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.