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Programming isn’t for everyone 6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer 6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer Not everyone is cut out to be a programmer. If you aren't completely sure that you're meant to be a programmer, here are some signs that may point you in the right direction. Read More ; it requires a very specific kind of quantitative, analytical thinking, and the learning process can be a tough one, even with some of the fun ways to learn to program Bored With Programming Books? Try 3 Fun Ways To Level Up Your Coding Skills Bored With Programming Books? Try 3 Fun Ways To Level Up Your Coding Skills If you've ever tried to learn to code from a book, you know how boring it can be. Why not try some engaging options to make learning more quirky and fun. Read More . But don’t be discouraged if you want to be a part of the tech field: there are plenty of jobs for people who don’t know how to code!

These seven will give you an idea of what’s out there.

Designer

graphic-designer

Coding can be more art than science, but graphic design 5 Basic Principles Of Graphic Design You Take For Granted Everyday 5 Basic Principles Of Graphic Design You Take For Granted Everyday In the visual age of the Internet it's relatively easy to create your own graphic designs, but they don't have to look homemade. Read More is all about art. If you’re artistically inclined and you’d like to be involved in tech, being a designer is something you may want to consider. There are a number of areas that you could specialize in, or you could be a jack-of-all-designing-trades and do a bit of each. Designing products and packaging for companies that produce tangible goods, designing ads and brand imaging for ones that don’t, and designing web pages for both are all necessary.

Design is one of the areas on this list that you could be successful in without any coding knowledge at all. Although everyone can benefit from a few basic coding skills (especially in web design 6 Best Web Design Blogs To Follow 6 Best Web Design Blogs To Follow Read More ), many designers have no programming knowledge whatsoever. If you’re interested in both design and coding, you’ll be happy to know that there’s a programming language for designers called Processing Learn to Program in Processing: A Language for Visual Designers Learn to Program in Processing: A Language for Visual Designers The 21st Century is open to creativity through digital means and programming. Would you be surprised to learn that there is a programming language out there designed for the artist in you? Read More .

User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) Specialist

webpage-wireframe-ipad

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There are a number of roles that fall under this category, but they all have to do with how users interact with a website, program, or app. This role can involve skills from design, psychology, human-computer interaction (HCI), and others. When websites, programs, and apps are being developed, UX/UI specialists sketch out wireframes and mockups 10 Easy & Quick Online Mockup Tools That Help You Imagine Anything 10 Easy & Quick Online Mockup Tools That Help You Imagine Anything Make the best use of instant-creation technologies, with your own mock-up designs. Mock-ups help evaluate, fix flaws, and tweak designs before creating them. Design just about anything with these tools. Read More , test models on users, and provide guidelines for designers to complete the user interface.

Survey results released earlier this year showed that UX experts come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and have degrees in all manner of things — many had relevant master’s degrees, such as in HCI. When asked which skills they found most useful, they said web design, writing From Idea to Final Draft: How to Increase Your Writing Productivity From Idea to Final Draft: How to Increase Your Writing Productivity You don't have to be Stephen King to be a productive writer. Using the right applications and writing tips, you can get more writing done with less frustration, and finish what you start. Read More , programming, psychology, design, and research methods.

Business Analyst

business-analysis-meeting-tablet

From the outside, it might seem like the software development cycle is pretty simple: a customer (within or outside of a company) tells the developers what they need, the developers create it, and that’s that. But it’s a lot more complicated. The requirements that the customer has rarely translate to technical requirements smoothly — there’s a lot of interpretation and translation that has to take place before everyone understands each other.

This is where the business analyst comes in: they bridge the gap between customer and developers by gaining a solid understanding of what the customer wants the software or product to do and turning that into a series of tasks that the developers can deal with, one at a time. After going through all of these tasks, the developers will have created a product that satisfies the customer. (That’s the idea, anyway!)

Project / Program Manager

businessman-manager-drawing

Project and program managers often have related responsibilities to business analysts, but need to have a higher-level understanding of a company or project group. The best managers in the tech world learn to understand programmers and complement their needs rather than get into the nitty-gritty of coding. Project managers are in charge of specific projects, and often have to coordinate the priorities and actions of a range of parties, from developers and engineers to marketers and salespeople.

