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How to transition from programmer -> business analyst?

By wayne62682 ·
I have a dilemma - I've worked as a programmer/application developer for 4 years now, and while I'm competent at it, it's not something I really enjoy anymore. What I really like is the initial phases of finding out what a company needs a system to accomplish, and how things need to progress in order to realize business goals. In short, I like the business end more than the hardcore tech end.

I've heard that a "business analyst" is what I should be looking for career-wise, as a BA focuses more on the business end but still works with the development team. I don't know where to start in making the transition, though, as so far all of my jobs have had little to no analysis done; basically someone would just tell me to implement "Feature X" and that was it. No spec, no use cases, no nothing, so I really don't know where to get started in leveraging my development skills to be able to look for a BA position in a company.

Anyone have any ideas/advice on how a programmer can make the switch? I think I would enjoy being a BA a lot more than being a programmer, as while I know how to program the act of down-and-dirty coding bores me after a few months.

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Back to School

by TheChas In reply to How to transition from pr ...

Unless you have a secondary major or minor in business, your first step is going back to school and taking at least enough business courses to make up a minor in business. You may even want to go for the MBA.

Once you have enough business courses under your belt, then you can start looking for openings that fit in line with where you want your career to go.


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I figured as much...

by wayne62682 In reply to Back to School

I know programming and enough business to get by, but not anything major.

I guess a BS in Business Admin would be appropriate, then. And probably the MBA eventually since I would want to move up to a manager/executive role at some point

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You can switch in the job - just do it well

by james In reply to I figured as much...

I made (am making) the switch from a programmer to a Business Analyst. My degree was Maths (so no help in either).

The way the switch happened for me was by getting onto small projects where there was no room for a full-time business analyst - for example working on Access databases.

Then you get to interface directly with the customer. From there the more projects you do, the more skills and experiences you gain.

So for example - if you have a customer, they tell you about what they want to be able to do, and you have to understand their processes - THEN you build the solution.

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