Key Professional Roles

It is not always easy to know what we are and what we want to be in life. In the tech industry in particular, there are many buzzwords that can refer to the same role, or the same term may be used to refer to different positions that have nothing to do with each other. If you are not too sure how to define yourself in a professional sense, this glossary we wrote will hopefully help shed some light on the matter.

A Development role focused on building the business logic and computational core of a website, software or information system. Backend Developers also creates components and functionality that are indirectly used by the user through the Frontend of the application.

A Development role focused on building the part of the Product that is closest to the end user. Among many other things, Frontend Developers “translate” the design into code with a special focus on the user experience and its interaction.

Generalist engineering roles that often require working with the entire code base. They usually suit professionals interested in different technical challenges, where both the Backend and the Frontend are involved.

Software development experts who spend most of their time making high-level technical design decisions to set down the technical standards of the project/product, including code development standards, tools, and platforms.

A Tech Lead is a software developer responsible for technically leading a development team and for the quality of the technical products they produce.

A Tech Lead establishes a technical vision with the development team and works with them to achieve the goal. They are usually in close contact with other teams or departments, such as Product.

A management position overseeing technical teams. Normally these roles devote most of their time to the care and growth of their team(s), and they may also work periodically in actual programming. An Engineering Management role usually requires a strong technical background.

Engineering roles specialising in the development of applications for mobile devices, such as apps.

Engineering roles focused on ensuring the reliability and scalability of the systems that support the company’s products. One of the key areas of responsibility is the automation and monitoring of tasks, to remove the risk of system crashes.

SysAdmins are responsible for the administration, control and support of activities related to the IT infrastructure in an organisation.

Their responsibilities within the system administration domain can be distributed in different positions, such as DBA (Database Administrator) or Network Administrator.

Role specialising in ensuring the functional quality and robustness of the engineering team’s code. Often, QA & Testing roles are not limited to ensuring the quality of the code, but to achieving high level results in all processes, often using advanced metrics.

Responsible for the identification and resolution of any issues experienced by the customer and any technical questions from users. These roles often carry weight in companies that sell complex products to other companies.

A position that typically works on a variety of software development and deployment projects, ensuring that each version and deployment is properly tested for reliability and performance. This position requires extensive knowledge of good development practices.

Pre-Sales Engineers are technical members of a company’s IT sales team who support the drawing up of project requirements and who help select the correct products and services for a commercial proposal.

They also support the team by resolving any with technical questions and often participate in the project specification period.

This position provides high-level IT advice and support to the customer who uses the company’s products or services. This role usually requires getting involved in advanced issues or complex problems that the customer’s technical team is not capable of responding to.

A role focused on the most organisational aspects of a product or project, so it normally requires a strong technical background as well as good soft-skills. The profile also usually comes from a background associated specialist courses. The position aims at being a facilitator of the processes and methodologies used by a team, pursuing agility at all times , in the broadest sense of the word.

An engineering role specialised in ensuring the security of the platform and its users. These roles are usually more commonplace in companies over a certain size, where data protection is especially critical, or in companies in the financial sector.

A technically trained role focused on communicating the value of the product or project involving non-technical members of the company or external stakeholders.

Requirements include:

  • Keeping up to date on product development.
  • Gathering and interpreting feedback to create engaging content.
  • To bring internal stakeholders closer to the management of the company.
  • Keeping up to date on development.
  • Improving the team's processes and operational issues.

Executive management of all the development teams. They are responsible for ensuring compliance with design requirements, overseeing the consistency of the user experience and managing the team of engineers and developers. They work with senior management to ensure that products/projects are properly designed and executed in accordance with the organisation's objectives.

A role typically associated with data analysis from different areas of the business with the aim of making improvements or changes. These roles typically require experience with technologies such as SQL, Python, or PowerBI.

They create software to process data for analytical or operational purposes. They are essential for scaling data-driven architectures and algorithms.

