Career Solutions

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Debugging Your Information Technology® Career

The book's subtitle “A Compass to New and Rewarding Fields That Value Computer Knowledge” is your first clue that this isn't the run of the mill career / job search book.

The premise of the book is that you may want to leave the IT field and try a new career but don't want to start from scratch. You've spent all this time making a career in IT why let that experience go to waste? As Weinberg demonstrates you really can make the switch to fields where your previous experience in IT is an asset.

But if IT is so much fun why would you ever want to leave? As Weinberg points out, outsourcing and offshoring are the new realities in IT. As such there is the very real possibility that at some point in your career you may be affected by this. I'd like to suggest another reason - to broaden your experience and get some real business experience. Experience outside of IT is becoming a more valuable asset that hiring managers look for in Business Analysts and IT managers. You may not always get the opportunity for career changes with your existing company and this book can help you make it on your own.

Weinberg gives 20 examples of careers where you can leverage your IT experience. As part of each example she includes information on:

  • End-user organizational departments
  • Overview of the function
  • Position titles (typical titles you may see in this function)
  • Job Description Highlights
  • Typical Workday
  • Job-hunting strategies (alternate strategies if in a corporate position vs. consulting position)
  • Recession resistance
  • Offshore outsourcing situation and outlook
  • Information sources
The purpose of most of these sections is obvious so I won't go into detail on them. However, the “Typical Workday” is especially interesting. This is an excellent way to give you some real insight into what this job is, what it is about and what you might experience when you get it. It also gives you an opportunity to see how you can parlay your IT experience and apply it to this position. This is especially critical when trying to sell yourself to the hiring manager.

If you are thinking of making a switch due to an economic downturn or you have been affected by outsourcing you may obviously be concerned about this happening again in your new career. Thankfully, Weinberg also provides some information about these issues with each example.

So if you're thinking about making a switch out of IT but don't want to walk away from all that experience I'd recommend that you take a look at Weinberg's book, “Debugging Your Information Technology Career.” This book can give you the needed information to make that career switch while leveraging your IT experience to your advantage.


Book Review: Finding a New Career that Values Your IT Knowledge
October 11th, 2008 | Software Development

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 havenít 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.

Iím 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 itís a good way to get an idea of where you might find refuge.