You can be a software expert without coding skills
What is required to develop into a software expert? You would think that at least smooth coding skills. Or maybe not!
We interviewed two experts from Schibsted, and neither of them has complex coding on their to-do list. The other one doesn’t actually code at all during her working days. How is this possible?
Get to know two professionals who work as a Data Engineer and a Development Manager and read their career stories in this article!
Communication plays an important role
Dagmar Urbancova, who works as a Data Engineer, has never actually planned to work someday in her current profession. She has studied both marketing and information systems management, and the goal in the future was to train business management in technology and information security. However, with her studies, Dagmar ended up in an internship where it was possible to work as a PHP programmer.
“During the internship, I got to work on websites and I learned that it’s possible to work with software without having to know smooth coding. It was more about understanding the logic of the system, as well as the importance of the data. Although coding also had to be done, there was nothing complicated about it and you could easily survive with basic knowledge”, says Dagmar.
In addition to this, she learned that working in the software industry can and often does require good communication skills. In fact, this increased Dagmar’s interest in the industry. While technology needs to be understood, it is not just a matter of searching and processing data, but it is important to understand where the user needs the data and this is something where communication skills will play a big role.
As one example, Dagmar mentions an insurance company where she also worked in the role of Data Engineer. The company used a really old system that caused the agents constant paperwork. Dagmar was involved in the development of an interactive report that included all the information necessary for salespeople. This made their work much more efficient and that tool really generated a lot of praise and positive feedback. These are the situations that Dagmar thinks are the best moments of work.
“If necessary, I create an unified table for the company’s management, customer, data analyst or, for example, for data scientist, with all the necessary data. I search data from various sources and combine all the information to one clear and usable report for the user. Without this work, the user would have to browse dozens of different information sources themselves and waste precious time. People are really grateful for this work and it is certainly rewarding”, Dagmar opens her current job.
Mom pushed towards the software industry
Yevgeniya Nättilä, originally from Kazakhstan, says it all started from family support (or from pressure):
“My mother is highly educated and that’s why she pushed me to educate too – and I’m glad she did! I was fortunate to be able to study engineering”, Yevgeniya explains how it all began.
“I also studied English at school and it helped me progress in my studies. Later I had a chance to study in Finland. I took this opportunity too because of the pressure from my mom”, Yevgeniya laughs and continues:
“I started studying programming in Joensuu and completed a Master’s program in Computer Science. After that I finally began my independent journey in the field. I probably sent 100 applications to different companies and I really put a lot of effort into getting a job. I also read a lot of books and I felt that this had a big impact, especially in the interviews. I finally got into an IT company as a consultant and I worked as a consultant for about 15 years in a few different companies”, Yevgeniya says.
The importance of the communication skills already mentioned above also became familiar to Yevgeniya as well. She studied the subject further in order to develop and advance in her career. He completed a Master of International Business degree in Haaga-Helia, Helsinki. Later, Yevgeniya has also worked in various educational positions, so self-development in communication skills has really rewarded and produced results:
“I really enjoy training other people! It also helped me experience tremendous growth and development and I was able to proceed in my career and started to work as a team lead.”
In her current job as Development Manager, Yevgeniya leads a technical team, a group of developers. Yevgeniya feels that her most important task is to lighten the burden of employees and make them as happy as possible in their work:
“I do my best so my team can focus on what they do best. Sometimes I am a party planner, sometimes I am a problem solver and sometimes my days include reporting and other admin tasks.”
Yevgeniya also says that she has studied coding a bit, but she doesn’t do it at all in her current job – for that she has a team full of skilled people!
Why is the software industry suitable for everyone?
We asked both Dagmar and Yevgeniya what fascinates the industry, what kind of person is suitable for the field and what is required to succeed? Both raised curiosity and a desire to learn the most important traits.
“Coding is not something to be feared of, as there has been so much progress over time that there are actually multiple options for studying software. The transition to the industry has required a lot more technical expertise in 2007 as I started my own path to become a data engineer. In addition, the different professions in the software industry are very different, and each profession is also really flexible in itself and can be customized depending on what you are interested in”, Dagmar encourages.
Dagmar herself has also studied more about software in Finland before joining Schibsted. She praises Finland’s offer in terms of studies in the field of software and recommends others to take individual courses, as well as take the advantage of the offer in school as well:
“For example, if you’re interested in the industry but aren’t quite sure if working on software is your own thing, you might want to start with simple courses and try it out. There are so many options in the industry and some professions focus more on the technology and coding itself, while some are based on more visual skills. Everyone who is genuinely interested in the field will surely find their own place! ”
In addition to curiosity, a desire to learn and courage, Dagmar also recalls the flexibility of the industry, which can be a really important factor especially for women.
“Work can be done virtually at any time and from anywhere as long as the computer goes with you. This brings relief, for example, when work life has to be combined with being the mom of young children. When there are flexible working hours and there is no dependence on physical presence, this offers completely new opportunities for running everyday life”, says Dagmar.
Yevgeniya also encourages anyone interested in the field to take the first step:
“Start with something small, then you won’t lose anything! Open that browser and take that first online course – just get started.”