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My Journey - From Software Development to Business Analysis

I am a Senior Business Analyst with 8+ years of experience in Business Analysis, Product Management and Software Development.

importance-of-business-analysis

Journey starts in 2014

My journey started in 2014 from a campus placement. Clueless about what I should do and how to achieve it, I decided to go with the job that I got. I was recruited as a software developer in a MNC.

I was onboarded in a team as java developer. Starting days were really 'Hell' for me. I had no idea how to even begin. Thanks to my manager and team members that I was able to pull the job despite having the 'Get out of this job' a million times.

Gradually I started learning and picking up technical work. But my hear was still not in job. I always wanted to be something from management side of things. So once I got a hang of technical work, I started observing some other roles in my team. They were close to what I was looking for.

Introduction with Scrum Master role

For the first time, I met a 'Scrum Master'. Role of SM was something close to what I was looking for. Gradually I came to know that SM is there to make sure that our team follows scrum guidelines and resolve all external impediments. But SM cannot partake in any project related decisions.

At that time, with no experience of roles, it was a negative point for me that SM is not a part of all the important decisions taken in project, so I kept on looking for other roles (FYI, SM is one of the most important and crucial role in a scrum team. Now I know this). SM was still the closest role to my requirements.

I briefly thought of being a Project Manager. Which was kind of funny because who would take a kid with no experience as PM.

Somewhere between SM and PM

It was clear to me that the role I was looking for; from responsibilities and job nature perspective, is in between PM and SM role.

With a lot of research and discussions with seniors, I came to know about 'Business Analyst' role. First thought - Role name sounds interesting. Seems like this is an important person in organisation.

I started reading about this role. Found out that from R&R standpoint, I did have knowledge about some important requirements like : Agile, Scrum, Kanban, JIRA, user stories, sub tasks, epics etc.

Call it luck, but the team I was working with. All these methodologies, frameworks and tools were already used for project development. This gave me confidence that I might be able to at least sit in an interview for BA role.

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I started reading more about this role. In parallel, I also started closely looking at project development from business analysis angle.

Leap of Faith

In my mind, I was ready to leave current software development role and switch to Business Analyst role. But now I was in a very dangerous zone known as 'Comfort Zone'.

Now I was already 4 years experienced as a Software Developer. Good or Bad, but I knew in and out of my project, so I was able to code. It was a scary thought to leave behind all the hard work that kept me in the job. It was ironical that I would we so scared to leave the job that I had cursed almost every single day.

Finally, with the thought that with it is not possible to be in middle and not go in any direction, I 'resigned'. In a few days, I got a call from an organisation for BA role. I was able to crack that interview. I got a average hike because I had no experience as a BA, but they were ready to give me a chance. Which was good enough for me.

New Role - First Day

Okay, so now I was a BA. I was convinced that I will be good in this role because I already know all about it. By the time my First day got over, my thought was - I couldn't be more wrong, that I know all.

It was day 1 for me in a new role. I gradually learned that tools usage for epics and user story creation, sending response to client , updating team with client's response etc. is a very small part of Business Analysis job.

Main job is to:

  1. Understand stakeholders' or business requirements. What solution can be generated to fulfill those requirements or resolve a pain area.
  2. How to manage stakeholders.
  3. Effective communication to understand stakeholders' requirements and making sure that they understand your side as well.
  4. Prioritizing work to deliver maximum value.
  5. Strong backlog

It took time but I slowly and gradually learned all these responsibilities. I am still learning.

Learning from Mistakes and Growing

Currently I am a Senior Business Analyst. In this journey I have learned a lot from professional and leadership standpoint. I have also learned a lot in general about importance of hard-work, patience and persistence.

I wish to share all my learnings through this platform. Hope to learn more from others and someone can learn a couple of things from my journey. We can learn much more and grow faster if we do it together.

I would love to have your comments and feedbacks on my article.

© 2022 Manish Shukla

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