Computer Science Critical Thinkings Example
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A Computer Science (CS) degree provides a range of opportunities for the students ranging from theory based profession with the help of programming in development and designing of software solutions and programs. This degree significantly helps the students to adapt to new creative ideas and technology. The work of computer science generally falls into three main areas – development of ways to solve computing issues; building a software and developing new technological state of the art products such as computer vision, robotics, etc. The opportunities are wide, but the career opportunity of becoming a software developer and product manager after completion of Computer Science degree will compare (Wiegers, p.1).
Product Manager versus software developer
Product managers mostly work at companies that create software that is being sold in the market. They have a more outward facing approach towards tasks as they are more customer-oriented. The reason for this is that they intend to develop products that meet the needs and requirements of the customers. Hence, the product managers are concerned with the products the competitors are offering and any change in business dynamics. On the other hand, if you intend to choose software developing as your profession, you will be more concerned with the features of the process and different stages of software development. In short, the software developers make softwares that the world can use (Allan, p.4).
A product manager is sometimes known as the CEO of the product that is developed and is associated with aligning the different activities and processes that are interlinked to provide the product that meets the needs and requirements of the customers. In software development, the role of product managers varies through different stages of the product lifecycle. In the development stage as mentioned earlier, the product manager meets the target audience who will use the product and focus on their requirements, whereas in the later stages of lifecycle he is involved in the testing phase and acceptance of the product (Allan, p.4). Hence, throughout the lifecycle, the product manager is involved in meeting the needs of the customers, evaluate the competition and changing market trends and uses this information to develop and bring changes to the product. For example, a product manager will decide which feature is needed in the product because the users require it or because to hold a competitive advantage. On the other hand, if the student wants to choose the profession of software development you should know that your work will involve testing, researching about the specification, designing the product and implementation of it. The software development tasks may involve software project management, programming and designing of the software. The software developer participates more on the application level of the project rather than programming or component level (Develop Ebook, p.1).
In order to ensure that the software life cycle is implemented properly, the product manager sets out a vision for developing and designing the product and provides a general framework for taking the product based decisions. Apart from this, the product managers play an integral role in ensuring that a cohesive environment is created for all the team members, and they collaborate well with each other and share a common goal to complete the development phase efficiently (Martin, p.9). The software developer is focused primarily on the software development, designing and coding of the programme. They neither deal with the customers directly nor play managerial roles to maintain cohesiveness, but definitely try to maintain the team coordination and collaboration which is essential in every field (Develop Ebook, p.1).
Product manager is a complete package of both technical and human knowledge and expertise. Not only he needs to have technical knowledge of software development and terms related to it, but also you have to be a people’s person as you will need to focus on the customer's needs and requirements more to help in product development.The product manager visits the customer – both who has purchased the product and the one who hasn’t. This visit is not required for selling the software or understanding the reasons for not purchasing, but to understand the needs and requirements of the customers (Martin, p.9). The software developer should have programming skills which are a must and a prerequisite for the job. The knowledge of the particular computing language will depend upon the requirements of the company. The software developer should be comfortable using the web-based programs, as well as the traditional language and softwares such as Visual Basic and Java. Along with this the job of software developer also looks for current knowledge of hardware and software, strong communication skills, teamwork, understanding of the business concepts and an eye for detailing and problem identification (Hohmann, p.10).
Many software developers take training sessions, so they are able to stay up-to-date with the current trends in the Information Technology sector. The software developers can progress towards becoming the Product Manager as they improve their skills and expertise.
The product manager has greater responsibility for the software developer has, you have to keep an eye on the needs and requirements of the customers along with a significant role playing the development and implementation of the software development. The software developer primarily focuses on each and every stage of software development and play an integral role in the creation and problem identification.
Allan Kelly, The Product Manager Role (2010), p.4 http://www.allankelly.net/static/writing/OnManagement/OnMngm5-ProductManager.pdf
Developer Ebook Breaking Down Software Developing Roles (2006) an Internet.com, Jupitermedia. Corp, p. 1 and 3. http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~sasanr/Teaching-Material/SAD/breaking%20down%20software%20development%20roles.pdf
Hohmann Luke, Beyond Software Architect: creating and sustaining winning solutions, Boston Addison: Wesley, p.10.
Martin C. Behind Every Great Product, Silicon Valley Product Group, (2005) p.9,
Wiegers K.E., Stop Promising Miracles, Software Development Magazine, (February, 2000), p.1.
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