Seilevel Log

Seilevel helps customers and engineers communicate when it comes to software requirements, which is why they're great at training new grads as product managers.

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I often hear from readers that I don’t cover jobs in their preferred location or in their area of interest. On a day to day basis that may be true, but over the past three and a half years I’ve written about a truly wide range of companies, industries, job types, and locations. Just check out our archives to see them all. (Remember, the goal of these daily profiles isn’t just to get you to look at the company we’re featuring–it’s supposed to be a jumping off point for you to generate new ideas for your job search.) However, the companies I cover are going to be skewed towards areas with job growth, both in terms of geography and industry. Sometimes you have to move where the action is to land a job. I find that readers get most frustrated by the plethora of available software development jobs that seem completely out of reach to grads without computer science degrees. Today we’re going to try to relieve some of that frustration by looking at Seilevel, an Austin, TX based company that is “exclusively focused on IT Product Management services for Fortune 1000 companies.” They’re working hard to change the way that companies write software requirements. You may not know what that means right now, but you can learn. Just like another One Day, One Job reader who told me about Seilevel after landing a job there with no background in software development.

Above or Below Seilevel?

When I learned what Seilevel does, I immediately thought of Tom Smykowski (video clip) from the movie Office Space. He’s the “people person” who invented the “Jump to Conclusions Mat.” He was also responsible for taking specifications from customers and bringing them to software engineers. At Initech this wasn’t a very important job (which is why Smykowski was being “downsized”), but when Seilevel does it they add a ton of value. They don’t just transfer the specs from one party to another, they actually write the software requirements to ensure that the project succeeds. Their website says:

Analysts report that as many as 71 percent of software projects that fail do so because of poor requirements management, making it the single biggest reason for project failure – bigger than bad technology, missed deadlines or change management fiascoes.

In other words the needs of the customer often aren’t adequately communicated to the people who are writing the software. When so much money is being invested into an IT project, it’s essential that all parties are on the same page and that expectations are clear. This is exactly what Seilevel does. Check out that link, it will make it a lot easier to understand what they do and how they do it. And since they’re experts at aiding communication between techies and non-techies, it also seems that they’re experts at training non-techies to be techies. That’s why their Jobs page says they’re “looking for disillusioned science majors who want to learn how to become software product managers” (I think they’d still like to hear from you even if you’re not a science major.) The job description sounds awesome, and so does the company culture. They’re also hiring Software Product Managers, so check that out if you do have the Computer Science/Software Development background.

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