In the last month, I have been working with several different companies in the development agency industry, as well as talking with potential clients and others in the product development space. A common thread is that what companies who are developing digital products are looking for, is the concept of the Business Analyst Developer. This is spoken about in a serious but hushed voice, as if people don’t really believe they exist; but if they do they don’t want them to startle and run away like a deer in the woods.
Digital development is shifting, due to many factors such as the accelerated integration of new technologies and data distribution channels, increased emphasis of on-line transactions and communication and shifting sales and marketing channels. Companies doing digital product development are not just looking for developers, but developers with a deep understanding of business and the experience of running a business at some level.
The reason for this is simple; technology is moving so fast that companies are now really looking for digital solutions for business challenges, not just coding whatever they are told to build. Management realizes that they need someone who can understand the entire business vertical of a challenge, and as a developer can find the right development direction and technology to solve that challenge and improve all the connecting business processes as well.
For developers looking to expand their careers or trying to determine a future career path, they might want to think about joining a start-up, or building a digital product and starting a company around it. These are 2 quick ways to both gain a lot of business experience and most likely go hungry, although there is a small chance the business will succeed. By owning a business with other people, one has a chance to gain a lot of business experience and knowledge about how business works, in a relatively short period of time.
Whether the business succeeds or fails, the learning and experience are the most valuable things you get, and that business experience is what clients are looking for in a developer. In many ways, it is when a business fails that you gain the most business experience and understanding of business processes. But success brings many rewards as well.