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News: Job function or job title: Which one do you go by?

  1. Job function or job title: Which one do you go by?
    By Jason Tee

    When I get asked about what I do for a living, I simply say that I am a software developer. Most folks, if not all, follow up with “So you’re in to computers then?” I say “Well, not exactly.” I go on to explain what I do in lay terms and most walk away with the impression that I do “computer stuff.” My family also thinks I’m a computer troubleshooting guru and often calls me for technical support with their home computer problems.

    Which leads me to a simple question: When asked about your job as a Java developer, what do you respond with? Your job function? Your fancy job title? The 2012 TSS Java Trends survey has some interesting data regarding these very questions.

    Within the Java community, the phrase “Java developer” has a variety of meanings, from entry level Java code testers, to experienced Java development project managers, to software architects that specialize in Java, to software vendors that provide business or consumer software created with Java. When asked which title best describes their job function, 40% of respondents said that they were in application development management or staff. Probably not what you would respond with when asked by new acquaintances.

    But when asked about their respective job titles, the data shows that most identify themselves as an “architect,” which is even more confusing to explain to friends and family. Architects design buildings right? 14% responded as architects with “senior software engineer” a close second with 13%. The category of “Other, please specify,” which in my view would be easier to explain to my mom, came in at 8%.

    We could simply conclude that there is no easy way to explain what you do to the lay person. What about when you are asked by another technical person though? How do you respond? I tend to be as technical as possible without being arrogant about it. After exchanging titles, the conversation tends to go deep in to the weeds anyway, as we size each other up on our professional skills.

    In the end, I like plain old “Java developer.” I don’t mind explaining that I don’t grow coffee or work at Starbucks. I say that I make websites like the one you use to book a flight or buy a product. That seems to help most folks relate. So how do you respond?

     

    Edited by: JDenman on Mar 9, 2012 12:13 PM

    Threaded Messages (4)

  2. Absulutely right[ Go to top ]

    I am also feeling exactly the same way what is described in this article....

    I even had to explain when I was in University I did MCA (Master in Computer Application in 1998) it was a non conventional course that time and every time I had to explain what does this mean...

    I am an application architect but still if someone ask me I simply say I am an Java Developer / Programmer.

    Thanks,

  3. I explain to them a good example like, when you draw cash from an ATM, Amount is deducted from your account not from some other person's account because a software is working inside the memory of that ATM machine. These kind of softwares made by Software Engineers. Computer Cannot work without instructions and these instructions are given/communicated  to them in there own language like Java/C++. Same like Urdu, Arabic and English humans used to communicate with other humans. We as Software Engineers needed to learn these languages so we can better communicate with these machines.

  4. Make it simple...[ Go to top ]

    Even though I am stuck in the middle management. I came thru the ranks of a developer and I still hack around a lot with computers/software on my own. So I simply tell "I am in to computers" -- let them ask me to come and fix their computer, if I am in good mood and like them may be I just do that as well.

  5. There are going to be times[ Go to top ]

    There are going to be times when you will be asked to do something that isn’t quite in your contract / job description however from experience doing these things whether they are for colleagues, friends, people more senior than you is good if you want to build bridges with these people however you should always be mindful of the tasks / objectives in your job profile. Being only 23 I am still a ‘young pup’, wage day advance is very important to me and when it comes to experience in my working life and only having been working for this particular company for 4 years. Until recently I have always been very receptive and accommodating to requests, mainly because I like to help but sometimes because I’ve felt compelled to when asked by senior management.