Many of us software engineers remain stuck in one or two technology domains. Reason is a mix of easy money on switching jobs and HR screening which do not let us cross-over to different product domain.

This pattern is good if one wants to be a jobber and stay happy working. To be a pro in one domain, one has to extra-ordinarily focus on particular technology. Unfortunately, this does not always happen in job.

Looking beyond it, one needs to see different worlds to have a diversified experience. Every domain has different patterns and work flows. Focus is different depending on the product and technology.

I consider myself lucky to have worked on a variety of products in Telecom, Embedded, VLSI tools, financial trading in last 10 years. Each domain has its own technology focus. Based on my experience, I am sharing my bits of experience below.

Telecom: Protocols development: Requirements are generally clear through RFCs, standard documents. Focus is on meeting specifications, adding distinguishing features.

Embedded: Real-time software, which is close to the hardware involving data processing on the fly. C/C++ and Assembly are language of choice. Focus is on smart usage of hardware with minimal software stack.

VLSI tools: Heavy softwares focus on extracting maximum of CPU and available memory. Language is not a barrier. Advanced algorithms, data structures along with multiprocessing, multi-threading.

Financial trading domain: Low latency smart software. Plethora of technologies are involved. Will write more on this in a separate text.

Share →

3 Responses to Charm of switching domains

  1. sangeetha says:

    Hi: I agree that switching domains has its own charm and very clear advantages. Yes, we do live in a world dominated by HR’s narrow view of things (its likely that when you apply for a job, a HR recruitment specialist of 2 – 3 years experience or less will be looking at your resume at the first level, and may never see the generic potential lying within that resume/profile to find a broader/diverse match in role across domains)

    If one is inherently a risk taker and one gets past the HR blockade due to some fortunate twist of fate, then yes – its awesome to work across domains. Personally – over the last 17 years – have switched across many domains – on an average every 3 years (healthcare, financial services, again healthcare – different vertical this time – online education, content management, etc) and I believe this kind of cross domain experience is good to keep the synapses and the neurons crackling in the brain. It rounds one off as a professional, it sharpens your ability to be creative and adapt quickly, it gives you versatility and cross domain expertise, and also the ability to take a large expansive view at a macro level, which most specialists lack and almost never develop in a life-time of focused specialized work.

    So yes, switching domains is good and charming. Its inherently a risk with huge pay-offs in terms of learning, creativity, adaptability,versatility, allows one to cultivate an expansive view, may lead eventually to entrepreneurship as it hones a very individualistic way of thinking. And lots of FUN!! šŸ™‚

    It does have a downside too – obviously. Growth may not be on a linear trajectory – and hence not recommended for non risk takers.

  2. Ashish Grover | Charm of switching domains Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  3. I simply want to tell you that I’m new to weblog and actually enjoyed your page. Probably Iā€™m planning to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with amazing well written articles. Kudos for sharing your blog.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *