Entries from October 2008 ↓

Book Review: Finding a New Career that Values Your IT Knowledge

A few months ago I received a review copy of Debugging Your Information Technology Career: A Compass to New and Rewarding Fields that Value Computer Knowledge. I haven’t written many book reviews on this blog, but this book caught my attention as it relates to some of my past posts on job dissatisfaction and the potential for an IT job crunch.

I’m intrigued by the unique concept of this book: to provide alternatives to IT workers looking to change careers, but who want to leverage their existing technical knowledge.

The book lists 20 positions and includes an overview of each, a job description, an example of the typical workday, advice on where to look for this type of job, and a look at how the job is likely to hold up to outsourcing and a recession.

A few of the job titles include:

  • Product Manager
  • Systems Engineer
  • Technology Due Diligence Analyst
  • Technology Insurance Underwriter
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer

For someone looking to leave software development, this book would serve as a good starting point for additional research. I would not recommend it to the casual reader (the text is a bit dry), but if you are seriously considering leaving programming it’s a good way to get an idea of where you might find refuge.

If you’re in this position drop me an email and I will send you my copy. (sent)

Should You Build or Buy Your Micro-ISV?

Micro-ISVs. I’ve been contemplating the issue of building vs. buying for the past four years.

I’ve been on both sides of the coin: I’ve purchased 10 profit-oriented software products or websites, and built three.

Knowing what it takes to develop the initial version of a non-trivial software product (read: hundreds of hours), I’ve become a fan of buying. This is based on two factors:

  1. I have no spare time and a bit of spare money
  2. Hmm…no, I guess #1 is the only reason

As a software consultant I’m booked full-time and I bill a reasonable hourly rate. So to spend 348 hours (2 months) building a product means I’m approaching a mid-five figure investment into a software product. That’s not play money; those are real dollars that don’t wind up in my pocket.

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