13 Alternative Career Paths for Software Engineers

Software developers have many opportunities to branch out into non-coding careers, even while using their technical experience and knowledge.

Given the wide range of software development applications, semi-technical and adjoining technical positions are available in all industries. Here’s a look at some such positions in different fields.

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Technically adjacent alternatives

Programmers who want to continue working in technology but want a change in their job responsibilities can explore alternative technical options, such as:

1. Technical Recruiter

In addition to traditional recruiting skills and responsibilities such as finding talent, conducting interviews, etc., technical recruiters are subject matter experts who can validate a potential candidate’s knowledge, education, and experience through technical interviews, tests, and other activities. You will be primarily responsible for filling positions in software development.

2. Technical Trainer

Experienced programmers can train new hires, team leaders, and other software developers in the languages ​​and platforms they know. This role may also include some mentoring duties. It’s like taking on the role of a teacher, but in a technical environment with highly qualified students.

3. Technical Writer

Technical writer jobs include writing white papers, research papers, SDK documents, API documentation, test plans, user guides, project plans, business standards, high-level design documents, and general writing for a niche, tech-savvy audience.

4. Technical Support (High-End)

High-end technical support includes troubleshooting for staff in software development and related areas such as online operations, application development, maintenance, etc. It requires knowledge of installing and managing cloud services, remote applications, online workspaces, database platforms, etc .

Career Paths in Management

After a certain number of years in programming, you can move further into senior developer positions or branch out into managerial positions. Here are some for you to explore:

5. Product Manager

Product managers oversee the entire process of managing the software development lifecycle, from planning to deployment and everything in between. It’s a leadership role that requires finance, planning, and product responsibility, bringing development teams together to execute the client’s vision.

6. Project Manager

Project management in software development involves leading technical and non-technical teams to achieve technical goals. Project management begins with a description of the work. It includes liaising with all stakeholders and individual contributors, sourcing resources, troubleshooting day-to-day issues, and tracking budget, schedule, and resources through project completion.


7. Enterprise Software Manager

Engineers with in-depth knowledge of database management systems such as Oracle, Salesforce, etc. can take on this role that requires hands-on management of teams for handling enterprise software, its day-to-day operations, database maintenance, etc. You will also communicate with various stakeholders and departments that use the company software.

data science

Data science is the process of data analysis using scientific methods, algorithms and the manipulation of database management systems to archive, store, sort, analyze and derive insights from data.

Software engineers can bring their programming experience, structured handling of data and logical expertise to these roles. Most positions in this field require little coding and offer the most lucrative jobs in technology.

8. Database Manager

Database management requires the creation, installation, configuration and management of unique databases for customers and companies. Database managers understand the ins and outs of the systems they work with and are responsible for their security, proper functioning, and troubleshooting.

9. Data Analyst

Data analysts use data and examine it in context along with trends and social cues to provide business advice and solutions to industries, media organizations, social media platforms and more. Translating insights and insights into actionable solutions and effectively communicating the results to solve emerging and existing problems is a data analyst’s forte.

10. R&D engineer

Like any other field, software technology requires research and development to drive its results. R&D engineers are responsible for designing and directing these research projects, developing theories and guiding principles, creating experiments, prototypes and models to improve their understanding of the subject and transforming the results into new concepts, products, services and insights the area of ​​technology.

Sales & Marketing

Sales and marketing and software development may belong to different industries, but industries have combined both to bring a technical push to traditional marketing. Here are some sales and marketing roles you can fill with a background in software development:

11. Sales and Marketing Engineer

This is less a core task in sales or marketing and more in supporting and advising the people in these roles. Sales and Marketing Engineers help salespeople, marketers, advertisers, managers, and customers to understand the specifics of a software product or service, its technical aspects, and so on.

In addition to data collection, merging and analysis, they also provide technical assistance in the implementation of marketing goals. Technical Marketing Manager, Product Marketing Engineer and Sales Engineer are some terms used to advertise these positions.

12. Product Evangelist

Product evangelism is similar to promoting a specific product to the public, to companies, or to teams within a company. In-depth technical knowledge of specific software, a new programming language, or database system comes in handy when trying to gain wider adoption.

It differs from traditional marketing in that the evangelist’s expertise, knowledge, experience and work is what the audience is basing their purchase on. Typical examples of this role are Mobile Apps Evangelist, Educational Services Evangelist, etc.

13. Developer Attorney

Experienced software developers can use their expertise and knowledge in specific areas of coding or a product or service, e.g. B. Amazon Workspaces, and teach other developers how to best use them. Your excellent knowledge will help expand understanding and use of this product throughout the community as you start sharing your processes, methods, insights and more.

Developer Advocate roles are typically product/service/language based e.g. B. AWS Developer Advocate, PHP Developer Advocate, etc.

Use your programming experience

Software development is an intense career, even if it offers more perks than most other STEM careers. It starts with a degree in computer science or similar disciplines, learning to program in high-level programming languages, and staying current by mastering additional programming languages, newer database platforms, etc.

The decision to move to a different role is optional, but it is not possible to keep up to date with the latest developments in software programming.

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