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#1 pstatix  Icon User is offline

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Transition career from analytics to development

Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:30 PM

I'm hired on as a Data Analyst for a very specific set of systems. The work where I am doesn't really have opportunity elsewhere in the world, so I do not want to get pigeonholed to my local area. I have a BSCS and was top 5% of class. Frankly I do not do much with analytics, rather the team learned I had a "developer" background (based on my degree) so I write scripting tools in Python all day every day. I've written some standalone applications for other teams that are Java 8 front-end with Python back-end (simply because the Java wrapped scripts I had already written).

However, this is all just me, myself and I. I try to follow conventions I learned through school (build management, SDLC processes, etc...) but I have never truly been a part of a development team. I don't know what it is like to parse out work in sprints and have scrums, none of it. My division in the company has a software team and has expressed interest in me coming over to work for them so I have an opening into that path if need be.

I don't want to get to a point where I've become very proficient in Python (maybe even some Java) but never truly been labeled a "developer" and if I try to go into development, any company I applied to would consider me a "Junior" developer since I was never hired on as a developer and haven't worked a traditional development lifecycle.

What's the reality here? Will the fact that I am not a developer in the sense that I work on a team to deliver an product to the customer but rather I develop tools to perform analysis (again, on a very specific and changing set of data) going to impact a transition to a traditional developer role down the road?

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Replies To: Transition career from analytics to development

#2 astonecipher  Icon User is offline

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Re: Transition career from analytics to development

Posted 22 December 2017 - 12:43 PM

Nothing is concrete. If you have the option to move into a development role, and that is what you want to do, pursue it further.

Junior is a title. It is partly experience, partly knowledge, and partly the company that is hiring you. Being that you are doing a development role helps you, but lack of further training in methodology, probably vcs, and other areas does create a hindrance. I have worked several roles where I was the sole developer on a team of me. I also know other devs that are in the role, but are alone in that they are located in satellite locations. So, while they are in the role and have the title, they are handicapped in much the same way you are.
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#3 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is online

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Re: Transition career from analytics to development

Posted 22 December 2017 - 01:14 PM

Don't worry about hiring into a "junior" role. Worst case, given the experience you describe, is after a year you will have become no-longer-junior.
Right now, someone with skills can get hired, period. The trick is to find a good company and a good team to hire into - you want a company that supports people long-term and a team that will support you in becoming the developer you want to be. This is a valid set of concerns to explore in an interview, and in fact someone who brought those things up in a constructive way in an interview (ie, "I want to be a better developer in a year. Specifically, I want to be better at X, Y, and Z. What can we do on this team to help me get there?") would gain some points from me. Constant learning is a hallmark of a good developer.
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