Program managers have a similar job, but generally work at an even higher level, managing a number of projects across an organization, ensuring that the projects help further the company’s goals. This could involve helping to determine the course of development across different products, as well as working closely with a number of project managers to oversee the progression of multiple projects.

System Administrator

sysadmins-fixing-server

Sysadmins, as they’re known, are often viewed as the handymen of an IT department. They take on everything from unboxing and setting up servers How To Set Up An Apache Web Server In 3 Easy Steps How To Set Up An Apache Web Server In 3 Easy Steps Whatever the reason is, you may at some point want to get a web server going. Whether you want to give yourself remote access to certain pages or services, you want to get a community... Read More , to backing up files Read This Before Choosing An Online Backup Provider Read This Before Choosing An Online Backup Provider Backing up your files is a no-brainer - at least it should be. Hardware failure, security breaches, natural disasters, thieving scumbags and clumsiness can all lead to heart-in-mouth moments when you realise that your precious... Read More across the entire company, to creating firewalls How Does A Firewall Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] How Does A Firewall Work? [MakeUseOf Explains] There are three pieces of software that, in my opinion, make the backbone of a decent security setup on your home PC. These are the anti-virus, the firewall, and the password manager. Of these, the... Read More to protect the network, to getting an email server back online when it goes down. Some companies have a number of sysadmins with distinct specialties, while others have a single sysadmin that takes on any project needed.

As you might imagine, having some programming experience — especially with scripting 5 Beginner Linux Setup Ideas For Cron Jobs & Shell Scripts 5 Beginner Linux Setup Ideas For Cron Jobs & Shell Scripts With bash scripting, you can do a complex series of tasks in one quick go so it's great for elaborate and repetitive needs. It's also a great way to get to know terminal. Read More languages, like Perl or Ruby — and having a solid understanding of how to run a wide range of commands through the terminal These 6 Awesome Terminal Commands Will Boost Your MacBook These 6 Awesome Terminal Commands Will Boost Your MacBook You can only cram so much into graphical user interface before it becomes cluttered, so it should come as no big surprise that you can do some really cool things using the Mac Terminal. Read More are very useful in this position. Successful sysadmins have a wide range of skills, including people skills for working with frustrated users who can’t check their email or submit their project reports.

Technical Writing

technical-writer

If your talents lie in crafting concise, useful prose instead of in crafting apps or databases, technical writing may be a great career path for you. Programs, websites, scripts, and nearly every other type of product need extensive documentation. It can be instructions for users Create Step-By-Step Instructional Documents With Screenshots & Annotations Using Clarify [Mac] Create Step-By-Step Instructional Documents With Screenshots & Annotations Using Clarify [Mac] There will never be a shortage of screen capturing applications, but Blue Mango has produced an app that stands out amongst the rest. Similar to its flagship professional application ScreenSteps, it has released the beta... Read More , requirements for developers, press releases, technical reports, specifications, or a wide range of other types of documents.

To be an effective technical writer, it’s beneficial to have an understanding of the sort of thing that you’re writing about, whether it’s an app or a set of mechanical engineering blueprints. Being concise, descriptive, and well-organized are also very useful writing skills to have in this field. Many technical writers get their start in the field that they work in, but others begin as freelancers 5 Websites Where Freelance Writers & Coders Can Find Work 5 Websites Where Freelance Writers & Coders Can Find Work Freelancing has its benefits, but the difficulty comes in finding people and companies to whom you can market yourself. Fortunately, there are now more places to find freelancing gigs than ever before. Read More or writers of other kinds.

Marketing / Sales

marketing-sales-concept

When it comes down to it, almost every tech company’s goal — like companies in any other field — is to make money. Which means they need to sell products. And that means that people who have the skills to market and sell those products are in high demand. What sets marketing and sales in the tech world apart from many other fields is that companies are often in tune with up-and-coming methods of marketing and advertising, and this can be appealing to many people who want to work in tech without programming.

For example, search engine optimization Demystify SEO: 5 Search Engine Optimization Guides That Help You Begin Demystify SEO: 5 Search Engine Optimization Guides That Help You Begin Search engine mastery takes knowledge, experience, and lots of trial and error. You can begin learning the fundamentals and avoid common SEO mistakes easily with the help of many SEO guides available on the Web. Read More , search engine marketing, pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, web production, and social media marketing Your Guide To Social Media Marketing Your Guide To Social Media Marketing Right now, there is an onslaught of both people and companies turning to social media outlets. The competition is fierce, and no company can waste time or money doing it wrong. Read More are all important fields that are relatively new within marketing and advertising that tech companies are likely to be hiring for. Some of them require more technical knowledge than others, but they all benefit from having a good understanding of the technology that the company is selling.