This also requires knowledge of development and data collection, debugging, validation and preparation. Along with a deep understanding of data processing systems at scale.

Data Scientists collect, analyse, model and interpret large volumes of data to help improve the company’s product or operations. Typically, professionals in these roles have a strong background in statistics or mathematics and are proficient with programming languages such as R, SQL and Python.

A role frequently specialised in the research, design and construction of autonomous software to automate predictive models. An ML engineer composes artificial intelligence systems that process large data sets to generate and develop algorithms capable of learning and eventually making predictions.

They typically design, develop, and test computer systems and other related physical components, such as processors, networks, routers or circuit boards. These types of engineers are required by companies who are building physical products.

Role focused on supporting organisations with all of their IT needs, such as being in charge of their infrastructure, applications, digital products and devices or with tasks linked to their data and software protection.

Research Developers focus on enabling, contributing to, and accelerating Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence research by bringing engineering expertise to those projects. These roles typically require specialised PhDs or Master’s degrees.

Communication experts who help transfer technical information between two or more parties. Technical Writers research and create information in different formats: deliverables can be white papers, design specifications, training materials for complex products etc.

A position responsible for the strategy, the roadmap and the functionalities of a product or line of technological products. They impact the entire product lifecycle, from discovery to technical implementation, launch, and the subsequent tracking of product usage and success.

Product Managers usually work very closely with development, design and business leaders, which requires the ability to manage stakeholders and a good understanding of the product and sector.

Member of an agile team, typically responsible for defining user stories and prioritising the team’s backlog to coordinate execution of product or feature priorities. All this while maintaining the technical and conceptual integrity of the functionalities or components within the team.

Roles focused on the planning and execution of initiatives, projects or programs. For example, implementing the launch of a new product or market by meeting a delivery date and a budget.

They are usually different from Product Managers in that they do not have final responsibility for the success of the product itself, but simply for the execution and delivery.

This role usually provides support to Product Managers or engineering teams in tasks such as research, data analysis or user testing, among others.

Usually responsible for managing a team of Product Managers and ensuring their alignment. This role entails extensive experience in working on complex products. In addition to this, Lead PMs are key players with regards to strategizing and execution of the product roadmap for the short, medium and long term.

Key leaders that concentrate on big-picture and set goals at top-level. They own the strategic road map — making sure that the product initiatives support business growth. And they focus on growing and scaling the teams too.

A role that brings together professionals who design in different formats, platforms and environments including logos, visual identities, apps and websites, social networks, physical environments and more. They are normally in contact with the marketing teams related to these tasks.

Designers focused on visual communication through typography, photography and illustration.

A role specialised in translating the graphic model to HTML and CSS allowing browsers to correctly interpret its elements, combining technical experience and creative skills, with a significant element of accessibility. Layout Designers work very closely with the Frontend designers and developers, being able to adopt some of their functions depending on the organisation.

Product Design covers the process of creating web products and usable interfaces.

Starting with the collection of requirements that will come from the product/business in question and leading the search for the best solution for them, including the design of tools for this purpose.

A role typically oriented towards writing copy, sometimes of a technical nature, for online products and experiences. They work very closely with the design teams, or form part of them. UX Writers can be involved in product research, UX best practices, and can help create end-to-end user experiences.

A role which specialises in understanding customer needs and translating them for the rest of the team. They usually have a cross-cutting role in the business to ensure that user/customer feedback is transformed into solutions and products.

A role that manages all aspects of the design process, from research and ideation, to creative conceptualisation and design. The Lead Designer collaborates with stakeholders to research and develop cohesive design plans, concepts and prototypes, ensuring final design output meets the needs of the organisation or customers. Moreover, this person usually leads and grows a design team.

Provides a creative vision not just for the design team, but for a medium to large size company. A VP of Design establishes processes and best practices to make that vision a reality, and set the quality bar. This position contributes to the development of brand definition and experience principles, and ensure that those are appropriately interpreted through the design team’s work.

