As a coder – I have worked with many stakeholders who did not have to code at all but still contributed to the product being produced. It may seem easy to rule out the tech industry if you don’t know how to or don’t want to code but there are so many careers within it that make it worth while.
Product owner is the one who manages the product and how efficiently it is being developed. They essentially play for both the team and the client. They gather and analyze the needs of the client (could be internal) and present solutions/ideas to leaderships based on their findings on addressing that need. They oversee the design and development, prioritize what needs to be done and set expectations with the client about re-adjusting and changing goals or tasks based on what is a priority. A skill needed is the ability to adapt quickly and make decisions.
Business analyst (BA)t needs to understand the needs of the client. They propose the ways the tech team (developers, testers and other parties) can help solve for the need or problem. They will meet with the client regularly and work with all parties involved to define the project needs and make recommendations based on feedback. Good BAs tend to have good data analysis skills and communicate well both in writing and orally. They keep up to date on the latest tech so as to give recommendations to the team.
User interface (UI) designers are good are creating efficient and attractive interfaces for the user. Graphic designers and artists tend to thrive in this role. Similar to it is a user experience (UX) designer which people tend to confuse. In another career – I believe I would be a combination of both. A UX designer is all about experience – mainly how the user interacts with the product. They consider all different elements to how the user will experience the product while the UI designer is about the look and feel of the product. They sound the same but are not. A UI designer will consider the icons, buttons, font, spacing and color scheme. A UX designer will design the user’s journey in solving a specific problem – what does the user need to complete and is it simple and straight forward or is it painful?
Quality assurance (QA) also sometimes can be known as testers are what everyone needs in order to get minimal issues from users – the “no coding” is debatable. There is the fictional testing (which is the one I will be referring to) but most companies tend to go for “automated testing” which requires them to write code. They are responsible for putting your product through the most i.e. extreme testing before it goes to the user or client. If you are good at breaking software then this could be for you. They determine whether a product meets the requirements and more. A good QA will document and report the standards for inspection which the developer can use to upgrade their code. The role is very similar to a quality control (QC) – more tester than a QA. A QC focuses on the defects after the development and they find issues in many ways. Having worked with good QAs and QCs – a skill needed is the ability to be blunt and behave like a non-tech user so as to get the “best” bugs.
Scrum master is the person who keeps the team on the right track – right being relative. Right track could mean placing what the team is feeling (pressure, anxiety, etc) as a priority or what the stakeholders are asking for. They are usually familiar with agile principles and methods of scrum. Scrum masters help the product owner in delivering the product and steer the team members through things like conflicts and the overall journey of the project. I have had really good scrum masters and usually they were good at keeping the team going when the momentum dies down.
There are many more careers that do not need you to learn to code – technical recruiters, technical writers, tech support, software specialist, operations manager and more. It is all about finding your passion and that is still something I am trying to do. Research and learn as much as you can till you find what you want to do. The tech space is vast and there is space for anyone and everyone.
* Luthando (senior developer) was of help in writing this.