I’m a Business Analyst, I don’t write code, and I won’t apologize for it.
I saw a post on a LinkedIn group that said a BA “uttered” this in an interview “Sorry … I cannot code ..I am a Business Analyst..”. The person that posted the comment clearly thought he should not have said this.
I don’t think he should have either – he shouldn’t have said sorry.
The job of a business analyst is to elicit, analyze, and document requirements. Business analysts should focus on the “what”, not the “how”. The technical team is responsible for the “how” – the developers, database analysts, and system architects.
It requires a different skill set for writing code than it does to be a business analyst and you absolutely do not need the ability to write code in order to be a great BA. In fact, I think it can sometimes hinder your ability to be an effective BA if you have been a developer in the past because what you focus on when analyzing requirements may be different for people with a development background.
I have seen examples of this in my coaching practice. When talking to someone with a development background that wants to move into a BA position, the biggest problem they seem to have is staying away from the “how” in business requirements sessions. I frequently see people with a coding background actually try to move the conversation to the “how” when in fact they should be avoiding the “how” in the requirements sessions.
I have 20 years of business analyst and software testing experience; I have never written code and have no desire to learn how to write code.
I’m very good at what I do – I have never been without a job, project managers fight to have me on their projects and when layoffs happen, I’m the one that gets kept. And I have no coding skills whatsoever. So no, you don’t have to know how to write code to be an excellent business analyst. If someone thinks you should, they don’t understand the true role of a business analyst and you may want to re-consider working for a company that has that expectation of a business analyst.