Get a Job!

Just because you don’t like coding doesn’t mean you can’t have a job in the tech sector and be involved in all the cool projects Tech Jobs of the Future: What To Study If You Want a Cool Job Tomorrow Tech Jobs of the Future: What To Study If You Want a Cool Job Tomorrow If you're a student and looking to land a good technology job of the future, understanding the direction of technology will help you position yourself to succeed, and figure out what to study to get... Read More that entails — these seven areas, as well as many others, are open to you if you’re willing to work hard and prove yourself. As previously mentioned, having at least a basic understanding of the principles of programming The Basics Of Computer Programming 101 - Variables And DataTypes The Basics Of Computer Programming 101 - Variables And DataTypes Having introduced and talked a little about Object Oriented Programming before and where its namesake comes from, I thought it's time we go through the absolute basics of programming in a non-language specific way. This... Read More can be very helpful, but for most of these jobs, you won’t need to know more than the basics.

Do you have a job in the tech sector? How much do you know about coding? What advice do you have for people trying to get into the field without programming knowledge? Share your thoughts below!

Image Credits: Finding a job Via Shutterstock, Young graphic designer working on laptop using tablet at home.? via Shutterstock, baldiri via flickrImage of two young businessmen using touchpad at meeting via ShutterstockBack view of businessman drawing sketch on wall via Shutterstockgroup of young business people it engineer in network server room solving problems and give help and support via Shutterstock, Professional workshop via ShutterstockDesigner’s Desk with Architectural Tools and Notebook via Shutterstock.

  1. Disha
    July 12, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Hi,

    I am a software developer having 4 years of work exp in ASP.net but coding is something that i hate doing..my 4 years were hell for me.. struggling in coding & now i realized that this is not certainly my cup of tea but i want to move in some other field , i am more interested in moving to management side , can some one please guide me..

    Thanks
    Disha

    • Dann Albright
      July 13, 2016 at 8:07 pm

      While this isn't the best place to find a mentor for that transition, I'm sure you can find someone out there that'll help!

    • Ahsan
      July 14, 2016 at 10:08 am

      I will recommend teaching as i have 2.5+ years of expereince in this stressful job in c#...Go for teaching... You can cash your experience in teaching.

  2. Aniket kale
    July 7, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    to become a business analyst one need to have experience or else he should be having an MBA.. is it right what i heard ?

    • Dann Albright
      July 7, 2016 at 10:07 pm

      I can't say for sure, but it does seem pretty likely that you'd need some business experience before becoming a business analyst. I'm not sure that an MBA would do it, though. You'd have to ask someone in the field.

  3. Jaden Peterson
    June 10, 2016 at 8:45 pm

    Sysadmins need to know how to code. What if they need to write a script for the machines?

    • Dann Albright
      June 13, 2016 at 7:54 pm

      Writing scripts is a hugely useful skill for sysadmins, though it doesn't seem to be absolutely necessary. Have you been a sysadmin before?

      • Jaden Peterson
        June 14, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        No, but I have a pretty good idea of how it works.

        • Dann Albright
          June 15, 2016 at 7:10 pm

          Okay, I was just curious. I haven't been one either, but I was writing from my understanding of the role.

  4. AlaRed
    May 6, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    This is the best description of a Business Analyst that I've ever seen. Thanks.

    • Dann Albright
      May 6, 2016 at 7:00 pm

      I'm really glad you liked it; it can be kind of tough to describe. Glad I did it justice!

  5. Saroj Giri
    May 3, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Can studying BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) (non-science) help me to make my career as a Programmer?

    • Dann Albright
      May 6, 2016 at 6:31 pm

      It depends on what you learn in your degree, but it seems like it would be pretty applicable to me!

      • Saroj Giri
        May 8, 2016 at 7:32 pm

        Thanks for your reply. I had a question actually... I wanted to ask If BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) is recognizable in place you live or not.

