Author Topic: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?  (Read 1438 times)

Alchemisst

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Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« on: May 24, 2019, 02:52:36 AM »
I have tried programming a few times and just don't seem to be able to get my head around it and find it pretty frustrating just sitting there looking for a misplaced character etc. So am wondering what other tech jobs are a good option/ viable if you don't like or are not good at programming?

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #1 on: May 24, 2019, 03:08:01 AM »
Networking, cloud automation or Big Data analysis.

Finding the typo will be a big part of any tech role tho

mies

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #2 on: May 24, 2019, 04:16:40 AM »
Networking, cloud automation or Big Data analysis.

Finding the typo will be a big part of any tech role tho

Thatís been my experience too. If you donít enjoy detail oriented work, technology is probably not the right fit for you.

If you just want to work for a tech company, you might be able to get a job as a scrum master or doing project management.
« Last Edit: May 24, 2019, 04:18:20 AM by mies »

Parizade

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2019, 05:27:57 AM »
Technical writing, though you have to watch for typos there too.
Business analysis, though the work can still be quite detailed
Do you enjoy design? there's web design, user interface design, product design, and on the business side there is always a need for presentations, videos, brochures, etc.

So many options!

2sk22

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2019, 05:32:37 AM »
As a person who has worked in tech for over 30 years, I can give you some advice on this. There are definitely jobs for non-tech people. Now, there are always jobs in areas like accounting or HR but I assume you want a semi-technical role.

As an example, at my company, there is a role called "product manager" (also called "offering manager" in other companies) who's job it is to work with customers and understand their requirements. I have often thought that anthropology would be a good academic qualification to have for this role.

Be warned however that programmers do have a higher status than the non-programmers. If that doesn't bother you, there is plenty of room for growth

FIPurpose

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2019, 05:38:12 AM »
As a person who has worked in tech for over 30 years, I can give you some advice on this. There are definitely jobs for non-tech people. Now, there are always jobs in areas like accounting or HR but I assume you want a semi-technical role.

As an example, at my company, there is a role called "product manager" (also called "offering manager" in other companies) who's job it is to work with customers and understand their requirements. I have often thought that anthropology would be a good academic qualification to have for this role.

Be warned however that programmers do have a higher status than the non-programmers. If that doesn't bother you, there is plenty of room for growth

Yep lots of non programmers in those positions. Despite my own personal feelings on the matter...

Uturn

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 05:39:45 AM »
Somebody still needs to take care of the infrastructure.  Systems, networks, security.  I've done some basic bash and python scripting, but that is the extent of my programming.  I would NOT want to do that all day.  I have had a great career taking care of network and security. 

habaneroNorway

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 05:48:14 AM »
I have tried programming a few times and just don't seem to be able to get my head around it and find it pretty frustrating just sitting there looking for a misplaced character etc. So am wondering what other tech jobs are a good option/ viable if you don't like or are not good at programming?

Welcome to programming. That's a lot what its actually about - trying to find odd bugs when everything looks correct... Staring at a screen is a big part of the job.


2sk22

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 05:51:08 AM »

Yep lots of non programmers in those positions. Despite my own personal feelings on the matter...

I know what you mean - I have seen my share of inept product managers. But one of the best product managers I had was young guy who had a BA in economics from a small state school. He worked hard and was willing to learn and got promoted rapidly.

FIPurpose

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 07:12:49 AM »
I have tried programming a few times and just don't seem to be able to get my head around it and find it pretty frustrating just sitting there looking for a misplaced character etc. So am wondering what other tech jobs are a good option/ viable if you don't like or are not good at programming?

Welcome to programming. That's a lot what its actually about - trying to find odd bugs when everything looks correct... Staring at a screen is a big part of the job.

