I had various workplaces, and my first one was a pharmaceutical company where in the IT the Business Analyst (BA) tasks were divided between Programmers and Project Managers (PM). I spent there five years, which I try to evaluate in myself since I spent a lot of time doing specifications and dealing with client. Now I am working at a place where I can't communicate with client, which is a little bit strange feeling for me.

Definately I miss about 2-3 years of experience in raw programming, but I have 2-3 years of BA experience which helps me to ask good questions to our BA to clarify what do the client really want. Do workplaces generally want wider scale of experience or more focused one? Is my case more like a setback because of the less programming experience or advatange because of BA experience? I guess not I am the only one with this life experience.

  • @downvoter: please leave a comment what is the problem with the question? – CsBalazsHungary Jul 23 '14 at 12:00
  • I'm not the downvoter but it seems like this question is more suited for programmers.stackexchange. – Conor Jul 23 '14 at 18:25
  • @Conor yes, I posted there, after a while I came here since there were no replies and there was only a suggestion to migrate it here. – CsBalazsHungary Jul 23 '14 at 19:25
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    @Conor: Questions like this one are off-topic on Programmers. – Robert Harvey Jul 23 '14 at 21:30
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    IME, business analysts don't want you to ask questions. Asking questions to clarify implies that they didn't give good direction to begin with, which many find insulting. – Amy Blankenship Jul 23 '14 at 23:50

Does Business Analyst experience make a programmer more valuable workforce?

For many positions, BA experience can make you a more well-rounded programmer.

Some companies value a programmer who can understand the business, deal with clients, and write specs.

Other companies place less value on those skills.

Whether these additional skills make up for less programming experience depends on a combination of you, the market in which you work, the domain in which you work, and the needs of the company hiring you.

When seeking your next position, emphasize the abilities you have which others might not have, and try to find companies that value your particular combination of skills.


I think it might be a plus. You can emphasize the fact that you understand better what the client wants, you can insist on the fact that you have good communication skills and global knowledge in BA.

When I visit a client, I like (but developpers often dislike) bringing a dev with me. The client feels more confident because he knows the person who will work on his project.

But it will all depend on the companies. Some companies will want you to be an excellent developper and won't care about your other skills, some companies will be happy that you can do both, even if it makes you a bit less good at programming.

To finish with, I'd like to address the fact that I have pretty much the same experience. I know I'm not as good as 40hrs-a-week programmers, but this allows me to have a better vision of the whole projects.


Experience in anything makes a programmer a more valuable worker.

A programmer writes programs. Programs are lists of instructions. The more you know, the more you can write instructions about. Analytical positions help you make the jump from some abstract thing to a concrete representation, which is also important in writing instructions. Having knowledge in many fields can let you think about things in many contexts which might help you with certain core programming abilities like abstraction.

Programmers should have experience in as many things as possible.

  • Well even though it is true all experience makes a programmer more valuable at work, keep it in mind that the gathering of other kind of experience always takes time and energy away from programming skills. – CsBalazsHungary Jul 23 '14 at 19:26
  • I was going to add that to the end of answer, but then I decided to be brief. Now your comment has put it at the bottom of my post anyways. :) – RetiredAssistant Jul 23 '14 at 19:59

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