An administrator asks: how do I move out of software engineering?

I am working for a company building software and helping to administrate IBM Rational Clearcase, a software configuration tool. I also write Perl scripts to assist with Clearcase activities. I enjoy the latter two areas of work, but not the former. I do not want to return to working as a pure software engineer. What could I do next to move away from this area?

The question

How do I move out of software engineering?

I am working for a company building software and helping to administrate IBM Rational Clearcase, a software configuration tool. I also write Perl scripts to assist with Clearcase activities. I enjoy the latter two areas of work, but not the former. I do not want to return to working as a pure software engineer. What could I do next to move away from this area?

The solution

Look at opportunities in IT administration

It sounds like you are moving towards the administration side. As Clearcase provides controls access to software development assets across the full life cycle and improves operational performance, you could get trained up on systems administration. System administration involves optimising the computers and the networks and advising the IT manager on systems changes.

You could also move into a more analytical role and take on packages such as Excel, as many investment companies employ analysts to work alongside the programmers in developing mathematical models.

There many different roles you could move into, such as technical architect, information architect, business analyst, project management or even consultant. Many of these roles will focus on your business knowledge and your ability to act as the bridge between the internal and external business clients, coupled with the skill to manipulate information into the correct format.

Whatever route you take I would look to approach your manager to discuss in-house possibilities.

Solution by Robert Chapman, chief executive at The Training Camp

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group

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