Career change - Post-MBA move into tech from non-tech

New donv21
Dec 30, 2019 12 Comments

Need some advice. I'd really like to head back into the tech field in search of more interesting and fulfilling work. Let me lay it out for you.

Quick background:
Started programming in C at a young age working on online texted based multiplayer servers (before most of your times but they were called MUDs)

2001 to 2003 went to Cal Poly SLO in Computer engineering. Made it through most upper division math, programming (Java at the time), discrete math and data structures etc. Got burned out and decided to transfer to construction management.
2005 Graduated with degree in construction management.
2005. Went to work for residential developer at 36k.
2010 left developer as superintendent/construction manager (52k)
2010 went back to school again, got a business admin with concentration in finance
2012 graduated
2012-present residential finance (home loans), have my own office and staff. (Avg TC 150k per year and manage small team)
2019-2020 MBA from California State University

My current profession, although it pays fairly well, is not very rewarding. I'm 37 now and have maintained my passion for tech, it's all I read about. In hindsight I should have stayed the course with computer engineering. I still code to this day, mostly tooling for my current job (JavaScript/typescript, NodeJS, mostly in Electron but I've deployed the odd microapp/service to an online container environment). I wouldn't say I'm a professional developer by any means but I can hack together something for most problems either by myself or with a fair share of searching stack overflow.

I'm just so bored with this line of work. It pays well but there isn't a lot of satisfaction in it and my income probably won't ever break 200k.

At this point I think I would probably be best served using my experience to take a non-technical role in tech in order to achieve some professional satisfaction. Or perhaps I should go to a bootcamp and take an SWE role? I don't know. I need some feedback and ideas guys/gals.

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TOP 12 Comments
  • New / Biz Dev Gravel-Ind
    Marketing, strategy consulting, fin-tech, cloud analytics, corporate strategy, FP&A, and PM

    You have all of those paths available post MBA
    Dec 30, 2019 6
    • New / Biz Dev Gravel-Ind
      Honestly, any path will work. Passion helps you excel. More important would be customizing it to your personality, and what subjects you liked at school etc. Next step would be to take a role and see if you like it.

      e.g., I took the FP&A role out of Mba school. While I learned a lot about financial/data analysis and modeling, I absolutely hated the accounting part of my job because it was so simple.

      Moved to strategy, LOVEDD it.
      Dec 30, 2019
    • Deloitte / Consultant Makiavelli
      This is a naive perspective from somebody who doesnt know how mba recruiting works. You dont get csu mba, work in home loans, and then magically get a strat consulting job. Id be skeptical of advice from “new” - appears to just be name dropping buzz words.
      Dec 31, 2019
  • New / Strategy
    NonCodeSW1

    New Strategy

    BIO
    program manager
    NonCodeSW1more
    I don't think you'd go wrong going either way. Your hurdle may be higher going right to SWE because it seems like just passing the technical interviews is a skill, and if you haven't LC'd hard core to prep, it'll be tough, not to mention the cool off periods. It might be easier to go into like a TPM and transition once inside when you are able to show your tech coding abilities without it being the core of what you need to deliver.

    I'm sure the folks here on Blind can give better answers though. To me, the hardest hurdle is getting in. After that, it seems like you're able to move around.
    Dec 30, 2019 2
    • New
      donv21

      New

      BIO
      Non-professional software developer working in residential real estate finance.
      donv21more
      OP
      Thank you for the feedback, I actually did open a leetcode account just to see where the bar is set these days. I haven't hacked away very hard at it but I'm finding it pretty easy to move through many of the problems. I agree though that a SWE role may not be the way for someone with my professional history to get in the front door.
      Dec 30, 2019
    • New / Strategy
      NonCodeSW1

      New Strategy

      BIO
      program manager
      NonCodeSW1more
      What you might try is do a little bit of both in the application process.. SWE and TPM/non technical roles to different companies- basically A/B testing of yourself of how you rack and stack. You bring a lot of management experience, which typical IC's/SWE won't necessarily bring because that's not the role they applied for.

      If you get a manager role, you'll be able to garner trust from the team by actually knowing what your team is talking about in detail. That's a good thing.

      If you get a SWE role, as I understand, it's typically an IC role but you'll probably be in the middle of the pack in the beginning. However, your management experience will hopefully show through in your performance within the team that it garners you quick promotion potential.

      It just depends on what you want your role to be.. a mentor that gets their hands dirty or a contributor who is getting managed? I'd argue that you leave a better legacy by being a good manager than an individual IC. The wisdom you impart to your team, if you're a good manager, will resonate years after your team has progressed in their respective professions.
      Dec 30, 2019
  • WeWork RPvk36
    Find ways to grow in your current profession, I’m sure you are nowhere close to a tc ceiling. Other option is to find tech companies that intersect with your current business and work with them in a product/biz dev role. Completely changing your career is prob not worth it Tc wise imo
    Dec 30, 2019 1
    • New
      donv21

      New

      BIO
      Non-professional software developer working in residential real estate finance.
      donv21more
      OP
      Thank you for the feedback, my profession isn't one where compensation is guaranteed to progress or grow by just working harder. It is 100% commission. I have to constantly be building new relationships. I already work about 10-12 hours a day and my target demographic is also highly geographically limited because most being getting the type of financing we offer want to deal with someone in person. And of course my income is also HIGHLY correlated with the real estate market. If there were a downturn or a sharp increase in interest rates (both completely out of my control) I could see my income cut in half or worse.
      That said, I have given some thought to talking to some folks in the tech space that currently provide or are building software solutions in the financing space. Would be an easy way to leverage my current experience.
      Dec 30, 2019

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