Software Engineers Need to Understand the Business Applications

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A lot of software developers and software engineers say that they understand the business but what they really mean is that they understand how the internal processes in a company work. They are only looking at from a technical perspective. While important, the IT professional should also understand why the business applications are important in the company’s marketplace.

IT professionals tend to discount their business applications knowledge. They see their value in terms of expertise with tools and technologies, with only a brief mention of aligning the outcome of their project with business goals.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. Knowledge of business applications is every bit as important as your technical knowledge. It should command space on your resume.

Consider, for example, a healthcare employer who is seeking a database developer for their claims management systems. You have lots of Oracle experience, but the employer uses SQL Server. If you only mention technology, your resume will be lost in the crowd. However, when your resume also describes your claims processing experience, including the fact that you have worked extensively with Common Electronic Data Interchange (CEDI) for Medicare claims, you now stand out from the crowd. The wise employer knows that it is much faster, easier, and cheaper to teach an Oracle developer to work with SQL Server, than to teach a SQL developer about the healthcare industry.