There are many careers in tech that go well beyond software development. E7’s Ana Galofre Smith recently participated in a professional panel hosted by Girl Develop It, a non-profit organization with the mission of encouraging women to learn how to code, to discuss the topic of working in tech as a non-developer.
In her role with E7 Solutions, Galofre serves multiple positions, including Technical Project Manager, Delivery Manager, Scrum Manager, and Business Analyst. “As someone who has been in the tech industry for several decades, in a semi-technical role, I am able to share first-hand experience regarding the variety of interesting and challenging roles available,” said Galofre.
The panel discussion at the Girl Develop It event covered how to break into tech and build a career if your background or goals don’t include the developer track. The panelists shared interesting advice and insights drawing from their personal experiences in different roles and in a variety of industries. Advice shared includes:
- Hone and value your "soft skills" such as organization, communication, writing, and analysis. All of these skills are invaluable when working on projects that involve creating technical documentation, developing detailed and useful training materials, composing user stories, analyzing and graphing process workflows for requirements, or testing of the user experience.
- Be curious and courageous. Don't ever hesitate to ask questions. Research what you don't know. Even industry experts with 20+ years experience do this. Embrace and test new tools. Install free versions of tools and experiment when you have the chance.
- Build your toolbox. Learn the fundamentals of project management terminology and methodology, like agile. Take short courses in HTML and CSS to familiarize yourself with the basic of web site development. Utilize free online resources and training videos.
- Network. Be sure to highlight all of your skills on your Linkedin profile. Take advantage of the local industry meetup events hosted by organizations like Girl Develop It, Women in Technology, Agile Meetups, etc. Speak to as many people as you can and leverage these connections.
- Get Involved Where You Can. Ask your employer if there are opportunities for you to be involved with, or observe, the work of different departments or project groups. Learn first hand what people do and how they do it.
For those interested in exploring a career in tech, here are some resources that the panelists like:
Learn more about Girl Develop It and a chapter near you.