I am a mid-level computer programmer, but I am very good in finding solutions for problems or giving novel ideas to create a new product. I also know how to design with SolidWorks or Altium designer at an elementary/intermediate level. I work on robotics and in the AI field.

I didn't work with any person till now. I have created some prototypes of my ideas by myself, but I know if I want to do a mass production, I must convert these prototypes to stable industrial products with many optimizations. I think this is not my job and must be done by experts from those fields.

Are there any such positions in programming/engineering groups? Or must I choose one field and try to be an expert only in that field and narrow my dreams?

EDIT: I don't know why some comments think I only seeking a position to say my night dreams. As I mentioned in my question, I know myself as a mediocre programmer/engineer and built MVP of 2 of my ideas, that could attract 2 investors for them! But as I don't have any previous team work experience, I think I am not an expert programmer/developer and can't create really industrial ready to market products! It's a inner fear(because I see many great programmers here in this site they are far professional than me). So that is stopped me at this level and I am here to ask how can I get ride of this and continue my way? How is it possible for me to be the leader of a great developer/engineer team who are better than me? This is a confusion for me that don't know how to solve it(such a good solution maker :) )

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – Masked Man
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 13:28

5 Answers 5


As I feel related to your post by the fact that I'm working in this field AND had the same question some times ago, I'll try to answer it the more precisely.

If I had to put it short : No. There is no "Idea guy" position in programming or engeneering group.

Just because it's everyone's job to find ideas and solutions. In those group, it's not like there is one smart guy thinking and other monkey code typing while he speak. It's the whole group job to find ideas and build around them daily. : That is how it work in pretty much every company I've been in. Yes, you can have better ideas than other, or suggest more things, but you are just a part of the whole, and you have to do other jobs than just "thinking". A programmer can have billions good ideas while monkey-coding, but it's just as it seems : just ideas.

Now, I'm going to assume that those "ideas" you have are more wide than just one project, and doesn't apply to a single field. And, so far the best answer I found to this question is : Start your own business, and be your own boss.

Yes, you will have a team, but the manager role is to set up the way for everyone, according to a plan and, an "idea".

Now, for the developed answer, What you should do :

You may consider the fact that, in this whole damn world, there are billions of peoples with ideas. And this is why there is no "Idea guy" role, because everyone have some. IMO, you should start seeking a team or a project in your field, and see how things work in team. Then, you could set your mind and see if your ideas were that huge or smart, and if it is (never said that it can't), then start your own team with some help from your previous experience !

But, to conclude with some of your side-questions :

  • Yes, every well-known names like Bill gates etc... have done a great part of the job themself, and at the very start, were just engineers peoples. The main difference, is that they succeeded where so many of us failed. Asking for people to do things for you is not the way you learn something. Do it by yourself at first, and get some experience.
  • Ideas alway seems good to their creator : speak about it to other in your field, and see what happen.
  • Before asking other to follow yout idea, you have to show that you can lead, have the knowledge to show the way and technical appreciation of the issue. If you don't, no one wille follow. It's like a blind man showing direction because "he have good feeling".

Again, IMHO and with my personal experience, it's the best way to approach this. I hope I answered your question.

EDIT : To follow your edit on "How is it possible for me to be the leader of a great developer/engineer team who are better than me? This is a confusion for me that don't know how to solve it(such a good solution maker :) )", my answer is still the same : start before in a team and take some experience before. So far, it's the best way to solve your question regarding my experience. Start, learn, build up a network, be known in your team for your ideas and solutions, then make your way out and ask for senior people around to help you in your journey.


My sister has been in the same situation as you, and what she did is close to what you are looking for. She started a brainstorming company and worked in freelance for other companies to help them find solutions to their problem.

The thing is, she was not the one having all the ideas, she was a facilitator. She learned the brainstorming techniques and social skills to do so.

If you are a company that needs a solution to a problem, you are better to make your whole team think about it than just hire one "idea guy".

Why? Well first of all, your team knows the problem and the environment of the company.

So instead of hiring an "idea guy" you hire a "brainstorming guy" that will make your team have better, more efficient and tailor-made ideas, as they come from within.

So, going back to your case: You could do exactly as my sister did, but you could specialize in solving IT/Robotics/AI related problems. You should learn brainstorming techniques on top of your actual technical skills in order to do so.