        • Dann Albright
          May 9, 2016 at 9:41 pm

          To be completely honest, I have no idea. I've never heard of it, but I also haven't worked in the field that you'd be looking to get a job in, so hopefully someone with more coding or development experience can weigh in with their thoughts.

  6. Chaudhary Sushil
    April 26, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Thank You,

    This article is very helpful and good to understand the way, which is good for me and also thank you for those who shear there problems and solutions, which is also very helpful for me and I hop also for others.

    Be positive and always believe own self, this will help to be strong and nice..

    Thank You

    • Dann Albright
      April 26, 2016 at 11:04 pm

      Yes, positivity is crucial! Glad the article was helpful for you. :-)

  7. Mayank
    April 14, 2016 at 6:38 am

    Hi,

    I am a B-tech EEE, 2014 passout. I am working in a electrical company right now but m not quite liking the kind of environment here.

    I want to switch to a software job but have no idea how to do it.

    Also, I have almost no knowledge of the field(coding and all)

    Can you please suggest a way to end up in a good software company?
    Is Data analyst or testing job way, if yes how can I do it?

    Is it suggested to leave a CORE job and switch to software?

    Plz help... kind of desperate

    Thank you so much in advance.

    • Dann Albright
      April 18, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      You could be an analyst or a software tester, sure; I'm not sure how to get into those fields, but there are a lot of resources out there that could help. A career counselor would also be a good person to talk to. As for ending up in a good software company, you'll probably have to go the same route as everyone else: start from the bottom and work your way up!

  8. Umair
    April 1, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Dear Sirs,
    I'm doing Bachelors in Software Engineering but I'm unable to code and program that's why I'm always feeling down..
    Now I'm at the stage where I can't leave my studies so I want to make a great career for me
    Simply I want to make me feel satisfied that if I don't know programming then it doesn't mean the end of career.
    I have studied this list of jobs where I can work even without knowing programming but problem is that it isn't yet clear how to get these jobs and about qualification and skills needed for it
    Please let me know about it because I'm so much dishurted that I think that I may commit suicide huh
    May God help me

    • Headlights23
      April 2, 2016 at 8:01 pm

      Finding the right job can happen if you're looking in the right place. Don't give up hope, as long as you're willing to learn and keep learning, you could get a lot of fresher jobs.

    • Dann Albright
      April 7, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      If you really are considering hurting yourself or ending your life, PLEASE get some help. Check out http://www.imalive.com/ and chat with a volunteer over there about what's causing you stress and they'll be able to help. I promise it'll be worth it.

      As for jobs, Headlights23 is right; it just takes some time to find the right job. Keep looking and don't give up hope! There's a perfect job out there for everyone, but it can take a long time to find. Unfortunately, you just have to keep pushing ahead.

      You're right though, that you don't need programming knowledge to get a tech career. As you can see above, there are lots of great jobs that don't require it. And there are plenty more! New kinds of jobs are being created all the time.

      If you're not sure where to look for jobs, check out this recent article: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/simple-process-will-make-job-search-insanely-productive/

    • Syed
      April 20, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      bro,u don't have to feel let down, if u don't like coding its completely fine,we only gain knowledge when we commit a lot of mistakes,there are plenty of jobs apart form coding,programming u just need some exposure over the different fields,s[peak to elders,friends,coucellers,interact with people about our interests and want u want to achieve in life.my suggestion to u would be if coding dosent work for you then do something else don't waste time over it , its not the end of road,always keep trying never ever quit,its perfectly fine to fail,but never ever quit. and keep faith in GOD.

  9. Chad Pattan
    October 23, 2015 at 4:06 pm

    This article completely overlooks "no code" solutions. I understand why - companies seem to love to waste money writing code when they don't need to.

    A "no code" solution is a toolbox that allows you to build powerful applications and solutions that don't require code; even if code is supported to extend it.

    Examples:

    OnBase By Hyland, Laserfiche, ImageNow, DocuPeak (ECM)

    Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Sharepoint (careful with this one) (ECM, CRM, ERP, Portal Solutions)

    Any HP, Adobe or Lexmark solution (content composition)

    F5 products (i.e. Big IP), VMware products (i.e. vCenter), Microsoft System Center (platform/stack)

    Again, the problem is that many companies would rather prioritize what's "cool" over what is financially responsible. They may even have the products above but just spend millions writing custom code over top of them because they can.

    The trick is to find a company that cares more about saving money and using what they own. That's the hard part.

