IT - programming and much more

by Ewelina Nurczyk in: Working in Poland, 29 Nov 2016     0 Comments

The IT sector is not only about the secret knowledge possessed by programmers. Common misconceptions do not do justice to the variety of IT jobs. Thanks to recent market trends, Polish IT's offer is expanding and verging on non-traditional areas.

Poland sees the IT sector as one of the most robust industries within its economy, with IT services being its largest component, constituting the share of up to 29 percent of the entire IT market value and employing about 140,000 people. Despite declines on international IT markets (Gartner 2016), Poland's IT is supposed to grow 6 percent per year according to the Future Market Insights forecast for 2020. It is facilitated by the inflow of foreign investment, advanced technology, mergers and acquisitions, which introduce diverse IT companies to the market. Over 55,000 large IT employers offer services ranging from technology & telecom (the biggest group) and BPO services, to banking, insurance and other financial areas. Seeing the vastness of IT in Poland, a popular yet thoroughly wrong idea that all these organisations comprise solely of programmers needs revision. Programming is indeed a core element, but apart from Java or C# experts, modern Polish companies seek a broader spectrum of candidates. There are a few job positions we need to keep an eye on and the ABSL IT Services Market in Poland report (2015) confirms that employers in Poland are highly interested in narrow specialisations. Thanks to the professional profiles below, foreigners can see which direction to take in order for their Polish career to thrive.

Project management

This field of IT activities is on the rise and over 90 percent of Polish companies focus on training efficient project managers, as agile methodologies are to stay for good in Poland. PMs, as they are often called, are born organisers – they ensure that all activities are finished on time and within the specified budget, launch new products and software, delineate responsibility and are the first ones to embrace change. This position is obviously not restricted to the IT sector, but its popularity in this field is growing. The requirements are pretty high and consist of a mixture of soft skills, leadership abilities and expert technical knowledge related to the type of business a company is focused on.

Project manager’s common tasks:

  • planning, scoping and organising resources, budget and schedule;

  • reporting to the management about project status and mapping project risks;

  • mentoring team members;

  • distributing tasks and managing people;

  • troubleshooting.

In Polish companies PM positions are often acting as Scrum Masters.

Business System Analysis

43 percent of IT companies operating in Poland provide services related to the field of business analysis. Analysts of business systems are often members of Quality Assurance teams within their organisations. In this position it is desired for them to have previous knowledge of computer science (preferably a degree), but also strong interpersonal skills and a business-oriented mind. Their task is to improve processes after having deduced what fails to work properly. This requires interaction with managers and system users, determining business system goals, and finally implementing changes with the use of integration technologies.

Business system analyst’s common tasks:

  • communication with co-users of the system and providing guidance for them;

  • designing and formatting system frame;

  • ensuring cost-effective and efficient solutions;

  • designing flowcharts for programmers to follow;

  • troubleshooting.

Know-it-all - if that is how you can be described, this job is for you.

Data administration

Data is the new business currency and figures prove it: 44 percent of Polish IT companies provide data-related services. Those who enjoy mixing IT knowledge with new technologies may find this area of IT activities particularly close to their interests and become for instance DBAs, short for database administrators. DBAs take care of databases within a company they are part of, making extra sure that they run smoothly and are properly secured. This position requires knowledge of database systems, so getting familiar with SQL, Unix and DBMS is a focal point for candidates. The responsibilities may obviously vary – from simply maintaining of a database, to developing it in order to adjust it to users’ needs.

Database administrator’s common tasks:

  • establishing user needs;

  • monitoring security and access solutions;

  • making and reviewing technical design plans;

  • implementing and testing new versions of databases;;

  • recovering lost data and troubleshooting;

  • upgrading and patching if necessary.

Which is faster? Inserting 1 million rows of data or updating them? – you can expect such a question!

Cloud services

Data storage is one of the most burning questions in modern organisations. Although there are data administration services, a specific subgroup of them has been emerging in Polish IT companies – cloud services. One of the most common positions is that of a cloud architect, who helps build cloud computing systems. Thanks to them companies can be actually based in their entirety on clouds, which in turn allows easy access to all sorts of data for all members of a given organisation. The job requires, apart from certain technical skills usually related to network engineering and security management, innovation and thirst for more visionary improvements. Choose this position if you truly enjoy looking up… to the clouds.

Cloud architect’s common tasks:

  • designing solution implementation;

  • maintaining system architecture;

  • supporting current clients’ needs;

  • providing backup;

  • constant system monitoring.

Will we need hard discs in the future if all our data is going to be stored in cloud systems?

Testing

The necessity of avoiding pitfalls makes testers invaluable to every kind of business. Testing takes place in software development, applications and even computer games and the ABSL report mentions it as one of the narrow specialisations that employers are really interested in. Thanks to the process, a certain product is proven to meet technical and business requirements that have been set forth. Testers are not necessarily programmers, but they do need to have some specific knowledge of coding in order to spot where their product is likely to crash. They can join a certain project from the start or be introduced towards the end of works in order to review it in a critical moment right before implementation. The job of a tester sometimes requires working in a larger team, so soft skills may be broadly applicable as well.

Tester’s common tasks:

  • reviewing software requirements;

  • analysing and designing test cases;

  • preparing test scripts; 

  • project planning;

  • reporting and documenting test results.

September 9th is the international Tester’s Day.

Network infrastructure

Most companies have dedicated networks, which need constant attention and supervision. Corporate networks can be really complex and may require special certifications from their potential admins, often called engineers. There is a great deal of networks to work with, the most common ones starting with LANs (those limited to an office or a building), WANs (covering national or even international areas), WLANs (wireless local area networks) or VoIPs (the Internet telephony – voice over IP). Moreover, network engineers should be communicative and possess problem-solving skills – they often work as IT support for their colleagues. Their duties vary depending on the type of network they serve and the company.

Network engineer’s common tasks:

  • setting up corporate networks;

  • constant improvement of current solutions;

  • integrating LAN, WAN, Internet, and intranet components;

  • reporting network statuses;

  • cooperating with PMs, DBAs and other IT workers support and troubleshooting.

The number of jobs will grow steadily up to 8 percent through 2024 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics).

The list of a few narrow specialisations favoured by Polish employers in the IT sector is the beginning of arising more sought-after positions in the years to come. In 2020, the IT market in Poland is projected to reach the value of USD 6,245.8 million and the country is one of the places to look out for among other key IT players. Young graduates and older experts can all choose from the spectrum of jobs related to databases, networks, software and computer systems… The major advantage? New fields emerge so rapidly that a new niche is created for qualified experts almost every day. Staying out of Poland means missing out on some major opportunities from the IT sector.


Our experts: 

 

Adrien Martignoles 

Systems Engineer at Infosys Poland
In Poland since: October 2014
Joined IT in: 2013

Working in IT is like being a student all your life: there are always new things to discover. Although I am a Software Engineer, I have
a very active part in all the steps of the software life cycle and can watch it being used by a large number of people all around the
world. This is where I see the importance of IT for the business.


 

Nils Procksch

HPIT Global Delivery Information Management EMEA at Hewlett Packard Enterprise
In Poland since: 2017
Joined IT in: 2006

In most modern companies, business and IT departments are converging, while IT resources become more and more business focused. Our role as an IT department is to increase the business value by providing the right technologies. Therefore, you need to engage with the business counterparts and understand the processes and requirements. That gives you a unique insight into multiple areas.

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Author
Ewelina Nurczyk

Ewelina Nurczyk

Editor

Contact the author

Junior Editor at CareersinPoland.com. A graduate of English studies and Polish language and literature at Warsaw University, specialising in teaching Polish to foreigners. 

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