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Sorting out job titles

Hi,

I was wondering if anyone knew what the difference between these job titles are:

*Application Analyst
*Programmer Analyst
*Systems Analyst

From the research I have done so far, they seem to be geared towards the same end of working as a mid-level, full application life-cycle developer, as opposed to an entry level programmer. 

Do you think most business application developer jobs would fall into one of the following categories:
*Programmer : entry level
*Analyst : mid-level
*Architecht : senior level

Cletus
Monday, November 10, 2003

Job Titles can be very meaningless.

Myself and another "Programmer Analyst" can design, code & architect circles around our 2 senior Architects!!!

They just have more time with the company and have the titles by default......

Politics we have to deal with....

GenX'er
Monday, November 10, 2003

That combination is confusing if you ask me.

steven512
Monday, November 10, 2003

GenX'er,

Would you say that the distinction, in your case,  between the analyst and architecht would be one not only in title but in prestige and compensation as well?  I ask because, I'm sure there are probably programmers who could run circles in "analysis" around anaylst, and run circles in architecture around architechts, but the title distinctions, although vague, seem to indicate a sort of hierarchy in respectability and compensenation.

Cletus
Monday, November 10, 2003

Cletus,

That's exactly how it is! How did you guess?

As one stays with the company one continues to get promoted until eventually you are a senior architect by default not by any technical skill.

Baically these architects go to more meetings than we do and are kinnda in charge. But when it comes to really understanding the requirements, architecture & implementations they are really clueless and us Programmer Analysts do the "real work". They eventually rely on us for most of the technical work and thry become more like assistant project managers and production support specialists (fixing trouble tickets).

GenX'er
Monday, November 10, 2003

De'ja vu

Sathyaish Chakravarthy
Monday, November 10, 2003

ha. sorting out job titles -- good luck!

This is not a criticism of the civilian world, but about 90% of job titles in the civilian world appear to be largely meaningless. just seems to be the nature of the beast. I've worked in 7-8 different organizations in the last 10 years alone, and during that time have evaluated the organizational design, processes, and performance of about 40 other organizations, all of this as a civilian, so I've seen quite a bit. Most job titles just aren't very informative, certainly not beyond the most "gross" aspects of what they convey.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, but it is inconvenient, and fwiw, this is something one should keep in mind when interviewing (on both sides of the table). Both parties need to be clear about who constitutes the power structure, who's a peer, and who's a subordinate, because it's just not too safe to make assumptions in this area from one organization to another.

It also doesn't help that for whatever reason, a few titles seem to get really abused, such as 'analyst' and 'engineer'. As an actual degreed engineer in a traditional engineering discipline, plus MS-graduate work (less thesis) in a second engineering discipline, it irks me to see a maintenance/janitorial person referred to as a 'sanitation engineer', or a maintenance technician as an 'engineer'. As a professionally schooled and trained analyst (Operations Research), it also bugs me to see folks ranging from somebody doing simple data entry to some low-level accountant being called an 'analyst', when none of them would know the first thing about decision science, multi-attribute decision making, risk analysis, or wtf the difference is between a global and a local optimum. So these two common terms -- analyst and engineer -- seem to be overused and diluted into being pretty much meaningless for trying to discern just what a person actually does.

My advice wr2 job titles -- just ask specifically what the person in question does and find out how they relate to you and your job. It's a good bet if you try to infer from their title, you'll be wrong.

anonQAguy
Monday, November 10, 2003

I think job titltes are generally a bad idea.  At our company, we have a director, who is our boss, and everyone else.  *BUT*, if instead I was "java program analyst", and the guy next to me was "senior html programmer", and two cubes down was "senior java system analyst", things would go less smoothly.  There would be an artificial sense of "authority" that one person has over me, and that I have over the HTML guy, even though non exists.  Even though I can write HTML, since i'm a "programmer", it would be easy for me to say "sorry, its not my job to help you with HTML", etc.   

vince
Monday, November 10, 2003

As far as I can tell, job  titles exist mainly as a convenience for HR folks to determine what the pay level, vacation time, etc. is for the position.  Other than that, they seem to have very little bearing on what it is that you actually do.  For example, my own official title is Information Technologist.  What that means is anybody's guess.  What it means in practice is that if it runs on electricity, it's probably within my job description to deal with it.  This includes such seemingly disparate tasks as cryogen maintenance on an NMR, software development, applications training, luminance calibration of display devices, and audio/visual equipment support.

Matt Latourette
Monday, November 10, 2003

I am having a tough time accepting what you are all saying in regards to Job titles being meaningless. I guess if we didn’t have job titles, but we were still attached to teams and organizations with titles, that might still work. The main benefit I seek is to be able to say “it is the testing teams fault” and without Job titles, I am afraid nobody will know who I mean. :P

m
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

For most intents and purposes, job titles are useless.

I remember working in a company where people had job titles that were totally useless. Within the company, no one used them.

You were the Finance guy, or the One running project XYZ. It was at that time that I refused to have a job title on my business card. It meant nothing to anyone I would give my card to.

Tapiwa
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Job titles are, by and large, meaningless and set by HR to determine your salary and benefits.

This is definitely what happens here, and it has the (probably) unintended side effect of since I know what everybody's job title is, I can make a good guess at what most people's salary is.

What does work better though, is having a quality plan for a project which has the reporting and responsibility tree written out, by the project team. This has a better buy in from everybody and a better chance of people understanding an accepting who does what and why.

Better Than Being Unemployed...
Tuesday, November 11, 2003

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