    • Dann Albright
      October 28, 2015 at 2:06 pm

      So are you saying that you could get a job specifically working with a no-code solution? This article is about jobs, not tools, but if there are positions that are specifically tailored toward people who want to use these sorts of tools, that could be pretty useful information.

      • Chad Pattan
        October 31, 2015 at 8:31 pm

        Of course you can. The tools I named in my reply are keywords that can be searched. Granted, they all require some measure of certification and training, but most of them are open for those that have the money.

        Common positions:

        DevOps Engineer
        System Administrator
        Network Administrator
        Platform Engineer

        On and on - the key is to avoid the word "Developer" and instead focus on more generic "Engineer", "Administrator", "Analyst", "Specialist" type roles.

  10. Rahul Kumar
    October 22, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hi,

    I am Rahul kumar and i completed my Bachelors in Computer science in 2014.

    Really i am feeling shy to say that, I am afraid of coding. But,i managed to learn HTML5,CSS3,

    JavaScript,Jquery,Ajax,AngularJS. But the problem is i don't have exact idea how to start my

    career in IT field.I am residing in USA and i am eligible to work here. But what i am finding here

    are all contract positions.So how can i start my career as fresher with decent pay.

    • Dann Albright
      October 28, 2015 at 1:52 pm

      Starting on a contract position and moving up from there might be a good way to go. Also, using a job search engine to look for the keywords that you're interested in (such as the ones mentioned in the article) will help.

      As for decent pay . . . that could be tough. That's just what happens at the beginning of a career.

  11. Madhubala Reddy
    October 6, 2015 at 10:08 am

    Hi, I have completed my btech 2015 passed out i don't like coding so i want to become one of the below can you plz provide the information about what we have to study to get that job
    1.business analyst
    2.designer
    3.UI
    4.marketing and sales

    thank you

    • Dann Albright
      October 11, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      I'd recommend using Google to look up that information; that's a lot of stuff that you're looking for, and it depends very much on the industry and a lot of other factors.

    • Ahsan
      July 14, 2016 at 10:06 am

      Go For quality assurance engineer or Business Analyst... I also work with both ba as well as q.a. Q.A is less stressful job than being a developer...:)

  12. nkumudhaec33
    September 22, 2015 at 7:41 am

    sir,
    I have completed B.E.ECE. I am 2015 passed out. In my college days I have completed Basics in C, Micro-controller 8051,Embedded C courses. After that i have searched jobs in Embedded field but i couldn't get till now. Then i started searching jobs in Software Field but the software company recruiting the people only with programming knowledge in Java, PHP, .Net, but i don't have i have an interest to study programs anymore, i start hating the programs. Can please guide me how can i enter as an designer as an fresher. What are all the company to start my career as a fresher in designing field. And i wanna know what is the future scope in Designing field.

    • Dann Albright
      September 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I'm not sure how you could get started in design without getting some sort of education in the field. Do you have design experience?

  13. Ravindra Naidu
    July 22, 2015 at 10:56 pm

    sir, it is happy to hear that their are many fields in software other than coding .i am doing my engineering now ..i m worried that can we enter into the above mentioned posts directly as a fresher through the campus recruitments

    • Dann Albright
      July 25, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      I'm not sure if you could enter these positions directly; you'd have to speak with an employer who's looking to fill one of these positions. It certainly seems possible to me!

  14. muhieddine.hatab
    June 5, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    Can you please explain more about User Experience (UX) / User Interface (UI) Specialist?
    Im a computer science graduate and i dont want a job with coding.
    I searched for "ui ux specialist jobs" and found out that they do require coding.

    • Dann Albright
      July 25, 2015 at 2:46 pm

      Yes, I would imagine that many do require coding. In my (admittedly somewhat limited) experience, though, you can sometimes find a position that's more focused on getting into the minds of consumers than the actual coding itself. Keep looking and you might be able to find something!

  15. codingishard
    May 14, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Thank you Dann Albright for this perspective. Sometimes I think that I will be out of a job in a few years since most roles need coding.. I am currently a struggling Data analyst who has to code quite a bit and trying really hard to get out of it as I get to know each day that I do not have an aptitude for coding. Can you throw more light into Product management as a profession ? I have heard that it does not need coding skills but some understanding of the latest technologies.

