Last week we gave you a list of 10 things to do as you consider a career in engineering. This week, we’ll go further into one: what kind of engineer do you want to be?
Taking the time to think through what’s driving you to learn to code is an essential step in your bootcamp journey. Not only will you likely need to answer this question during your application process, but it will also help guide you through bootcamp and beyond as you (re-)enter the workforce after graduation.
In addition to thinking about why you want to code, you’ll also need to consider what you want to do with your programming skills. Do you want to become a front-end engineer? Back-end programmer? Data scientist? Developer evangelist? Technical Product Manager? There are endless career opportunities available to women with a background in computer science. Determining which is the right one for you is the next step.
To help guide you on your way, we came up with a glossary of engineering roles so you can determine which pique your interest.
Engineering & Coding Roles
There are a multitude of options for women looking to become engineers. Before entering the realm of tech, review your options and take some time to think about what kind of engineer or programmer you want to be. Different projects, coding languages, and work styles are all elements to consider.
The AI space is still a developing industry. As such, AI or machine learning engineers can have a variety of roles and responsibilities. As the job suggests, areas of focus include robotics, machine learning and development of performance programming, and software development to support the AI product.
Back-end engineers are the behind-the-scenes architects of the technology. They focus on designing and building the services and systems, and data layers to support the website or app.
Data scientists take programming skills and apply them to data analysis. Data scientists have a variety of responsibilities, ranging from analysis to strategy to creating automated machine learning functions and algorithms to break down data sets and help inform business decisions.
Developer evangelists are technically trained storytellers. They act as “translators” for non-technical roles and audiences to engage and clarify the needs and goals for a technical product and win their audience’s support for the project or technical team.
Developer operations is a hybrid role of traditional developer engineer and operations manager. Dev-ops professionals focus on deployment and operations and coordinate with the engineering teams to ensure streamlined and efficient processes.
(Technical) founders are an essential role for founding a business. The technical founder is responsible for defining and creating the technical strategy, structure, and process implementation for the development of the business product.
Freelance / Contractor / Software Consultant
Freelance software development or consultants work on contract for a short-term period of time to help a company or team meet business objectives and complete project work. The projects and roles of contractors will vary depending on the contract.
A full-stack engineer is familiar with all layers in software development. This person has a fundamental understanding of both front- and back-end programming, but is not necessarily an expert on one side of the dev process.
Internal Tools Developer
This role entails being your organization’s in-house development team. Different responsibilities include identifying process gaps or inconsistencies in workflow, creating tools and systems to fix those productivity blockers, and building additional debugging, event-logging, and other internal tools.
Open Source Developer
Open source developers handle the design and development of Web and command-line tools that aid in process automation.
Product managers handle strategy, forecasting, development, and lifecycle of a company’s product. As the title suggests, they’re responsible for the release and optimization of the product.
QA / Automation
QA engineers and QA automation engineers focus on reviewing quality and performance specifications. They’re responsible for creating comprehensive and detailed test plans, code reviews, and timely feedback to the larger team.
Sales Engineer & Technical Sales
Sales engineers, as the title implies, are a hybrid role of sales and development. Their main job function is the development and delivery of technical presentations to clients and prospects on behalf of the company. They require a high technical experience combined the interpersonal skills and sales acumen to be successful.
Technical product management
Similar to product management, technical product managers (TPMs) are focused on the technical aspects of the product development. They function on the business side of development, but bridge the divide between traditional product management and engineering.
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