To expand on all that though, if you like teaching about technology / speaking in groups you might want to look into Developer Relations (titles in this space are usually either Developer Advocate or Technical Evangelist, but there are others). A typical DevRel is employed by a technology company looking to build relationships with dev/ops people that use their products as a userbase / audience. Within that space, DevRels are expected to have relevant industry knowledge (e.g. a DevRel where I work might have a background in IT and incident management / response, but a DevRel working at a monitoring company would be expected to have a background in that space). DevRels typically create content around their area(s) of expertise, in the form of talks / presentations (in person or virtual), blog posts, webinars, etc.
Quintessence recommends the following next steps:
You may consider working as a Program Manager, Technical Program Manager or Product Manager in the Tech industry.
As a program manager you are in charge of delivering a product and driving a cross functional team to get there. You have to understand the technology side but also the people you are working with. You have to interact with tons of people and understand what are their motivations and goals, you have to be able to influence teams and present to leadership. At the end of the day you are responsible of getting the product out of the door but you leverage your large crossfunctional team. As a product manager you are more focused on the business side of the product. You also have to interact with many people but is more related to the business case than to the crossfunctional work to get the product done. I would say a Product Manager defines the what and a Program manager defines the how and executes on it. I am a program manager for IoT devices. I have a background in engineering but love working with people and learning new things all the time. Hope this helps!
Irene recommends the following next steps:
I'll offer you a completely different option. You might want to consider working the IT industry analyst community either with an analyst firm, like Gartner, IDC, Forrester, of Frost & Sullivan, or with a vendor in an analyst relations role.
As an analyst you will conduct research by speaking with both IT end-users learning about how they use technology to support their business goal, enable employees to do their jobs, and deliver the best customer experiences to end-users. Also, depending on your level of knowledge and experience, you may also find yourself speaking with clients to advise them on how to apply IT to solve their business challenges.
With IT vendors, you can work as an analyst relations professional, typically a part of the corporate communications or product marketing teams, where you become the resident expert about industry analysts from whom you and your colleagues can learn about the markets in which the company competes and teach them about your company's role in those markets.
In either role, every day you are having conversations with colleagues/industry analysts about information technology and how it is used to address business goals and outcomes. Either way you become part of a global community of industry analysts which constitutes some of the most knowledgeable and intelligent thinkers about leading trends in the information technology industry.
Jerry recommends the following next steps:
Possibly an IT help desk professional is in your future, helping people troubleshooting their tech sounds like your tools play nicely together.
Certainly, IT help desk personnel need to have technical knowledge and the ability to troubleshoot problems. However, assessing problems and identifying solutions for help desk customers goes well beyond the technical skills. For example, they also need to communicate effectively with the customer to understand the problem and communicate the solution. Also, some people are energized by problems and the challenge to solve them. In addition to helping the customer, they really enjoy the satisfaction of identifying solutions and solving problems.
Good Luck Urv
in many tech companies you typically have a sales rep or "account executive" who drives the overall sales transaction with customers. They are paired with a solutions or sales consultant, who is technical person who helps customers with their requirements, doing demos and answering technical questions. Lots of talking :-) and very technical.
After the sale, then you have people helping them implement the technology or answering technical or support questions they may have.
Take a look at all of them
Interfacing with business partners is key here. It is a career with potential to move in many different directions from highly technical to business focused.
Another position worth looking into might be for Developer Advocate -- they work at a company and act as a go between for external developers using a company's APIs, and also for helping the company understand what external developers need.
You can read more about this here: https://medium.com/@ashleymcnamara/what-is-developer-advocacy-3a92442b627c
A technical consulting role sounds like it might be a good fit. You have options to work for consulting or software organizations. It combines both your desire to work with people as well as leverage your technical knowledge. These organizations have great training programs to keep your skills up to date and you learn from working with your team as well as clients. The work changes as your project assignment changes which allows you to work with new teammates, clients and apply your skills in many different industries. These companies also have other avenues you can take such as project management, sales and customer support as you plot your career path.
Best of luck to you.
Say, I agree with some of the answers provided. Production support is a great place to start if you are newer to technology and or want to learn about a new business or platform. From there, you can review career paths into leadership or deeper into technical areas that interest you.
I think even a role as a business analyst, product owner/manager would be good; bridging the ever narrowing gap between IT and the business. There is so much collaboration between teams, with engagements at many levels of management (good for networking and growing your career). It is tough to find resources that are great at being that liaison, and who translate technology concepts into a language the business can understand.
Enjoy the day!
