Sunday, January 9, 2011

Business Analysts career vs Computer Programmer Carrer

1.Market Demand for Skills or Careers

Finding a Software Developer Job is easier than getting hired for a business analyst or project management job because there is a lot of demand for software developers.

As a matter of fact PHP Developers are in a class of their own because they get hired more easily than other computer programmers and definitely more than business analysts or project managers!

2.Job Satisfaction

A business analyst or project manager job spends a lot of time interacting with people (customers, stakeholders, management), projects, processes.

The advice presented by a business analyst or project manager has a much better chance of being accepted by management than those of computer programmers who spend most of their time tinkering with computers and software products.

3.Salary, Wages or Compensation

Software Developers get paid more than business analysts or project managers in many projects.

It is not untypical for goodn computer programmers to bill more than $50/hr. or earn from the upper 90k to six figures even with junior to mid-level experience!

4.Stress & Lifestyle After Working Hours

Project Managers or Business Analysts are less affected by the pace of technological change than software developers.

As a business analyst or project manager you may end up having more leisure or personal time after work unlike a computer programmer who is always learning new technologies after work (in the evenings and weekends)!

Computer Programmers sometimes lose their jobs or burnout because of the stress associated with always learning new software tools or the rapid pace of technological change!

5.Stress & Lifestyle During Working Hours

Project Managers or Business Analysts are always bridging gaps between opposing or conflicting points of views or in-meetings helping different interest groups buyin to a common goal or strategy.

So a business analyst or project manager's day job is more challenging or stressful compared to a computer programmer's who is given specifications or specific tasks and then left alone to get their job done!

Business Analysts or Project Managers sometimes lose their jobs or burnout because of the stress associated with the high degree of conflict on their day job.

6.Big Picture Thinkers

Business Analysts or Project Managers tend to have a more comprehensive view of their projects or organizations.

They are more exposed to the big-picture, organizational goals and objectives, strategy sessions, upper or senior management and they can influence things from that perspective.

Computer Programmers are more likely to be focused on the minutiae or details.

Computer programmers tend to obsess over small things and they are frequently on a need to know basis with their management team.

In some organizations or projects, they spend all their time hunting down bugs, fixing them or improving the quality of their product one defect at a time!

7.Portability of Skills

Computer Programmers have very portable skills.

They can switch industries easily (insurance to banking), migrate their skills to new software development platforms or jobs (mobile applications, internet applications, database applications, desktop applications) or even move to a new country and get a job easily!

On the other hand, a lot of people want to be business analysts or project managers because of the hipness, coolness, job satisfaction and big-picture benefits.

Finding a business analyst job may be harder because you have to stand out from this crowd of wannabes!

8 Tips for Business Analysts: How to Stand Out in a Crowded Job Market.

Finally, a lot of business analyst jobs require domain specific business or industry knowledge which limits the ease with which a business analyst can migrate to a new industry or find a job!

8.Authority & Control

Computer programmers are frequently micro-managed.

Their exists in many organizations an adverse relationship between the management team and the software development team.

It is so bad that outsiders like me are hired to mediate or resolve the conflict which is what I was tasked with doing as an IT Director for a company in the Mid-Western, USA.

The genesis of this distrust is that management often cannot see the progress made by software developers or understand their challenges because they are typically big-picture thinkers.

On the other hand, Business Analysts or Project Managers are more likely to give directions software developers directions or supervise the work that computer programmers perform!

Besides all this, the work performed by business analysts or project managers is highly visible to stakeholders, management or business teams!

9.Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills

Software Developers depend more on technical or hard skills to get their job done.

Software developers are always learning new software tools or creating them using a number of technologies, platforms, tools or software development environments.

Business Analysts or Project Managers depend more or soft skills or people skills to get their job done.

They are always meeting with people in a one on one or group setting. They are skilled at presentations, communications, inter-personal relationships, conflict resolution, writing or speaking tasks.