    • Dann Albright
      May 16, 2015 at 7:54 am

      I really understand your fear of being out of a job—before becoming a writer, I had the same feeling. I don't know all that much about product management, but it sounds to me like you'd be a good fit for a position like that; you understand data analysis, you at least have an idea of the coding required, and you're looking for a more management-focused position. I think your best bet is to talk to someone at your company who has a job that you might be interested in; ask how they got there, what they do on a regular basis, things like that. Just about every company has project / product / program managers, so that could be a good way to go.

      You should also check out these articles: http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/4-tips-contact-anyone-ask-career-mentor/

      http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/how-to-use-twitter-to-search-for-mentors-in-your-area-of-interest/

      I hope this has been helpful!

  16. James
    December 13, 2014 at 8:07 am

    I have a question regarding the Marketing/Sales section. What job title/position can I apply for in this area? Also, what are the specific skills needed? Thanks.

    • Dann Albright
      December 13, 2014 at 5:17 pm

      Marketing and sales titles can be widely varied, but if you're entry-level, you can run a search for either word and just ignore anything with "director" or "manager" in the title. "Sales associate," "marketing coordinator," and things like that would be good bets.

      As for skills, I'd say that people skills are really high on the list—being able to easily strike up a conversation with people and convince them that your point of view is correct is certainly great for sales. Marketing requires some knowledge of marketing principles, though if you're a good communicator and you can learn quickly, you might be able to snag a low-level position without much previous experience. Start reading online marketing and copywriting blogs, and you'll see the sorts of things that you should know.

      If anyone else would like to chime in, that would be great! It's been a while since I've looked for these kinds of jobs, so those titles may have changed, and other people might know a bit better what specific skills are necessary.

      Thanks for reading, James!

  17. Logan
    December 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I have to whole-heartedly disagree with the statement that "graphic design is all about art". As a graphic designer with nearly zero artistic ability, working in a university design department, I can say that artistic ability helps, but is only a tiny fraction of the design process and profession. Design is entirely about problem solving, regardless of the medium. Web, print, packaging, etc., all focus on the process of creating something that solves a problem. Learning how to apply the principles of design to the elements of design is a skill, aided by talent. Design is highly dependent on the designer's ability to apply those principles in ways that best serve the client. Again, art is a small part of that process.

    • Dann Albright
      December 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      While I agree that saying it's "all about art" was a bit of an overstatement, I'm quite surprised that you think that art is a very minor part of graphic design. Yes, there's a lot of problem solving involved, but I'd say that's true of many jobs, especially in the sorts of fields discussed here.

      I think maybe what's happening here is that we're using the word "art" in a different way. I'm thinking of aesthetic work in general—which I think a nice-looking website or app definitely needs. Understanding how colors work together, what draws the eye to a specific location, and what people find pleasing are all things that I associate with art. Of course, what I really associate them with is design, but saying that "graphic design is all about design" didn't seem like a super informative sentence. :-)

      What do you think?

    • Logan
      December 13, 2014 at 7:08 pm

      I agree, we probably do differ in our views of "art". A functional and aesthetically pleasing design is the culmination of a strong command of design principles, color theory, typography, photography, software mastery, psychology, sociology, entrepreneurship, and overall, critical thinking. I'm not a trained artist by any means, so I have no authority to define what art is and isn't. I'm only speaking from personal experience in a non-art-based design program, where our graduates are quite successful with minimal formal artistic training or ability. I guess I'm just trying to convey that Art ? Design, and requires far more than simple artistic ability.

    • Dann Albright
      December 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

      Yeah, I can definitely agree that art and design are not the same. As with most complex fields, design requires a wide range of skills—as you pointed out—and an ability to learn and adapt.

      Thanks for sharing your experience—it's been enlightening!

  18. phant-m
    December 11, 2014 at 10:20 pm

    I'll have to disagree. Graphic design is not about art. It can be considered art, but it's about function. Does a design do it's job, and how well does it do it.

    • Dann Albright
      December 13, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      I just finished responding to a comment that brought up pretty much the same point when I saw your post. I certainly understand how art and design are different. It seemed to me that describing it as more art-focused than technical-focused was the best way to go, but you're right—what most people call "art" differs quite a bit from design. But I maintain that having an artistic sense—and what I really mean is an understanding of visual aesthetics—is important for graphic design. Things that are well-design are pleasing to the eye. Yes, they solve problems and do jobs, but I think they still have to be aesthetically pleasing.