I'd say if you're looking for a misplaced character you're likely using the wrong tools. Don't mistake your first programming class with what professional programming looks like. Modern IDEs will auto correct and show pretty much all your syntax errors as you type and even display some logical errors. Anything more difficult than that is what you beat your head about.

ericbonabike

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 07:20:32 AM »
Non Technical people working in technical fields are mostly called:


Systems Engineers


They do a lot of powerpointing, maybe some Microsoft access scheduling, cost analysis. 
I live in a military industrial complex and there are TONS of them.  All making very good money.

GuitarStv

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 07:35:39 AM »
I have tried programming a few times and just don't seem to be able to get my head around it and find it pretty frustrating just sitting there looking for a misplaced character etc. So am wondering what other tech jobs are a good option/ viable if you don't like or are not good at programming?

Welcome to programming. That's a lot what its actually about - trying to find odd bugs when everything looks correct... Staring at a screen is a big part of the job.

I'd say if you're looking for a misplaced character you're likely using the wrong tools. Don't mistake your first programming class with what professional programming looks like. Modern IDEs will auto correct and show pretty much all your syntax errors as you type and even display some logical errors. Anything more difficult than that is what you beat your head about.

+1

Programming is about design (particularly for maintainability and reuse), data structures, optimization, understanding of the underlying mechanics of the language you're using, and occasionally translating math into something that works in the real world.  Finding syntax errors is a very small part of it, and as mentioned it's often completely taken care of by a good IDE.

FIPurpose

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 09:13:03 AM »
If I think about it, my programming jobs have usually been for large projects. Either from a lack of will/ bad programmers/ incidental hobby that became production code, I seem to join teams when the company has suddenly recognized the value/ potential for the hobby project and they want to expand it. Unfortunately, my first task at each job is always:

"This project has large amounts of dead code/ unintelligible comments/ giant monolith functions. I need 3-6 months to refactor it and add unit tests before I can meaningfully add features to it." Every project I've been on has mostly been: remove 50% of the code to be able to add in the additional 10% I needed. The hardest part about this is convincing the PM that this is a necessary task in order for the project to succeed and sometimes getting the support of the programmers who have been delaying actually fixing up the code. (They know it's bad, but whosever 'baby' it is doesn't want to plan a rewrite, so you'll have to instead slowly refactor 1000's of lines of code).

Maybe if you're a junior programmer, you won't be assigned anything like "manage this project", but the majority of my programming career has been fixing the mistakes of past programmers.

Story:
My first job out of college involved writing automated tests for some Firmware. There was a guy who was a contractor there who had been writing code for the past 20 years or so. Never went to college, completely self-taught. This guy was managing tests that absolutely everyone else refused to even look at. and it showed. So eventually he puts in his 2 week notice to go work somewhere else, and I'm assigned the task of taking over his test automation.

I start reading through the code and I'm thinking "uh no. This is completely, 100%, a nightmare." Looking through just one test, I found a section of code that was a nested combination of for's, while's and if's that frequently went 20 sections deep inside of tests that would regularly run 500-800 lines long. Not even exaggerating. I bring this guy into a meeting, and I say "what is all of this supposed to even do or mean?" He gives me some crap about what it's supposed to do, but the thing is riddled with bugs, so if anything went wrong, he'd just say "well just put another if statement in there. This isn't hard." I was completely aghast. I told him that this is not how you write code and present some basic ideas about how to separate your code into 'functions' etc. He stops me about 10 minutes in cause he's this 40 year old getting lectured by a new college kid. He says "I've been coding for 20 years, I think I know what I'm doing." He left the room, and I never talked to him again.

The big companies seem reluctant to hire people without a degree for a good reason. A bad coder can waste not just his own time, but the time of coders around him and after him. Anyway, kind of off-topic, but that's an insight into the tech industry or you.

jtraggie99

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 10:24:52 AM »
I'm 42 and have worked in software my entire adult life.  First, for a couple years, I worked for a software consulting company, and the last two companies have been smaller, privately owned software companies.  I have never worked as a developer.  I have done some development, mostly smaller, internal stuff to assist with whatever I or my group was needing at the time.  My initial job was more QC/Testing and project management.  My second job was QC and eventually transitioned into a role as a business analyst.  At my current company, I am our QC Manager.  I am involved in other things beyond that, but that is my primary role.  There is a lot you can do in IT and software outside of being a developer. 

nirodha

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2019, 11:15:23 AM »
What do you like to do? I'd start there and figure out how to put a tech spin on it.

