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Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering | Reply
I am in such position where I do PreSales and technical support engineer. I gruaduated with Master in Software Engineering but did not find my dream job in development or design that pays well enough. Mixing sales with engineering does that but I am loosing all the good things in OO, Design and Developement. In my country it is hard to find good Developement positions . Big ones like Cisco, MS,HP, IBM.. recruit sales engineers. What do you think , would you go for sales forever because of the nice salary?or go back to a software engineering position with lower one?
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by marlogger) | Reply
There is an alternative. Try to get as much as money as possible doing things you probably don't like, retire early and do what you like after you have enough money.

But that takes great "personal finance" discipline unless you can be filthy rich pretty quick. You should live frugally and invest a lot. In general, don't take debt. Most importantly, don't take consumption debt.

But by the time you're ready to retire (which really depends), you probably won't be able to get your dream job anymore, because companies probably won't hire you for that entry level job required before doing that dream job, regardless of the amount of salary you're willing to forgone.

On the other hand, being in pre-sales, you will meet many top managements, or at least middle managements. Depending on how you build your relationship, you can probably ask them a favor for putting you into position you like..


Or if you're pretty sure of yourself and like to live dangerously, you can do the following long but rewarding way. Be certain that you can pull the following out since you will not only jeopardize your carreer, but also the company.

This particular person used to be a developer of a new product. He learnt the whole framework and components of this new product, not just the component he was responsible for. Although he tried to do his programming job well, at the same time he displayed interest in doing sales.

He got the pre-sales job. He then over-promised just a bit, not enough overpromise that it's impossible to do, but enough to raise hell within the customization developers. Anyway, that over-promise got him a sales. But what about the over-promise?

Being a responsible guy, he offer to do the extra customization work himself.

So at the end, that guys can be in sales (more money) while still doing "high-end" development (more pleasure) that push existing framework. His sales performance becomes potentially better since he himself control prototype development thus he can better manage resources needed to close a sale.


But you probably won't have oppportunity exactly like that since every company's dynamic varies. Hell, he wasn't even know that's how he was going to be, the plan always change. The key is to take advantage of existing conditions and make the best decision out of it. You will probably come out with better arrangement depending on circumstances.

Edit: What I'm trying to say is either you try to retire early to do the work you like, or do what you like while earning lots of money. The later is difficult but doable, and I was giving you an example of successful true story.
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by marlogger) | Reply
Thanks a lot amitz, you know that your example fits is really close my current situation.
I am trying to do the same thing, we sell a huge software X for some big company Y that was developed in other country Z but sometime customers can be very picky like: "hmm why your software cannot export the list in an excel sheet..., we want that..." So I try to develop custom tools to integrate with the the system and hopefully do that job that myself, then gets the approval from my manager. Eventhough this is a dangerous way of getting customer satisfaction because the customer will keep asking forever for more tools if you give them everything for free. In the meantime, I think I can still participate in development and build my technical skills and career through topcoder and other competitions.
Again Thanks for sharing your experience.
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by marlogger) | Reply
For the record, I never said that was my experience :-).

Anyway, just be very careful. Consider compatibility with base application, don't stray too far unless you have some influence in changing the base application. Take care of people's feelings and egos. Depending on your culture, recognize people who politely refuse you by making demands after demands.
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by amitz.sekali) | Reply
In my experience, if you hate your job - especially if you are underappreciated - you'll find yourself thinking you "deserve" that new cell phone, the nicer apartment, an expensive night on the town, that dream car, that frilly coffee drink even though you are late to work, and you will find it more difficult to manage your spending.

(This doesn't necessarily mean take the job with less money. My previous job I enjoyed because it was technically challenging, and this one I enjoy because I'm appreciated and the benefits _really_ take care of my family. If it weren't for those two intangibles, I'd probably notice that the work can be mundane and the pace often stressful. :) )
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by eraserhd) | Reply
Good post. This comment was my favorite- "that frilly coffee drink even though you are late to work"
Re: Software Engineering vs Sales Engineering (response to post by marlogger) | Reply
This happened to me, After graduation (CS), i got offers like Call center executive, sales etc. I did not join. My friend being as CS engineer he joined call center and he is now in Top Position (Group Head). Later i realized that i wasted 2 years in job search. I feel there are challenges and opportunities in every job. Being a CS graduate you have advantage in understand product better than any one else. If you are interested in Design and Development you can work offline (thanks to TopCoder).