For an option outside of sales, technical engineering support. You would intake customer issues, troubleshoot/fix and then move onto the next issue.
Lauren recommends the following next steps:
The ability to work well with others and communicate effectively can be impact in any profession you choose. If you love building relationships and want to gain a broader skillset there, technical recruiting is a great choice! There's a different between in-house recruiting (where you work for the company directly that you recruit for) and agency recruiting (where it's a mix of sales and recruiting where you help other companies find great talent).
Although if you're passionate about tech and want that to be the main part of your day-to-day, go after the role that best aligns with your technical skillset and you can build a path to management where you'll also get to work with people on a daily basis.
If you like to talk to people outside of the company you are working for, I think in general, good places to focus on are: Sales, Customer Sucess Management, Technical Account Management, Product Management, or Customer Support. At different levels, all of them require customer interactions and your tech background and interest would be helpful if you are working for a technology company.
If you want to focus more on 'non-customer facing' interactions, it can go from Corporate IT to Development. They will also require interactions but they will be more internal with your colleagues than with customers.
Hope this helps.
So, what is Sales Engineering? Let me start with a bit of background. When you use Uber, you expect the app to work smoothly and quickly. If it doesn't, you would try Lyft. Uber doesn't want you to switch to Lyft, so behind-the-scenes they have implemented multiple technology tools (for security, reporting, customer support, etc.) to ensure the best customer experience. Now how did Uber make the decision to select the best tools for their specific technical requirements? Just like anything else, they have a lot of choices. Simply put, the sales teams for these different tools/vendors engaged with Uber as to why they should be chosen. Sales Engineers are at the forefront of this sales effort to ensure that there is a perfect technical match between their tool/solution and Uber's requirements.
What does a Sales Engineer do? A Sales Engineer is also known as a Solutions Engineer, Pre-Sales Consultant, Technical Sales Consultant, Systems Engineer (in Hardware-product companies), even a Technical Account Manager or simply an SE. No matter the designation, the primary function of a Sales Engineer is to partner with Sales reps/ Account Managers and facilitate transactions from a technical perspective. This involves presenting, implementing, assisting, and evangelizing the solution in a way that imposes a raving desire on the prospect (ex. Uber) to become a customer. They also communicate internally within the company with other teams like customer success, customer support, Product Management, Product marketing, and engineering teams to ensure that customer sentiment is at the forefront.
As you can notice, the job of the Sales Engineer resides at the intersection of the 3 main worlds: The world of technology, the world of sales, the world of People!
Abhijit recommends the following next steps:
For me, I started with Project Management which is a bit more of a traditional role and practice that spans many types of tech companies and non tech companies. In this role you work with teams and developers to help them plan, track, collaborate, execute and communicate their work. Most of the time you would be working with people internal to the company to help coordinate communication, collaboration and delivery. I enjoyed this but also found it a bit too rigorous a framework for such an innovative space. From there I moved into Product Management, in this role you are spending a lot of time working with customers to gather data and then internal teams such as, support, engineering, marketing and more to coordinate and build the best product. This role is more business and customer focused than it is internal people and process related. For me I preferred focusing on the people internal to my company and how to help them. Finally I found the role of a Scrum Master / Agile Coach which was the perfect balance for me. In this role I work with teams and leadership to coach them on how they can be most effective in their roles and teams. Focusing on collaboration and iterative development. This is a very people focused role.
Roma recommends the following next steps:
If I'm not sure how much you love technology, but I would recommend a program manager job at a large tech company. This role can be very technical or not very technical, depending on what projects you lead, but because you are responsible for the program/project, you end up socializing with a wide variety of people. On a day to day basis, you have to talk to the engineers, stake holders, other PMs, etc.
The best thing about this job is that the salary scale is really high, and at least in the bay area, the starting salary for a junior level PM is in the six figures. After bonus, stock, etc, the total compensation for this role is pretty crazy, IMHO.
Hope this helps and best of luck in your search!
But more and more, building large software systems is a team sport. We work in groups, and even those groups need to talk to each other and coordinate work. And to become a leader in the software engineering field, communication skills - oral and written - are extremely important. Senior software engineers spend a lot of their time talking to people, and even giving talks to large audiences. And for people who are managing these teams, this is true as well. I spend probably 90% of my day talking to people all over the company!
If you have interest in technology, it's worth your time to at least explore software engineering. If the engineering side isn't interesting to you, there are lots of good suggestions here like Product Management, Developer Evangelist, etc. But if you find that you enjoy writing code, don't stop because you're worried that you won't get to talk to people!