Business Analysis is a field largely unknown in the technology world of Uganda and most people I explain my role to immediately think of the number crunching business context.
Until a year ago, I was a Telecommunication engineering student and was preparing to change professions to one that would allow me closer interaction with clients. Actually, I was looking at different psychology programs when I was invited to my first ThoughtWorks organized event.
As part of a research project during my university years, I designed and developed a number of software solutions for my colleagues in Electrical and Computer engineering department. Being able to provide solutions was and is still addictive for me; to be presented with a seemingly large problem and break it down into possible solutions… I did that for years and I had no idea that was part of software business analysis.
Going back to my first ThoughtWorks event: I was invited for a two-day Rails Girls camp. Now, there is a long story behind this short version is, I wasn’t invited as one of the Rails Girls. I was there to write a review for my magazine editor.
For this event, I carried my laptop; setup my environment and learned Ruby for two days. At the end of the event, I walked about the room chatting up the thoughtworkers. As we talked I shared my desire to use technology not only to provide a service but to also help people, and the woeful lack of avenues to do that in the Ugandan technology context.
That was when I learned about Business Analysis. Finally, this was a role where I could closely interact with my clients and the end users of my solution.
Almost a year later as a Business Analyst, I am pleased to say I made the right call to visit the ThoughtWorks office and take up this role. Is it everything I hoped for?
I work with a team of people on a daily basis, including the client with whom we work to develop a custom solution to their most pressing problem. As we listen and understand these problems we are required to immerse ourselves into their day-to-day lives, and suggest possible solutions.
This is very much like what I imagined my life as a psychologist would be: listen to problems and suggest solutions. For me, Business Analysis is all about interactions; but most importantly putting a dent in the world’s problems by providing solutions, one client at a time.