Requirement engineering position
A Software Engineering student asked: “I will graduate in coming July. I want to work as a Requirements Engineer or Business Analyst but I do not see much advertising on these positions. What are the opportunities for this job and how do I get this type of position? Please help.”
Answer: Requirements Engineer, Business Analysts, and System Analyst positions often require several years of experience. Most companies prefer to hire people from within their company to fill these positions rather than advertise because the job requires knowledge of the company’s business and their projects. Requirements Engineer (R.E) main function is to gather, analyze, document and validate the needs of their customers for projects. Since R.E represents the company when working with customers they must have good knowledge of the business of the company so they can disseminate company’s products and services information to address the needs of customers. Basically, R.E position is usually a promotion from within instead of advertising for job opening.
Requirements Engineering works require a lot of software development experience to determine customers’ needs and transform them into requirements specifications that the software team can implements. Unclear or wrong requirements could take the project to implement something customers do not want and it is costly for business. An experienced R.E must be able to define the business needs as well as the reason to start a project in alignment with the company’s business. Therefore beside technical skills R.E must also have good soft-skills such as communication, presentation, collaboration, analysis etc. An experienced R.E can help users to describe the capabilities they need to meet their business objectives. Most users often describe the functional requirements in a vague and abstract way, and do not pay attention to the quality attributes, performance goals, business rules, external interfaces but the job of the R.E is to come up with these requirements and write them in the requirements specifications so the software team can build them correctly.
Most Requirements Engineering and Business Analyst positions require a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or Information System Management with strong soft-skills and at least 3 to 5 years of experience. My advice is you should start as a software developer first to build your project’s experience and learn more about the company’s business. After few years, you could move up to technical lead position to understand more about how the project is implemented then transfer to the R.E position.
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University