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Some background information, I've been at this company for a little over a year. When I first started at this company I was brought on as a full stack developer, since my first day we were looking for a senior developer to serve as a mentor.

During my last one on one meeting with my manager she let me know that she intends on hiring this guy full time. Soon after she told me this she asked where I see myself in three years at this company, naturally I replied that I would probably be in a similar position to the previous developer(the employee who had my position before I was hired). She informed me that I would be more suited for a business analyst position and should try to grow more into that role.

Currently we already have a business analyst on our team, I'm afraid that either one of us would be made redundant if I went down this path, and considering that I am far less experienced than our BA it would likely be me. Should I be concerned?

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    Did she say why she thought you would be better suited for the business analyst position? That is a big difference from a stack developer, so she must have some reason (though that doesn't guarantee it will be a good reason). – David K Apr 16 at 15:51
  • @DavidK I'm a junior dev so I guess the idea was the leverage the new guy since he can create deliverables sooner – PelvisResley Apr 16 at 15:52
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    Is that the reason she gave, or the reason you are guessing? If that is the case, it sounds like she would want that because it's better for the company, even if it's not necessarily better for you. – David K Apr 16 at 15:57
  • hi @PelvisResley (great nickname :) ) now that you've been a junior for a year, in any event, many would suggest it's better for you to move on somewhere else, to advance your career? The quickest way to escape the "junior" tag is to aggressively move on to another company. Have you considered this? It would make the other issues moot. – Fattie Apr 16 at 16:21
  • @Fattie I'm still severely inexperienced and I don't think I'd realistically be able to get a new job as quickly as most would – PelvisResley Apr 16 at 16:24
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There are many reasons that COULD have motivated her to say that.

  1. Maybe she knows your team will need another BA, and you're the best suited for it. Since you expressed a desire to stay at the company, she thought you valued the company over simply advancing as a developer. Maybe the other BA has expressed a desire to move on, or to go to a different role.

  2. Maybe she thought that it's a step up, one that could potentially lead to management down the line, and you've got potential.

  3. Maybe she thinks your skills are lacking and you should move to less technical role.

There are a number of other "could be" ideas...but without simply coming right out and asking her, it's hard to say. It's something that you'd probably need to simply sit down with her and have an honest discussion. Ask her what motivated her suggestion.

In no way do you want to appear difficult. If you really like programming, it's ok to express that. My guess is that she simply wants to use all her people to their best strengths, and to best serve the team/company--and that's how you really need to interpret it unless you find out otherwise.

  • I think point 1 and 2 are unlikely because as a developer you don't do any task that can measure skills of business analysis and now that OP clarified that he's junior 3 seems more logical – user86742 Apr 16 at 16:31
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    In some companies, a developer becomes an expert on the business--they know the company well. That, and perhaps the educational background, or employment background, along with, as you point out, his junior role, might well be the motivation. I was in his position when I moved from QA tester to developer. I was in a company where they tried to move me to Account Manager and I just didn't stick around. – Keith Apr 16 at 17:09
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It Depends.

A good manager can identify an employee who is unhappy and unskilled in their current role. I work as a full stack dev and I know coworkers who left to work jobs outside of tech simply because they didn't enjoy what they were doing and only did it for the money. Business analysts spend a lot more time communicating with others and typically have different skillsets for developers- your manager could simply be saying that they think you have the skills to be a great business analyst as opposed to a developer.

If you have no intention of becoming a business analyst and decide to continue down your path as a full stack developer at your current company- its definitely possible that the company may shift you from your developer position if your manager thinks that your skills would be better used elsewhere. While uncommon (but still prevalent): employees hired for one role may be shifted to another role based on business needs.

If I were you- I would ask your manager further about why they think you should focus on growing into a business analyst. Then the decision would be yours: Stay at your current company with the prediction that they will probably try and push you towards a business analyst role, or leave the company and continue working as a full stack dev elsewhere.

You mention that it would be redundant for a team to have 2 business analysts but isn't it possible that you can move and be a business analyst for another team (or the current one to be moved?). Not enough information in your post to go off of- but the information your manager gave you isn't necessarily anything to worry about unless you are deadset on being a full stack dev for your future career goals- in which case you should try to figure out why she gave that feedback.

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