      What do you think of that?

      Thanks for the comment!

  19. f700es
    December 11, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    To me, you left out CAD/3D. I would not put it with "Design" either as I see it as a bit different. One can do anything from machine part details to buildings (real world or game world). No need to be an engineer nor architect as well.

    • Dann Albright
      December 13, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Ah, that's definitely a position that's involved in a lot of technical companies. I wouldn't call it "design," either . . . at least not the same kind of design that I discussed above. Is this something that you do? I'm curious as to how people get experience in CAD without being an engineer or architect. You certainly don't need to be one to know how to use it, but it seems like most people who are proficient in CAD probably have that as a background.

      Thanks for your comment!

  20. bdubs
    December 10, 2014 at 8:02 am

    what about service/helpdesk?

    who's going to deal with all the customers?....... not the Rainmen in development that's for sure

    • Dann Albright
      December 11, 2014 at 8:09 am

      As I mentioned in my response to Vivek's post above, that's a very good point. IT support is a crucial role in a lot of businesses, and the Rainmen, as you call them, are certainly not going to be the ones doing it. It's also a great way to get deeper into the tech field without having a lot of knowledge to begin with.

      Thanks for commenting!

  21. vivek
    December 9, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    one IT job that is missing is the IT Helpdesk or IT Service desk analyst role. this is the the entry to any IT Support job. Most of the time does not require coding only know how to use ms office and windows desktop. As you work you learn and grow. I know a few people who never did any computer training at all before starting in tech job just that they knew ms office and windows desktop who now are working in a senior IT Support role with networking or system admin.

    • Dann Albright
      December 11, 2014 at 8:06 am

      That's a very good point—and not just in the tech field, but in any field. Most mid- to large-sized companies rely heavily on their digital infrastructure for just about everything, so when things go wrong, they need someone on hand to fix it quickly. And you're right about it not needing coding skills. I've never worked in IT support before, but I can imagine that it's a great place to learn a lot of useful skills and that you could move upward through the ranks from there.

      Do you work in an IT support role? Was this your experience?

      Thanks for commenting!

  22. Sascha
    December 9, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Generally, nice article.

    As someone who got his fair share as sys admin and working with designers and ux designers equally whilst being on the coding side of things for implementation of the design, I can only point out what a nightmare it is to work against a spec and a design of someone who doesn't understand how that looks and works on a website.

    Having educated a designer and taught him the basics of html/css and frameworks used by myself, working with him became a charm as now designs are created which actually a) work and b) can be implemented exactly as designed because the designer knew what he was doing and what the target system and frameworks will be and the caveats of certain elements and css tricks.

    Therefore, I personally would need to disagree with designers and ux designers not needing to know code. They should have a base understanding of how things work or they always ever will only create static designs which really don't appeal and give nightmares to the developers.

    With sys admin, all has been said by "likefunbutnot".

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 6:08 pm

      Thanks for sharing your experience—I can definitely see how designers and UX / UI people would benefit from coding knowledge. And I can certainly understand how you felt that working with a designer was easier once he knew some basic HTML and CSS. However, I'd still say that any coding that will help these people could be picked up on the job.

      Now, before you disagree, note that I'm not saying it SHOULD be, or that someone can be a high-level designers or UX / UI specialist without knowing a single thing about coding. Anyone working even remotely close to development could benefit from having a basic understanding of programming or scripting. It's possible that the developers that I've worked with have been above-average in their ability to translate designs into user interfaces. But I'd say that getting into these fields, and getting to a point where you can learn what's useful to you, instead of learning a whole slew of coding principles from a textbook, can be managed by people with very little or no knowledge of coding.

      What do you think?

  23. Zhong
    December 9, 2014 at 4:04 am

    What tech job would be a good start as an entry level for a graduate with an AAS in BIS or MIS?

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      Hm . . . I'd say it probably depends on any specific training you've had. I'll have to leave this to other commenters, though, as I don't know too much about that degree.

      Anyone have any good ideas?

