What is a project manager? Let’s start with the fact that every first Thursday in November, the whole world celebrates International Project Management Day. Not every IT professional can boast of having their own international holiday. Perhaps this is due to the volume and complexity of the tasks they perform and the significance of their projects.
To complete each project in the IT company, a team is created, which consists of different specialists. Some are engaged in product design, others - in backend, frontend, business analytics, marketing; and some are testing the product. But there’s a person who is responsible for the entire team - a project manager.
So, a project manager is a specialist whose task is to manage the project as a whole: project conception, assembling a team, drawing up plans for completing tasks, monitoring, and communication between project participants. Their task is to effectively and efficiently solve emerging problems and eliminate various obstacles for the team.
Project managers work wherever there are large tasks involved, that require the participation of various performers.
A project manager’s salary depends on work experience, volume, complexity and budget of projects and ranges from 390 to 6,000 US dollars in the Republic of Belarus.
Currently, there are a lot of opportunities for obtaining basic knowledge on project management and boosting one’s skill - courses, schools, YouTube channels, books, articles, webinars.
There are a number of universities in the Republic of Belarus that offer training programs for professional development and up-skilling, based on the existing degree.
When studying vacancies for the position of project manager, one can encounter a requirement for higher education, which can be considered a rarity in the IT sector. This is often due to the fact that the requirements depend on the scope of the company in which a particular product is being developed.
The pool of IT specialists is not limited to software developers and testers, it includes other interesting jobs, too.
The profession of a business analyst is relatively young. Before its inception, the professional functions of a business analyst were performed by a project manager or a systems analyst. But today, business analyst has become one of the most sought-after professions, which it’s difficult to imagine the IT sphere without.
A business analyst is a specialist located between the customer and the development team. Throughout the entire period of product development, they work with requirements and form a connecting link; they collect requirements for a future product from the customer, detect and analyze issues to eliminate them, communicate everything to the team and, with their help or independently, search for solutions.
The main task of a business analyst is to single out a problem and find a way to solve it.
In order to become a successful business analyst, one needs a set of both certain personal qualities and professional knowledge and skills.
The main part of a business analyst’s job is working with people, so the list of required soft skills is huge. Thus, a business analyst should be able to work with people in a team and with a large amount of information, delegate authority, have high intelligence, speak clearly and correctly, as well as competently express their thoughts, have leadership qualities, and a host of other things.
Special knowledge that a business analyst should have includes: proficiency in the modeling language (UML) and theoretical foundation of software development, system analysis skills, and ability to perform detailed business modeling using specific programs (ARIS, RRose, BPWin, Together, etc.)
When studying vacancies for the position of business analyst, the following requirements are most often encountered:
Career development of a business analyst begins with the position of junior business analyst, then middle business analyst, senior business analyst, and business consultant.
The salary of a business analyst will depend on the position they occupy.
The average salary of a business analyst in the Republic of Belarus ranges from 300 to 6,000 US dollars.
People with a higher mathematical (technical) or economic education are readily accepted for the position of a business analyst. It’s even better if they also have a degree in the field of IT, or a combo of all three disciplines.
Currently, there are quite a lot of opportunities for training to become a business analyst - courses, schools, YouTube channels. They are designed for both beginners and experienced employees as the opportunity to upgrade their knowledge.
Before we start talking about what a team lead is, it should be mentioned that this is not a profession. Team lead is a position that includes managerial and technical functions.
Team lead is a highly qualified programmer by profession. They manage the development team and coordinate their activities, have a command of the technical side, architecture development, perform code review, distribute the workload, divide tasks into stages and sprints, monitor the effectiveness of the team, oversee the compliance of the project with technical requirements, maintain documentation, etc.
Despite the responsibilities mentioned above, team lead is not just a management position. They are also a practicing developer who knows the project code and is involved in working on it.
Since a team lead is the head of the development team, they must have such personal qualities as: responsibility, initiative, sociability, diligence, analytical mindset, critical thinking, and technical literacy.
Given that a team lead is not only a manager, but also a developer, they must also possess certain professional skills: knowledge of application building tools, various programming languages (PHP/Ruby/Python/Java) and development methodologies, service technologies, application architecture, as well as experience in team management.
