How can a software engineer advance his career?

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008 - career management, career planning, software engineer

Sumanth asks: How can a software engineer advance his career?

In answer:
There is a classical 4box MBA model which says there are four options to any companies expansion:

1. Do the same thing in the same market (stand still)
2. Do different things in the same market (market dominance)
3. Do the same thing in a different market (skills transference)
4. Do everything! (global domination)

From you question, I don’t know your age or existing skills or ambitions, but we could use the same model for career management:

1. You could do the same job, either with your existing employer or a new employer. The existing employer would be more likely to develop your skills, the new employer employ you for your existing skills
2. You could undertake more responsibility with your existing employer, say taking a project lead over being a base programmer/engineer.
3. You could develop your skills with formalised project management skills, making you both a software engineer and a project manager and hence spreading your career risk
4. For market dominance, read MBA – or post-graduate management/accounting qualification, or starting your own company?

The final choice is made up of your skills and your ambition.

Good Luck!

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