  24. JK
    December 8, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I work in an enterprise software company as a Solution Consultant. It's the technical side of the sales process. There's an Account Executive, the sales guy, who's in charge of managing the opportunity and relationship with the prospect. The SC, me (also known as Presales Engineer, Sales Engineer, Solution Engineer), takes the requirements of the prospects and configures an environment based on said requirements. It's a technical role because 1. you need to know how to configure software and 2. you interact with the prospect's IT department to answer any/all technical questions. However, this is a very difficult position to fill because you need to be good with people, very good with software and understand both business and technical requirements to create an elegant solution. This is why many companies will pay $100k+ to fill this position. Coding is not required, but also depends on the software. I do not code but if we need to do any customization for a demo, we have another department that takes care of this.

    Another position you can have without any coding skills is Quality Assurance (QA), who is mainly in charge of testing the software before a master release. Some QA do require coding, but not all.

    Lastly, you can be in charge of the training. This is a technical role as you need to know the software inside and out and if you enjoy teaching, being the trainer can be a very rewarding position.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      Your job sounds really interesting! I'd never heard of that role, but it sounds a bit like a business analyst, but a bit more technical. I can certainly see how companies would pay a lot for someone who's good at your job. I think that's something that I'd be interested in myself! How did you get into it? What's your background?

      As for QA and training, I've heard mixed things about both (much as you say in your comment)—some people say they should be well-versed in coding, others say that it's not needed. I would imagine that both are like most of the positions I've listed here in that you could get into them with little coding knowledge, but you'd probably pick up the bits and pieces that you needed on the job.

      Thanks for the insightful comment!

  25. dragonmouth
    December 8, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    From your description, a Business Analyst is what used to be called a Systems Analyst, as in software systems.

    Anybody who is remotely involved in designing software, whether it is an analyst, a market or a sales person, should have some coding/programming experience. Otherwise their software designs are a cast iron b**th to turn into working programs. Marketers and salespeople are the worst. They'll promise the prospective customer the sun, the moon and the stars with little or no regard (or knowledge) of what it will take to turn their promises into an actual, well-working software system.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      I mentioned this in the above comment, but in the very limited time that I served as a business analyst, the development system we used (Scrum) called for user stories, which were in the form of "User can press 'History' to see a list of their transactions," which allowed me to translate requirements into goals for devs. They would go from there, with the lead developer managing the actual development cycles.

      As for marketing and salespeople, I don't think that has to do with coding experience—I think that's just bad marketing and sales technique. You can overpromise in any field, not just development. Being in tune with developers is the same as being in tune with the creators of other products—I would argue that you don't need to know how to build a skyscraper to properly market one. You just have to work closely with the builders, try your best to manage customer expectations, and be good at communicating with both.

      Yes, having some experience in the development field will be of use as a marketer or salesperson, but I'd argue that it's not necessary.

  26. likefunbutnot
    December 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    ISystem admins write code. Usually they're working in scripting languages, but coding is incredibly important for automation and reporting. Windows admins need to know PowerShell and traditional command.com batch programming, and their lives are easier if they also know vbscript and WMI; Unix admins generally have at least /bin/sh scripting, some or other high level scripting language like Perl or python and at least some familiarity with developer tools for those tunes when a package is only distributed as a source tarball. In either case they'll be working at least some times at a command line, which is a really simple form of programming by itself.

    Likewise, business analysts and project managers should probably at least have sone understanding of the software development processes they will be interacting with; both to avoid appearing clueless to customers and devs, but also to know when devs are dragging their feet or or bring asked for the nearly impossible.

    • Dann Albright
      December 9, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      You're right—I did underemphasize the amount of programming knowledge needed to be a sysadmin. From what I can tell, though—and this is definitely not based on experience—it seems like most of the scripting and command line things that need to be done can be picked up a little more quickly while on the job. Obviously, having some experience before starting the job is great, but with the proper teaching and supervision, I think that being just a generally technologically inclined person is a pretty good place to start. Would you agree? Or am I still simplifying it too much?

      When it comes to being a business analyst, I actually do have a little experience, and there are certain development systems (we used Scrum, for example) in which the business analyst can function without much development knowledge. For example, I took requirements from the customer and turned them into user stories, which were in the format of "The user can click 'History' to see a history of their transactions," and the devs would work from there.

      Certainly, having some coding knowledge in these sorts of positions will help, but I still stand by my assertion in the article that, at least compared to other, more programming-focused positions, these can be done by people who don't have a huge interest in coding. What do you think?

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