I have B.Sc in Computer Software Engineering and because my passions were located somewhere between software engineering and industrial engineering or management science (such as Business Analysis, Systems Engineering, Enterprise Architecture, Change Management, Agile Project Management, etc.) I decided to apply for M.Sc in Engineering Management which is part of the Industrial Engineering program in my country.

I'm good at technical stuff and because of my curiosity (which is good) and my indecisiveness (which is kinda bad), I've achieved a wide amount of knowledge both in technical areas of IT and in management/PM/Leadership with little on-the-job experience. Most of my experience 'till 6 months ago was from volunteer works in school/university, hobby projects, assignments, or a few freelance projects that I did with my friends.

As far as I've seen, I'm more skilled, proactive and enthusiastic at documentation, system thinking, process improvement, HR management, and leadership than average technical guys. I'm also pretty good at learning new stuff and teaching them or doing research about technology or business/software development processes.

So, I've been working in a scaling small software company for about 6 months now. I was actually introduced and recommended to the CTO by a friend of mine and was recruited to do both business analysis work and ScrumMaster work. Now I'm finding myself doing all sorts of things that our developers can't, won't, or don't have time to do. I'm more or less as follows:

  • for Team A I'm a Product Owner, Documentation Specialist, UX Designer, and DevOps.
  • for the whole tech department, I do R&D, L&D, Process Improvement, and Lean/Agile Coaching

The company, as I mentioned before, is scaling, whether ready or not, and is adopting techniques and processes that other software companies are using, like Agile, Scrum, DevOps, Docker and etc and I'm the most proficient or at least fearless among them in adopting them (which doesn't mean I'm really skilled in them but still better I guess). I'm kinda leading the change passively and slowly as the right person (probably the CTO) isn't capable enough of doing so.

I've been able to apply many useful small and big changes in the way works are done around there in the company and I'm still continuing to do so as I'm so passionate about making my workplace, the ecosystem in which I work or study better.

And I do code! I've even worked on some side projects using Python, JavaScript, and Bash to make some tasks easier or to integrate some tools that we use.

The problem begins when I think of updating my resume for later job applications or checking websites like Glassdoor to see how much should someone like me earn (As I'm currently being paid the least because of several reasons). What title should I give my job really?

By far the closest job titles (according to what I do, not what I'm really experienced in) are: - R&D Specialist - Technical Business Analyst - DevOps Engineer - Assistant to CTO

What do you suggest and what advice do you have for me?

  • It's usually understood that when working in a startup you'll end up touching a lot of things and will have a bigger breadth of knowledge. I would suggest a title that overlaps with what you've done and what you want to do. I would recommend something like Tech Lead or Architect which should have engineering and process overlaps. – jcmack Jun 4 at 20:13
  • Well the thing is, the company isn't considered a startup as it has been in business for almost 10 years now. But the technical department has grown from a single team with one or two routine development projects and several maintenance projects to several teams and several development projects with multiple technologies. Things have become more complex and meanwhile new approaches have gotten into consideration – Ashkan Taravati Jun 4 at 20:39
  • Fair enough. A startup or a small software shop is similar in that you were wear many hats. But given that the company's been in business 10 years I think you'd have a more formal title by now. – jcmack Jun 4 at 21:49
  • @jcmack well the thing is, jobs I'm doing are new and technical people or most business owners with engineering background aren't good at formalizing organizational structures and job descriptions. So I guess even this matter is up to myself. – Ashkan Taravati Jun 5 at 8:14
  • You should consider opening with your question. – rolfedh Jun 6 at 17:23

In my CV I do not care much writing job titles. Many times, they are misleading. I just present what work I did: requirements engineering, system architecture, software project manager...

While these tasks / jobs can be job titles in themselves, I focus on what is relevant.

Also, take into consideration that different companies (might) use different words to describe the same job in the job-title. It happened to me that I had to ask during interviews what that job title is about. The name was fancy, but useless to me.

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Job Titles don't really mean much for certain jobs. My current job is a combination of engineering disciplines but for legal reasons I can not be called an engineer so they have my job labeled as a specialist. Which really means nothing, even my supervisors tells people, when they ask what I do as a specialist, that it is another way of saying I am an engineer.

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