Most Common IT Roles

Balazs Refi

June 21, 2021

IT roles are grouped so that you may simply understand what tasks are in an IT project. Our essay is intended for human resource executives.

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I developed our "IT course for HR leaders" blog series to help HR leaders gain an understanding of the world of IT. I hope to introduce the most typical IT job positions in this series of posts.

We just published the Bluebird IT Salary Guide, an overview of IT salary ranges according to the role, technology, and level of expertise. Firstly, we needed to appropriately categorize the IT positions, as this allows for a more transparent examination of gross wages, in my opinion. We considered numerous classification methods before settling on a (simplified) method based on the categories listed below.

The most common IT carrier options - Bluebird blog

The Most Common IT Job Roles

The positions below will be presented as team roles of general IT projects:

  • Project Manager
  • Business Analyst, System Analyst
  • Software Developer
  • Tester
  • System Operator

Obviously, we could define the core IT positions differently, but for the time being, we will stick with this approach. This scheme largely adheres to the typical software development lifecycle.

Now let's have a look at a simple project (there isn't one!):

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- Project managers, scrum masters

- Business analysts, product owners, system analysts

- Software developers

- DevOps engineers

- Manual and automation testers

- Operators

A Classic Example of a Project

1.

The project manager is a part of every aspect of the project from start to finish, moreover he or she is aware of everything that occurs.

2.

The business analyst participates in the planning stage. Their role is to gather and document all business-related requirements.

3.

When the plan is complete, the software developers create the application in accordance with the specifications (system plan) produced during the planning phase.

4.

Following implementation (development), testers test the application, and developers fix bugs.

5.

After completing the final acceptance tests, the system will start (hooray!) and then they will hand it over to the operators.

This is known as traditional software development (or development with a waterfall method). The efficacy of this methodology is irrelevant here. However, I chose this because the example above clearly represents the typical IT job roles. What are the roles' responsibilities? Let's take a look:

Project Manager

The project manager's primary job is to ensure that the application or deliverables are available on time and accepted by the client, resulting in the project's completion. Overall, their primary responsibilities focus on the project plan, the team, and the customer. In other words, they adhere to the project plan, lead the team, and interact with the customer.

Business Analyst, System Analyst

The primary responsibility of the business analyst is to ensure that the system is developed and implemented in accordance with the expectations of the clients. To do so, they must understand the specific processes they would like to implement, identify the system's end-users, and define what data the application will manage and how.

But what's the difference between a business analyst and a system analyst? In short, the business analyst has domain knowledge in the field for which the application is developed. (For example, in the case of a complaint management system for banks, they are familiar with the complaint management processes, rules, and banking stakeholders.) In contrast to the system analyst, who may or may not be familiar with the future system's business context but possesses technical expertise (ex.: data model planning, SQL). In actual life, it is difficult to draw the line, yet we can differentiate along these lines.

The business analyst/system analyst is responsible for creating the system plan/specifications. Overall, this is his or her primary function.

Software Developer

To sum up, the software developer develops applications based on the system plan. Of fact, it is not always so simple, because a slew of issues about the system plan may arise throughout development. A large number of planning activities may also emerge during this period. Consider object-oriented programming, in which the developer is constantly in the planning-implementation stage.

Software developers were sometimes referred to as coders. Meanwhile, in my perspective, there is no such thing as an IT job title. As a working software engineer, I can't fathom anybody "coding." Software development necessitates a highly structured thought process, careful planning, and precise implementation too.

Tester

Let's continue with our example: after development, they test the application. To keep things simple, let's say it's the testers that do this. In the subsequent pieces of this series, I will show why this is not the case. It is far more complicated than that. But, for the time being, we shall claim that testing is the job of testers.

Operator

Finally, operators receive the program if it is bug-free and ready to go. Typically, the operators work in accordance with a document. This specification includes the requirements for building the live environment as well as the operational tasks.

And our project is complete!

Naturally, the description is brief and fulfills the objective of simplicity. In the next chapters of the series, I will go through each IT role's specific tasks and how they connect. There will be numerous overlaps, furthermore, we conclude that the specific task of a particular IT professional is interesting, not the position itself. But let's take one step at a time!

What does a project manager do will be the topic of our next blog article.


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