn't know that in tech career there is so much choices of paths to choose. I've been a software developer for the past 3 years and in my experiences it only had a choice to be dev and nothing else. This article opened my mind to others path.

Thank you.

 
 

Well, AI/Machine Learning is missing.

May be Software Architect should be pointed out. As well as... Data Analyst.

Btw good post, I've been looking around some of the posts that are listed here, cheers!

 

There are definitely a number of paths missing. If you have any recommendations for posts that cover them definitely add them here!

 
 

I'm kind of confused on what part to take. I develop android, I love AI, I know Java, I need python for AI, I'm just confused