Let me start this off by telling you this: my job is “intellectually stimulating, but socially mundane.” It means that the work itself is interesting enough to keep me from taking-eight hour naps daily, but doesn’t provide a lot of excitement.
Just to clarify, I am not a developer, programmer, software engineer, or an otherwise tech-savvy nerd. I am a Business Analyst and Quality Assurance Analyst for a small software company, which basically means I listen to what clients want in softwares and communicate that to the people who actually know how to build it: i.e. developers.
Job security, of course. I would have a job even if all the computers in the world decided to revolt and overtake the human race, since I would be the one making sure those computers had the capability to express said plans out loud. Another plus point is that sometimes the work is seriously fun.
Through my work as a BA/QA, I have had the opportunity to make insurance policies for Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Jimi Hendrix and Betty Boop on several occasions, and have been able to invent things like “Ferrari Golf Carts” in order to test enhancements of these softwares.
The not so positives
The work we do in software companies is never consistent, especially if it’s done well. For example, we can collect requirements from the client (meaning we did our part of the job correctly) and not hear back with confirmation for a month or more. And then suddenly, when the confirmation comes through, we have to work around the clock (sometimes literally) to get the next phase of the project completed on time.
While wildly exciting and thrilling, this crazy work schedule can definitely take a toll on one’s mental and physical strength. Another downside (which I prefer to think of as a learning opportunity) is that there is really no formal training.
There is not a lot of software learning to be done to become a BA/QA. Most of it involves just “playing around” with the applications, reading whatever manuals you can find and even some furtive use of Google.
The good thing is that as a BA/QA, you don’t have access to the mainframe or really anything to mess up, so you can’t get into trouble. And it can be kind of fun to just “play around,” so maybe this isn’t really a downside…
What are the takeaways for those of you searching for jobs in the “real world?” Software companies are great places to work! The benefits are numerous, the pay is quite good and the only real requirement is knowing how to use a computer! I am pretty sure that as millennials (and digital natives), you already know how to do that.
Also, if the above description excites you, we are hiring, so just get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org!