Going into tech only for the money is a good way to spend your career useless and hated.

Hula Hoop

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #15 on: May 24, 2019, 11:20:22 AM »
I have a relative with a background in accounting and an MBA who now has a very high level role in one of the big tech companies.  So you can be a business person rather than the person who actually writes the code at a tech company.

Slow2FIRE

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #16 on: May 24, 2019, 02:32:45 PM »
wow...everyone is very concentrated on and concerned with software here...

There is a whole world of tech outside of software:

Chemical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Mechanical Engineering
Biotechnology/Biomedical Engineering
Aerospace Engineering
etc

Each of these areas of concentration require a salesforce.  If you don't want to do anything technical at all, but want to work in tech ->  do sales.  That is where you'll make way more money if you are any good at sales and can learn about 10% of the technical subject matter for the products you sell.

MaaS

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #17 on: May 24, 2019, 09:39:35 PM »
Help companies implement and properly utilize technology rather than build it. There's a massive market for this.

To put it simply: The world does not need another CRM system. The world needs a hell of a lot of help using the CRMs they have.


flipboard

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2019, 07:13:39 AM »
I have tried programming a few times and just don't seem to be able to get my head around it and find it pretty frustrating just sitting there looking for a misplaced character etc. So am wondering what other tech jobs are a good option/ viable if you don't like or are not good at programming?
Product Management
UX / Design
Project Management
QA

Trying to program a few times is virtually useless in terms of figuring out if programming is something for you. It's always going to be frustrating initially. Successful programmers are those who decide to persevere.

conwy

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2019, 10:31:07 AM »
* Business Analyst seems pretty cruisy.
* SCRUM Master / Agile coach (just get a few certs and a couple of years of experience and you're set).

dandarc

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2019, 10:45:21 AM »
It's always going to be frustrating initially. Successful programmers are those who decide to persevere.
That's not limited to programming. Perseverance and detail-orientation are the critical skills for any number jobs. If you pay attention and follow-up, almost doesn't matter what the job is, you'll have a high probability of success.

slackmax

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2019, 10:49:31 AM »
As a former programmer myself, I can say some people have a natural God given knack for it, and they *also* are conscientious and disciplined, and they are the ones going home early, and raking in the big bucks, and being loved on by managers.

 The other, *mortal*, programmers are doing it because it can be 'fun' to do, challenging, and if we pull our hair out enough, and work through lunch, we can get the job done before the deadline, with lots of struggle, and make a decent buck too.

And the usual alternative to programming was 'system testing' which is sooooooo boring, it could be fatal.   Or 'operations', which is also fatally boring, but stressful at the same time.

WHen I was really stressing out as a programmer and feeling inadequate, I would dream of becoming a 'canned presentation' person.  They would come in with a powerpoint presentation on some new buzz-speak stuff, read from a script, answer some questions, often with 'I'll research that and get back to you', and they made good money doing this stress-free stuff. You just need to not be afraid to speak in public.        That might be an option.   

plantingourpennies

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2019, 11:50:44 AM »
My initial job was more QC/Testing and project management.  My second job was QC and eventually transitioned into a role as a business analyst. 

And the usual alternative to programming was 'system testing' which is sooooooo boring, it could be fatal.   

Could either of you speak to systems testing/QC testing as a way to pick up remote contract work? The barrier to entry seems low and there appear to be enough opportunities out there.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 12:06:57 PM by plantingourpennies »

chasesfish

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Re: Career options in tech if you don't like programming?
« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2019, 05:25:08 PM »
Sales

Go sell the product.  There's good money in that