Non-tech jobs in tech: Why careers in application development aren’t just for tech people
Applied Visions is built on the foundational premise that we provide more than just code as we develop custom applications for our clients. We know from experience that it takes a lot more than a good coder to build an application that meets its intended purpose and that users actually want to use.
As we hunt for talent to join our team, we make a point to look beyond coding skills. In fact, we don’t even restrict ourselves to the typical technical degrees you may think are a requirement to work at an application development company such as ours.
We aren’t the only ones casting a wider net, with non-tech jobs in tech becoming somewhat of a tech hiring trend. Recent data reveals that, on average, 43 percent of the open jobs at tech companies are for non-technical positions. These jobs go beyond sales and marketing, getting non-tech folks deeply involved in the more “technical” side of things.
When it comes to application development, there are many roles where a non-technical background can provide insight and knowledge that just doesn’t come with a traditional tech education. An example of some of the non-technical roles at tech companies such as AVI include:
- User Experience (UX) Designer—The job of the UX designer is to come up with an application design that meets the users’ needs while being easy to use. This person needs to understand how users think and how they might interact with an application. They also need to design workflows to serve those users, but they don’t need the technical skills to implement them—that’s up to the coders.
- User Interface (UI) Designer—The UI designer executes the plan of the UX designer, mapping out what the application interface should look like. This is primarily done via wireframes, storyboards, and other visual displays. An individual with a creative background has a lot to contribute to this role.
- Quality Control Tester—While some aspects of QA do require a technical understanding of what’s going on under the hood, most testing requires the ability to think and act like users, and that’s a broader umbrella than thinking and acting like a coder or developer. This is a great position for someone who pays close attention to details and who can put themselves in the users’ shoes, improving the overall Quality Assurance process.
- Project/Product Management—These people keep projects on track and ensure success for the client. They should certainly have a basic understanding of the technical work required for any given project, but they don’t need to be well-versed in the technical specifics. Instead, they must be organized and able to focus on the big picture. A good PM has strong communication skills and is adept at identifying potential problems and resolving them before they hold up the work.
- Agile Product Owner—We often follow the Agile methodology at AVI, making the Agile Product Owner (PO) a key team member. The PO guides the entire application development process from the standpoint of the end user. Again, some basic technical understanding is great, but this is primarily a non-technical role. The PO keeps the lines of communication open between the technical team and business stakeholders, guiding the product vision throughout the design and development process.
If you’ve ever thought about an app development career but thought you weren’t qualified, think again. You may be just what we’re looking for. In an effort to shed additional light on non-programming tech jobs, we will be publishing spotlight articles featuring some of our top non-tech talent at AVI so you can gain a deeper understanding of the non-technical side of application development and all it has to offer.