December 31, 2018 Comments Off on Sales engineer career path #3: Product development
It’s time for the next installment in the ongoing series about career paths for sales engineers seeking new opportunities. This time around, I’m going to talk about the pros and cons of moving into product development. Before I begin, it’s important to understand that this is one of the more challenging transitions, largely because the skills necessary to be an effective SE can be so different than those that characterize the most productive developers. With that said, here goes:
- Sense of ownership. SEs flit between opportunities; product developers stay involved throughout the lifecycle of the technology they’re building.
- Better base salary. In general (but not always), product developers earn a higher base salary than SEs.
- Less travel. If you’re tired of those 6 am flights to remote client sites, product development might be a welcome relief.
- Less variability. There are fewer subjective factors – such as client whims and sales representatives who can’t sell – that can block your achievements when you move into product development.
- Technically demanding. If your skills aren’t up to par, you’ll really need to put in the educational effort to meet the requirements of your new job.
- Less upside. While product developers may have a larger base salary, thanks to commission SEs can really hit the jackpot if they have a particularly good year.
- Risk of outsourcing. Don’t kid yourself: if your employer can save one dollar a year on your salary by moving your job offshore, they’ll do it. In contrast, it’s nearly impossible to outsource SEs.
- Less interaction with customers. Plenty of SEs really savor the opportunity to meet with prospects and clients; product developers rarely get the chance. Some SEs find being ‘chained to a desk’ to be too confining.
Making the transition
It’s a big leap to move from the sales organization to the product development team. Here are some steps that can make this migration less painful:
- Find one or more champions in product development
- Discretely meet with them to learn more about what it takes to succeed in their group
- When ready, approach your manager and express your desire to make the change
- Once you get the go-ahead, work with HR to find a position in product development
- Work on a mutually agreeable timeline to switch roles
If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider. You can read other sales engineering-related posts here.
November 30, 2018 Comments Off on Five great starting points to transition into a Sales Engineering career
For years, I’ve been describing the numerous advantages – and minimal drawbacks – of a career as a sales engineer:
- I’ve written about traits that one should possess to increase the likelihood of success
- I’ve discussed follow-on career paths
I’ve even told you about bad behaviors that will curtail (or abruptly end) your sales engineering career
What I haven’t yet talked about are some of the jobs that lend themselves to transitioning into a sales engineering role, so that’s what this series is going to be all about. Here, in no particular order, are five of the most logical starting points to becoming a sales engineer:
- Technical support. You’re charged with answering customer questions and/or resolving product issues
- Marketing. You design, own, and/or promote the product or service
- Customer success. You ensure that clients have a positive experience when deploying the product or service
- Product implementation. You’re responsible for moving the product or service from concept into production for the customer
- Development. You build and/or maintain the product or service
I’ll be writing about each of these roles in more detail. If you’re interested in being notified of future editions, subscribe to the blog or follow me on Twitter: @RD_Schneider. You can read other sales engineering-related posts here.
May 31, 2018 Comments Off on AWS Neptune graph database training now available
Currently in preview mode, Amazon’s new Neptune graph database offering will be a game changer. By democratizing access to graph data, it will spawn innumerable new initiatives.
I’m proud to announce the availability of the WiseClouds’ Amazon Web Services Neptune Graph Database Design & Development course. Available for private delivery (both via live Webinar as well as onsite), these hands-on classes are highly customizable based on client requirements. To learn more and download the syllabus, visit here.
February 28, 2018 Comments Off on DB-Engines.com: A very helpful database technology comparison site
I’ve been working with all sorts of databases for a really long time, and I’ve never seen the industry as dynamic and diverse as it is right now. Unfortunately, if you’re evaluating databases – relational, NoSQL, or otherwise – it can be very difficult to obtain a high-level, vendor-neutral view of your options.
Lately I’ve been spending a fair amount of time on the DB-Engines website in support of some research initiatives that I’m carrying out. DB-Engines provides a wealth of really useful information, including:
- Database rankings
- A compendium of database solutions
- A glossary of key terms
- Side-by-side product comparisons
If you’re interested in learning more about which database technology is best for you and your organization, it’s definitely worth dropping by.
January 30, 2018 Comments Off on Swagger Inspector from SmartBear: a very nice free online tool for testing APIs
SmartBear, makers of ReadyAPI (the most comprehensive and widely adopted Web service and REST API testing platform) have just released an excellent, free tool for carrying out quick and easy interactions with your API.
Swagger Inspector does a superb job of working with APIs (all HTTP methods are available), and it supports parameters, authentication & headers, and message payloads. It even generates OpenAPI documentation. If you’re designing, developing, testing, or simply using an API, you’ll want to check out this exciting new offering.
August 31, 2017 Comments Off on SoapUI training & certification track at SmartBear Connect on September 12
If you’re going to be in the Boston area on September 12, and would like to learn how to deliver high quality APIs by applying robust functional, performance, and security tests, be sure to check out the special training course that will take place during the SmartBear Connect user conference.
This all-day class – which is usually only available for private organizations – will be delivered by SmartBear’s Mike Giller using a significant subset of the training materials WiseClouds presents during private sessions. Mike will discuss:
- The ReadyAPI Platform
- Establishing Connectivity to your APIs
- Developing Functional Tests
- Validating API Responses with Assertions
- Data-Driven Testing & Programmatic Test Control
- Performance Testing & Virtualization
- Best Practices for ReadyAPI
Along with increasing your skill levels, attending this class will prepare you for the optional SoapUI certification exam. And to make things even more interesting, there will be additional tracks and events dedicated to the other major components in SmartBear’s far-reaching product portfolio.
You can learn more here.