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Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Top 6 Career Options for Experienced Java Developers in 2024 [UPDATED]

Hello guys, If you are an experienced Java programmer who has done a good amount of coding and development, like someone with more than 5 to 8 years of experience, working as a senior Java developer or a technical lead and wondering how to grow to the next level, then you have come to the right place. In this article, I'll share six career options and Jobs experienced developers like you can choose to take your career to the next level. Apart from becoming a project manager, which is what many programmers wanted, there are other more technical and better career opportunities are available now. It's especially great for Programmers with less or no people management skills or who love coding and development and always want to remain hands-on.

It's essential for you to choose the right career option depending upon your personal sill set because becoming a project manager or going into people management without having those skills could be frustrating at times, mainly, because you don't want to get frustrated getting a job done by developers which you can do it yourself and quickly.

People management is also a very different skill where you need to work closely with both higher and lower levels like you need to talk regularly with business, executives, and other more senior management to chalk out deliveries but you also need to work with developers, QA, and other resources to get that job done. It's not easy, especially if you have to manage a big team.

On the other hand, a more technical career path like becoming a DevOps specialist, a Scrum Master, or a Software Architect is better for programmers who always want to remain hands-on and close to technology. There is a lot of demand for an experienced and skilled programmer, and you should never think that you will be obsolete and out of the market if you keep doing coding for years.

Many Organizations like big Investment banks are also promoting the technical career path and positions, where you can go up to quite a high level like Director, Vice President, and Executive Director by remaining professional and good at your job.

6 Best Career Options for Experienced Java Developers in 2024

Anyway, without wasting any more of your time, here is my list of some of the best career options an experienced Java developer, or in general, an experienced software developer can choose to go from coding and development to the next level in his career.

1. DevOps Engineer

This is another new opportunity for experienced developers. There's no formal career track for becoming a DevOps engineer.

They are either developers who get interested in deployment and network operations, or sysadmins who have a passion for scripting and coding, and move into the development side where they can improve the planning of test and deployment.

This means if you are an experienced Java programmer with a passion for managing the environment, automation, and improving overall structure, you can become a DevOps Engineer.

If you are looking for some excellent resources, then Learn DevOps: CI/CD with Jenkins using Pipelines and Docker is a great course to start with, particularly for Java developers.

Top 5 Career Opportunities Senior Java Developers Can Pursue in 2019

A solution architect is responsible for the design of one or more applications or services within an organization and is typically part of a solution development team.

He or she must have a balanced mix of technical and business skills, and will often work with an enterprise architect for strategic direction.

The job of a solution architect is to translate requirements created by functional analysts into the architecture for that solution and describe it through architecture and design artifacts.

To be a competent Solution Architect, you should have a good understanding of fundamentals like Data Structure and Algorithms as well as System Design and Design patterns. You should also be aware of different programming languages and technology stacks like Java, .NET, and other Web stacks to choose the right one for the job.

If you are serious about becoming a solution architect in 2024 and need a resource, I strongly suggest you join the How To Become An Outstanding Solution Architect course by Mark Farragher on Udemy.  It will teach you all the soft and hard skills you need to take your architectural design skills to the next level. I just bought it yesterday at Udemy's NEW YEAR Sale.

How to become Java Solution or Software Architect in 2020

If you like books, then you can also read my list of 5 must-read books for Solution architects or software architects.

3. Scrum Master

If you have worked in an Agile environment, then you definitely have heard about Scrum meetings and Scrum master. The job of Scrum Master is to run Scrum meetings daily and solve any blocker which is coming on your way. It requires a little bit of project management and subject matter skills, as well as some coordination skills along with.

This is a relatively new career option as compared to Business Analyst and Project Manager but becoming increasingly popular among companies that follow Agile methodologies for development.

If you have a pleasant experience with your project and your business area, then you can become a Scrum Master.

You can learn some essential Scrum skills or even go for Scrum certification to further improve your chances.

Java developer to Scrum Master

4. Business Analyst

The analyst is involved in the design or modification of business systems or IT systems. The analyst interacts with the business stakeholders and subject matter experts to understand their problems and needs.

The Business Analyst gathers documents and analyzes business needs and requirements. If you are new to Business Analysis and wondering about your role, I suggest you take a look at Business Analysis Fundamentals, one of the excellent courses on the topic.

I highly recommend this course to both aspiring Business Analysts and developers who have to do Business Analysis as part of their job.

Java developer to business Analyst

5. Project Manager

The project manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the project and must be competent in managing the six aspects of a project, like a scope, schedule, finance, risk, quality, and resources.

As a project manager, your job is to plan, budget, oversee, and document all aspects of the specific project you are working on. Project managers may work closely with upper management.

If you are new to project management and struggling to get control over your project, I suggest you start with Beginning Project Management: Project Management Level One, one of the better courses to understand project management basics.

I highly recommend this course to all developers who aspire to become project managers.

Java developer to Project Manager

6. Developer Advocate

If you ae passionate about a particularly technology or product like IntelliJIDEA then you can also become a Developer Advocate. This is a specialized role which acts as a liaison between company and its developer community. 

In recent years, I have seen many senior developer opting for this role as it also give them an opportunity to establish themselves as an authority on that particular tool or technology and build their online profile as an Influencer. 

So, this role has best of both world and if you want to become Developer Advocate, I suggest you to find out more about it before you jump into it. If you need a resource the Developer Advocate book by Packt is a great place to start with. It's been written by none other than Geertjan Wielenga, the man behind NetBeans IDE, one of the most popular IDE for Java developer. 

That's all about some of the career options for experienced Java programmers, like someone with 8 to 15 years of experience. I know many of you don't want to go to the people management path and want to remain hands-on with coding and whatever you are doing at the moment. 

If so, then you should choose between a Solution Architect and DevOps Engineer. Both are very hands-on roles, and you will remain with technology.

On the other hand, if you are now thinking of moving away from coding and exploring more options on leadership or people management and product management, then Scrum Master, Business Analyst, and Project Manager roles are great for you.

In recent years, a few new roles also emerged as SRE or Site Reliability engineer who creates a bridge between Development and IT operations by taking on the tasks typically done by operations. Then there is the Developer Advocate who represents the developer's interest and helps them use their tools more productivity. If your interest lies their then you can also checkout those roles.

Other Tech and Programming Articles you may like to explore:

Thanks for reading this article so far. If you like this article, then please share it with your friends and colleagues. If you have any questions or feedback, then please drop a note.

P. S. - Out of all these, Solution Architect is my favorite job because you can still remain hands-on with coding. If you aspire to become a Solution architecture then I highly recommend you to check out the How To Become An Outstanding Solution Architect course by Mark Farragher on Udemy to learn all the hard and soft skills required to become a solution architect in 2024.

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