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    And note that one of the most important skills for a brainstorming guy is: know the subject. You need serious technical chops to poke a team into the right direction.
    – Borgh
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:32

If you can provide useful solutions to multiple fields, and don't want to restrict your talents to a specific field, you can be a freelancer. As a freelancer, you get to provide your services to multiple clients, and you can choose them from different fields.

You are unlikely you would get that flexibility from being an employee of a specific company, because:

  • Many companies work in a single field (or a small number of fields).
  • Companies that work in multiple fields almost inevitably have an internal organization such that each field of work is operated more or less independently.

Before you go freelancing, be aware of the following:

  • Not every good idea or prototype has business value in the market. Companies generally do not convert prototypes into industrial products unless they are convinced of their potential commercial value.
  • You will have to put in a lot of effort to convince clients and build your portfolio, as well as doing all the legwork such as price negotiations, signing contracts, intellectual property rights.

Another alternative is to start with a conventional job in a single field before switching (part-time or full-time) to freelancing. You can use that work experience and reputation to convince your first few clients and keep growing your portfolio from there.

However, in most companies, you typically don't get to do "idea generation" full time. You will have to do a fair amount of "grunt work". In fact, the first few months (or even years) might involve only (or mostly) grunt work, such as maintenance or minor enhancements to existing products. You would get new "idea generation" assignments only after you have earned some trust and reputation by doing the grunt work.

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    As I read the comments, a question which is arises: Were the people like Gates, Wozniak, Ellison or Zuckerberg, EXPERT in one field and they created their first industrial products lonely and the product included only one field? Or they only created a prototype of their ideas, and other experts helped them to create a ready to market products? Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 12:01

I am a mid-level computer programmer, but I am very good in finding solutions for problems or giving novel ideas to create a new product. I also know how to design with SolidWorks or Altium designer at an elementary/intermediate level. I work on robotics and in the AI field.

Sounds like you want to do product design to me.

Wikipedia's article starts with

Product design as a verb is to create a new product to be sold by a business to its customers. A very broad concept, it is essentially the efficient and effective generation and development of ideas through a process that leads to new products. Thus, it is a major aspect of new product development.

I have no experience with such positions, but it seems that this is what you're describing.


Ok. So I was having a pint with a friend the other day - he does VC in new energy tech. We were discussing IT, and, knowing I work in that field, he looks me in the eye and says

"I just don't understand why anyone likes doing IT. All they do all day is build what I want them to. Don't they want to create things themselves?"

Of course, looking at the comments to your question, you can see the answer.

@Juha notes: "Anyone can come up with ideas. The value comes from when a person can actually create a product"

@gnasher wrote: "When I hear 'idea man' my immediate thought is someone who can't actually do the job"

At the end of the day, you have to realise that both parties are right. This is because both parties are defining what makes them happy. My friend is right - he likes creating new solutions. The commentators are right - they like building other peoples ideas. Both parties look in disdain at the other party (don't ask me why, but I suspect it is a desire to just feel superior to different people, it's probably similar to racism in that way /endArmChairPsychology).

But to you, dear questioner. You have to realise that if you stick in IT and want to be an "ideas man" you will be derided and looked at with scorn by your peers. You will not get the promotions and the work you deserve - even though your skills are necessary for IT, and without you they would all be fired.

If you want to be an ideas man then move into product management and business generally. Product management is an easy shift - you can use your IT skills to work out what is possible, and use your imagination and creativity to build better solutions for the company.

Incidentally, if you are wondering - Bezos is an ideas man, and he is roughly the richest person in the world. The Google guys are cross-tier, to some extent, and are also really rich. The chap who built minecraft - Markus Persson is worth a "paltry" 1.5 bn in comparison. So from my tiny sampling, you could argue that ... well, you could argue anything. But I think it suggests that business > coding. But again, tiny, selective sampling.

  • I mostly agree with your answer. There is a weird misapprehension going on on both sides of the aisle about who si doing the 'real work', has to come up with 'real solutions' etc. That's exactly where many Consultants make their money - bridge that gap and pretend it's another step entirely.
    – bukwyrm
    Commented Jun 25, 2018 at 14:36

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