Marketing roles that focus on conceptualising, creating and executing brand strategies, taking into account relevant consumer feedback to grow the company and increase brand awareness.

Roles oriented towards production, design and/or strategy focused on content. They are responsible for conveying company messages that are easy to understand and interpret in order to attract, engage and retain a target audience. This approach establishes the experience, promotes brand awareness and makes customers think of your company when the time comes to buy what the company is selling.

A marketing-specific role focused on researching, planning and producing written content to support various company functions, closer to Marketing and Sales than to design roles such as UX Writer. Depending on the company and sector, their functions can range from creating blog posts to writing content and information to support sales, consolidating the brand experience through different communications.

An open role that can perform various key tasks that are usually specialised when in large teams. This role is usually found in companies that have not yet developed their marketing department and this involves a certain versatility of approach and tools, including team management.

A role specialising in expanding the consumer base and total revenue through the design and creation of experiments in each phase of the cycle of acquisition, activation, retention and reactivation of users or customers.

Their activities may include paid campaigns, landing page design and iteration, building referral structures and conversion tests, among others.

Performance Marketing roles oversee the tasks carried out around paid advertising campaigns to ensure their success, where in many cases, clicks tends to be the main area of measure. These roles have a heavy analytics component and often require experience with tools and technologies such as SQL, Python, Excel, and Google Analytics.

Roles focused on taking charge of the flow of information (including news, product updates, etc.) from companies to important external actors, such as customers or the media.

Product Marketers research, shape the message and promote a new product to ensure it aligns with the target customer. They often work closely with product teams and other marketing roles.

This type of role researches and analyses different variables and actions to improve the company's ranking in search engines. Actions may include optimising text and structure on landing pages, working on a live keyword list, among many other functions...

These marketing roles are focused on meeting the community and/or users, whether through events, social media or community forums.

This includes all the roles whose responsibilities are mostly made up of administrative tasks, in any given field of work.

Responsible for the good management of the company, they create new processes and projects that improve the internal operations of the business. They usually also contribute to the strategic direction of the company.

Roles focused on providing customers with daily and/or one-off support with any issue they may experience with the company’s product/service.

General Managers act as CEOs of their area of responsibility, being responsible for the daily operations of a business segment, department, location or the entire company. They ensure that strategic objectives are met by setting operational policies, creating and controlling budgets, managing the day-to-day activities of employees and more.

This category includes cross-cutting roles that have an impact on different areas connecting to Operations. For example, roles that are at the core of the normal operation of a product, such as Delivery Driver operations in food delivery companies; or more strategic roles, such as an Operations Manager or Operations Analyst.

Roles focused on supporting the executive leadership of a company, or its founders, sometimes on a personal basis.

A sales role typically focused on closing new business deals, often with set targets that must be met. In many cases, they receive the sales opportunities from a Sales Development Representative. Their duties may include prospecting calls, conducting product demos or maintaining existing accounts.

Role focused on ensuring that customers have a successful experience with the company/product after having signed an initial agreement. This position is focused on loyalty and repeat business.

Sales roles focused on selling products and services to large companies or corporations, often with thousands of employees.

Sales roles specialising in attracting and acquiring new business or customers or growing the size of existing customer accounts. They can work as part of an elaborate funnel or with relative independence and control over the entire sales process.

This category includes roles that control the sales functions of a company. They are typically responsible for recruiting, training and leading the sales team, in addition to handling its strategy. Depending on the specific position and company, these roles may focus on certain parts or the entire sales process.

This category includes roles focused on assisting and training customers on the technical aspects of a product or service. They are often involved in developing long-term relationships with customers, increasing the size of deals and minimising customer churn.

Includes all generalist recruiting roles that focus on finding and securing talented potential employees to join the company.

The roles of Human Resources deal with the well-being, training and development of the team, either with an eminently active and purposeful role, or as support for team leaders.

A specialised role within recruiting, specifically focused on finding, attracting and hiring technical talent, including engineering and data-related roles.

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