I am seasoned analyst/developer who has grown from a senior dev to lead a small team working on line of business applications for a large company.
In a last ten years I have been working within the same business domain area and have gained quite a bit of domain knowledge and experience working directly with end (business) users.
Because of my business domain knowledge I have been offered the interview for a business analyst (BA) position.
It is not to say that I got bored with the software development as such, not at all, in fact in a last two of years I have re-discovered it again and have learned more technologies than in a previous eight years, but I rather see that move (from analyst/dev to ba) as a career progression.
I will have a chance to learn new things, but more importantly I will be able to make a bigger impact on the development process, which should result, well, in a better software. The pay is slightly better too. This is what motivates me … to go to the interview.
Should I realize, couple of years down the road, that I am not cut out to be a good BA, would I be able to go back and start programming again, given that I would not be programming at all while performing a BA job? This is what worries me in a near term.
In a longer term I think being a BA makes a job knowledge less (or non) transferable. Not sure though if this really is the case, so if you can share your thoughts – please do.
As an software developer, if the things are to go really badly job-wise, and I can always change a job and start programming something what have a huge demand for e.g. mobile applications for today.
But I think BAs are different, in a way, that their experience/knowledge is so tied to a particular industry, which only make them valuable for small number of companies within the same business/industry.
My another concern is that being a BA will make me a lone-rider, in between person of all other teams/departments (business, IT, management), which would be a difficult position to be in ... daily.
Lastly, many times I saw BAs been demoted to do technical writing / testing / support job, rather than extracting the requirements from the business/users and reasoning with IT on what could be done and how (which is what I think a “true BA” should be doing).
My question is – should I try and move to BA or my assumptions (which you can infer from what I have written above) about a BA's role in the development process are wrong and I’d better stay where I am now?