10. Career Security

Software developers tend to have more career security than either business analysts or computer programmers because of the following reasons:
* High Portability: Software developers can port their skills or careers easily across domains, industries, countries or jobs.
* High Demand: Software developers are in high-demand because of the demand for internet, desktop, mobile applications or services.
* High Salary: Software developers are amongst the first crop of professionals hired in startups and many of them have gone on to start their own companies and become wealthy in the process!
* Intellectual Property: Software developers are more likely to patent or copyright their inventions, products or services! They tend to lead the pace of innovation and are more likely to take ownership for their products or services.

job prospects for software developers in 2011.

So there we have got it, A review of the suitability of software developer and business analyst jobs



  1. Thanx for the review.. I am a software developer and am proud to be so..:)

  2. I am dam sure that even a 12th standard student is developing software now...then what is the use of Software Engineer....BA is the person who plays real challenging game in corporate.

    Even I am a software engineer..but this is the real picture

  3. First of all, this is a good article. Kudos to the author.
    Totally agree with Anonymous(above review), that the BAs and PMs need to play a real challenging game in the corporate environment. I am a software developer, but since I am not a hardcore software developer (the likes of those who work with rocket science like technologies and commonly found in companies like Google, Apple, Amazon etc), I agree that in the normal corporate environment, being a developer equates to being at the lower end of the food chain.

  4. Good article. Software developers some of them burnout due to constant pressure to keep themselves up to speed with new technology and development practices. I personally feel the reason most developers burnout is not all developers code because they have the passion but mostly because of the financial benefits that comes with the job. I agree though, BA's and PM's contribute a lot to the success of a project. They play a crucial part in delivering the project in time and within the project budget.

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  7. Kudos Gayan. Your article made me to pen down my comments. I started my career as software engineer and became Business Analyst. I have personally experienced many of your points which you have listed down.

    As per my experience
    Software Engineer
    1. Will have limited perspective of the project/product
    2. Your visibility will not be beyond Managers except in certain exceptional categories.
    3. You get the satisfaction in getting the requirements implemented.
    4. Should stretch from normal working hours and sometimes even during weekends.
    5. You can easily switch jobs

    Business Analyst
    1. Your visibility will be till higher management and Client management team
    2. You don't need to stretch beyond the normal working hours in most cases.
    3. Nothing can't be done individually. You need to depend on developers & testers tog get things done.
    4. Good for people who has good people management skills.

    For more details about business analysis Visit

    1. Hello ,
      I am a software developer with 2.5 yrs of exp. Now I am getting a chance to shift into a new project as a BA, which I want to . But the only concern about this profile is , will a BA profile , would be better as compared to a software developer ? . Will I be able to get the salary equivalent to a software developer's salary with same experience ?.

      please reply at

  8. Thanks for the review. I worked as a software developer in one company for one year. Now, I have been offered the position of Business Analyst in another company. I am a little confused about whether to take up the challenge or wait for the job of a Software Developer in some other company. So, this article was really helpful for me. Thanks again...

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  10. Your skills are easily portable for a software developer .. YES ONLY IF YOU PASS their multiple rounds of technical interview questions which sometimes doesn't even make sense and can be rejected just by 1 wrong question. It's stupid.. Also if you are 50 years old.. wonder how portable that developing skill is.. I don't need a 50 years old to do PHP for me when a 25 years old is cheaper and fine...and that 20 years of experience in PHP makes no difference to me because it haven't even been around for that long. Benefit for a 50 years developer is their architectural skilss... like building a building (architects) as oppose to maintaining or extending that building (programmers). Still by that time, you better be that good. btw, I'm in my 30s...and I can see this. Most 20s or 30s years old have this programmers can find jobs easier that BA... ask someone older please.

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  13. Good Exposure too both the streams.... Bt as some one ointed out, if a 10th grade student can do the same things that a so called professional does, what is the significance of being a developer.ok, leave everything out... coming to portability of skills, a developers portability is as long as he is able to learn new things.. Well, that of course is limited to the young age.. bt business, that is an entirely diffferent stream, if u are experienced, then like a wine gets better with age, so is ur talent.... A very different aspect compared to the developers, where younger people with much higher skill set are available always at cheaper rate..

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  16. You misspelled "carrer" in the title. It should be spelled career. You're welcome. :)


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