EPAM, Home Credit, Leroy Merlin and Usetech (Part 1)

What is the forecast for the demand of business analysts for 2022? What do you think the profession of “analyst” will look like in the future?

Anton: There will definitely be demand, and not only in 2022. The profession itself is confidently migrating towards increased responsibility: product owner, product manager, consultant – the names will be different, but all this is about greater expertise (in the domain, decisions, project practice) and the level of decisions made … And soft skills and problem solving skills will learn to digitize and will be brought to the fore.

Is there some kind of training for analysts within the organization? How much professional growth is possible?

Sergey: Usetech Group has developed a full-fledged training and mentoring program. We have a competency matrix, using which you can evaluate yourself and build a training plan. We also have a teaching methodology that includes approaches to presenting material, sharing feedback and ways to build a knowledge base for analysts. For example, a mentor has no right to assess the knowledge of the ward. The employee must evaluate his own knowledge before and after studying the topic based on the evaluation criteria. This is how we cultivate integrity and create a judgment-free playground.

If you are a professionally mature employee and the lead role does not appeal to you, there is always an opportunity to try yourself in related positions: project manager, product manager, product owner, account manager, developer, tester, and so on.

Victor: There is an internal school of analysts for beginners who want to move to the analyst position from another position. There is a project “enter IT” for employees of business units who want to try themselves in one of the positions in the IT block. There are many in-house courses available.

Professional growth is possible in many directions. For an analyst, this can be a Product Owner, an architect, or a business analyst. There were cases of transition to development. If this is some kind of dedicated team of analysts, then as a rule its leader is the former analyst himself. There are quite a few projects in the company, and you can find them for every taste. Internal rotation is encouraged, very well developed and occurs quite frequently.

What is more important: experience, soft skills or a specific tool?

Anton: Any tool becomes outdated very quickly, they pay well for it only if it is rare and very, very necessary in this particular situation. Experience is more important, it is those same 10,000 hoursallowing you to confidently tackle any task within your area of ​​responsibility. It needs to be supported, and in fact it is the first thing that is looked at in any CV. But there are also reservations about applicability, relevance, etc. But will you be able to apply this experience – this is just Soft Skills: the ability to accurately convey your idea, make it understandable, bring it at the right time, and hear the interlocutor. With this formulation of the question, I would focus on them.

Sergey: Of course, it all depends on the context and the situation. In the “long term” soft skills are important, because they determine your vector of development. Hard skills and knowledge of specific tools determine how effectively you solve a specific problem at the moment. Experience allows you to make the right decisions in the face of uncertainty. All of the above are important, but in their own specific context. I would advise you to develop soft skills, because notation is easy to learn, and if you love to learn, you can learn it deeper or learn a lot more. You can do the task well, but if you are conscientious, you can do the task well even when others are tired or unable to cope with the load.

Does a systems analyst have to program?

Anton: No, he doesn’t owe anything. If you like it – why not. It’s just that the team usually has programmers who understand better. I would like to discuss a question in one language and be able to answer small questions myself – this can be a cherry on top of your resume.

Sergey: No! What for? Of course, in a vacuum, the ideal employee can replace the entire team, but let’s be realistic. To be valuable in your position, you need to close the regular tasks of that position. In the case of analytics, these are: identifying requirements, designing integrations and interfaces, modeling business processes, setting goals. Knowledge of the programming language will allow you to communicate more accurately with the developer, but even without this knowledge, you can work effectively.

Victor: In my opinion, it is not at all necessary to program a systems analyst, but it is highly desirable to understand the code written by the developer and be able to independently interpret it. This skill can save tens of hours for both the analyst and the developer, and also makes the analyst more self-reliant and less dependent on colleagues.

How to determine the level of knowledge that is requested in vacancies? For example, API knowledge: how deep do you need to know this area? Do you need to know how to design an API, write specific code, be able to test, or can you just know the principles?

Anton: In vacancies, trash usually happens: one person wrote it once, another interviews, and a third makes a decision. Therefore, the recommendation is not to hesitate to go to an interview and ask more questions there. If you are communicating with your immediate supervisor and you are comfortable, this is an important argument to agree. And vice versa, if with all the formal signs (salary, duties, buns) something bothers you (“can you start work yesterday?”

Victor: If a company needs a certain level of knowledge, then, as a rule, this is explicitly mentioned in the job description. If nothing specific is requested, an understanding of the general principles is usually sufficient. For example, “understanding the basics of databases” implies knowledge of the key features of database design, knowledge of the differences between relational databases and non-relational databases, understanding of terms such as “normalization”, “primary key”, etc. And if the vacancy says “knowledge of Oracle DBMS », Then a general understanding of databases may not be enough.

Are there any options for development from a business analyst to a product with additional functionality of a solution architect?

Anton: Of course, they are possible. Here you need to understand your goal well (who is an architect or a product, what tasks he actually does) and, based on it, look for suitable tasks, projects, training for yourself.

Victor: Usually development is meant in one of these directions, but not in both at the same time. This is theoretically possible, but such an employee is unlikely to be effective. The product is more focused on where and how best to develop the product. And the solution architect is more responsible for choosing the best way to implement certain requirements, taking into account the standards adopted by the company and the current landscape. I would recommend deciding and focusing on one thing. But it is worth noting that, just as knowledge in architecture can be useful for a product, so a deeper knowledge of a particular business process can be useful for an architect.

We are already preparing a sequel, in which it will be about starting a career and analytics tools, as well as answers to questions “with an asterisk.” Don’t switch!

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