Due to the rapid development of the IT sector, the need for team leads has increased, which could not but affect the salary. Good and experienced team leads are greatly appreciated, and their work is rewarded with fair wages.
The average salary of a team lead in the Republic of Belarus is one of the highest in the IT sector, it ranges from 1,000 to 7,000 US dollars.
Team lead is a position that is impossible to get into after only completing relevant courses, because in addition to excellent knowledge in the field of programming, they must have several years of work experience, constantly develop communication skills, have various technical experience, and much more. That is why junior or middle specialists, even after completing the courses, will not be able to become team leads.
Despite this, a large number of courses and schools are available nowadays, designed for experienced developers intent on getting promoted or for team leads wanting to improve their skills.
It is impossible to claim good quality of an IT product without its review and testing. This is why QA specialists are needed - they are responsible for the quality of the software being developed, and functional testing. A QA specialist doesn’t just look for errors, they check the quality of the product and assess whether the product can be released.
A QA manual is a specialist who checks the work of the software manually. They conduct testing and search for bugs, without using any automated test cases. To conduct such testing, a specialist needs basic knowledge. However, this doesn’t mean that everyone can become a QA manual, it will be impossible without professional training and special, albeit basic, knowledge.
QA manuals don’t have to possess in-depth technical skills and know programming languages. At the same time, they must know and understand what the user-story and the life cycle of the defect and development are, must be able to write test cases and test plans, know the principles of HTTP, understand Git flow, and much more.
A QA manual should be: responsible, enthusiastic, sociable and approachable, proactive, and have high analytical skills.
The salary of a QA manual will depend on the level of the position in which the specialist is employed. The salary of a trainee (intern, assistant) or junior will be significantly different from the salary of a QA tech lead.
Admittedly, at the beginning of their career, a QA manual’s salary is quite small. The average salary of a QA manual in the Republic of Belarus ranges from 100 to 2,500 US dollars.
In order to start a career in QA, it’s enough to complete courses, of which there are a huge number in the Republic of Belarus. They can be both paid and free, take place full-time or remotely. Video tutorials, webinars, forums, and podcasts can also help. But it should be understood that no courses will give the practical skills necessary at work.
Like any other profession in the IT field, that of a QA specialist requires self-development and perseverance, great desire and motivation. One needs to be prepared for the fact that they will have to read a lot, watch video tutorials, that is, constantly improve their knowledge.
The direct task of a QA specialist is to identify defects, ensure the quality of the product, and check the final result for compliance with the customer’s requirements.
QA automation is a product quality assurance specialist that uses software tools to create tests and validate the results.
Unlike QA manuals - QA automation specialists require programming knowledge in order to create automatic scripts.
A QA automation specialist monitors product quality at all stages of product development.
In order to take the first steps in the QA automation profession, one needs to know the theory of manual testing, as well as master at least one programming language at a basic level (Java, JS, Python, etc.)
Further, one will need more extensive skills and abilities: knowledge and understanding of Agile/SCRUM/Lean methodology, basics of operating systems (Windows OS and Linux at a high level), PC architecture, various test management tools, SQL knowledge, ability to work with databases and control systems versions, and at least basic knowledge of HTML and CSS.
A QA automation specialist must have an analytical mindset and critical thinking, love to analyze and solve complex problems, and be attentive to details.
When analyzing vacancies for the position of QA automation, the following requirements are often encountered:
The salary for a QA automation specialist is higher than that for a QA manual, but it will also depend on the position in which the specialist is working (junior or QA tech lead). The average salary of a QA automation specialist in the Republic of Belarus ranges from 500 to 4,300 US dollars.
There are currently a lot of options for how to become a QA automation specialist. One can study independently (through books, articles, video tutorials, etc.), or find a convenient school or program of specialized courses to accumulate a theoretical base.
Most QA automation specialists grew out of QA manuals and QAs, by adding programming to their skills.
QA automation is a profession that requires constant self-development and training, because in the field of IT, including automated testing, things change very quickly.