TripleTen experts
TripleTen.Coding Bootcamps

IT career tips

Sign up for our newsletter to get future-proof advice from tech industry experts.

Stay in touch
TripleTen.Coding Bootcamps

Is a bootcamp right for you?

Discover your ideal path to tech by taking our quiz.

Take the quiz

Whether you’ve been in sales for a decade or a year, it can be scary thinking about changing careers. After all, there’s a lot to love about the job — the adrenaline rush of winning new business, client dinners on the company card, lots of travel, and bonuses for hitting quotas. 

But the reality is sales is highly stressful work. And while moving out of sales to tech might not sound like a logical next step, rest assured, it’s a smart one. Here’s why it’s possible for sales professionals like you to break into tech and what you’ll need to thrive in your new field.

When to get out of sales

It’s totally normal to experience job dissatisfaction from time to time — no role or company is perfect, and friction is bound to happen. But if you find yourself chronically unhappy and yearning for something completely new, then you’re probably ready to transition out of sales altogether.

While reasons vary from salesperson to salesperson, here are some indicators it’s time to say goodbye:

  • You no longer feel passionate about closing deals.
  • You have burnout, which affects 89% of B2B sales employees.
  • You need more flexibility to accommodate life changes.
  • You feel that your skills are a mismatch for the role’s responsibilities.
  • You don’t want to take the next step in your sales career path.
89% of B2B salespeople report feeling burned out from work.

The skills you bring

Many of the soft skills you’ve honed over the years as a salesperson are also highly sought after in tech. That’s because technology work is more collaborative than ever and employers want to hire people who can excel both technically and as a member of a team. As you upskill, it helps to remember that you already have an abundance of capabilities that can help you stand out!

1) Communication

Excellent verbal and written communication skills are a must in sales, helping you build relationships with customers. They’re also critical in tech, where the ability to listen actively and convey ideas clearly is essential for accomplishing complex projects on demanding schedules.  Working efficiently with others, such as clients and stakeholders, serves you well in a tech role.

2) Problem-solving

In sales, a big part of the job is understanding customers’ needs, addressing their concerns, and offering tailored solutions. In tech, you’ll encounter different obstacles (like debugging and rewriting code, for example), but in the end, it all boils down to the same thing — finding the right answers.

Top three areas of missing soft skills for employers

Skills Percentage
Problem solving, critical thinking, innovation and creativity 37%
Ability to deal with complexity and ambiguity 32%
Communication 31%

Source: McKinsey

3) Time management

Being able to prioritize workloads while tracking multiple moving pieces is a must in sales. Tech is another fast-paced environment that requires attention to detail and good time management skills. Prioritizing your tasks and focusing on the ones that will get the job at hand done faster is a desirable capability in all tech roles.

4) Resilience

Setbacks are something that both sales and tech professionals must learn how to navigate. You might not get the result you were hoping for in your first attempt, but you need to bounce back, learn from your failures, and try to turn obstacles into opportunities. A flexible mindset, curiosity, and resilience are key to overcoming challenges as you go!

5) Business thinking

In order to sell something, you must know the ins and outs of your product and how it helps make life better for customers. The same is true in tech, where you need to fully understand what you are building to eventually create a high-quality product. In-depth knowledge also helps you explain your findings and plans more clearly to colleagues, managers, and stakeholders.

These five examples are just a start! Explore all the soft skills that matter most in tech hereWhy are soft skills important?.

The skills you can acquire

Soft skills are really important in tech, but you also have to know how to perform the responsibilities of a job. Which hard skills you’ll need depends on your chosen speciality (for example, BI AnalystsThe Skills You Need to Work in Business Intelligence Analytics need data expertise while Software EngineersWhat Skills Do You Need to Become a Software Engineer need to know how to code), but to give you an idea of what you might learn, here are five capabilities associated with tech.

1) Coding

There’s a good reason why coding and computer programming skills are important for most tech roles — they let software engineers write the code that powers a business’s digital solutions or services. Expertise in at least one coding language (such as JavaWhy Learning JavaScript Will Ensure You Stay In Demand For Years to Come, PythonThe Python Odyssey: How Long to Master Python?, HTML/CSSBecoming an HTML/CSS Developer) is necessary, but it’s common practice to learn more than one.

Examples of tech roles that use it: Full-Stack Engineer, UX Engineer, Game Developer

2) Data structures and algorithms

Data structures and algorithms help software engineers optimize code. Data structures are the building blocks of any software program, while algorithms are sets of commands that a computer follows to perform particular tasks. They require a good grasp of math, logical thinking, and computer architecture, which most bootcampsReview Platforms And Rankings Worth Your Attention When Choosing a Bootcamp will help you master.

Examples of tech roles that use it: Back-End Engineer, Cybersecurity Engineer, Machine Learning Engineer

3) Testing and debugging

Just like a restaurant wouldn’t add a new dish to its menu without testing it multiple times, software engineers must perform quality assurance checks before releasing new software or updates to consumers. While AI and other tools facilitate this process, a foundation in testing and debugging is useful because it helps you understand why errors happen in the first place.

Examples of tech roles that use it: Software Analyst, Quality Assurance Engineer, Front-End Developer

4) Version control

Version control, otherwise known as source control management (SCM), is an important software development practice that lets programmers track and manage changes made to code. It allows them to see a complete record of every change and who made it to a code base. This protects source code from irreparable harm, so developers can experiment and iterate freely.

Examples of tech roles that use it: Blockchain Programmer, DevOps Engineer, UI Engineer

5) Databases and SQL

It might sound complex, but relational databases are the foundation of today’s technology landscape — including many online applications and services. To communicate with these databases, IT specialists use SQL (Structured Query Language)How Long Does It Take to Learn SQL?. Since you'll find datasets in nearly every field you look at in tech, it’s easy to see why SQL skills are becoming essential.

Examples of tech roles that use it: Business Analyst, SQL Developer, Data Analyst

86% of employers are confident or very confident about hiring bootcamp grads

Non-sales jobs for people with sales experience

When researching different tech career paths, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. After all, there are so many options! But that’s what makes tech such a great choice for people of any age, gender, or background. To help, here is a short list of common tech jobs11 Types of Software Engineers and Programmers: See Who You Can Become outside of sales.

No-code

  • Business Intelligence Analyst — processes corporate data and presents insights to managers to help them see how the company is performing. Average salary is $75,000 (Glassdoor).

  • System Administrator — creates a company’s IT policies, sets up systems for employees, and troubleshoots problems. Average salary is $76,729 (Indeed).

Code

  • DevOps Engineer — oversees code releases to detect shortcomings and comes up with ways of fixing them. Average salary is $139,207 (Glassdoor).

  • UI/UX Engineer — plans user pathways, information architecture, visual design and typography, and other aesthetics. Average salary is $85,623 (Glassdoor).

  • Full-Stack Engineer — creates software for both clients and servers, including entire websites from scratch. Average salary is $124,039 (Indeed).

  • QA Engineer — ensures software in development works exactly as expected before it’s released. Average salary is $80,158 (Indeed).

Tech is for salespeople, too

If you’re still feeling unsure whether it’s possible to transition out of sales and into a successful tech career, we get it. Most articles listing out non-sales jobs for salespeople don’t typically include Software Engineer! But we know firsthand that tech is truly open to everyone.

First of all, hiring managers often look for domain experience, which salespeople have in spades. Employers know that their products and services are more likely to be successful with intended users when built and guided by people with industry expertise.

Secondly, 15% of TripleTen students come from sales. Considering that we’ve helped over 1,000 people from all backgrounds learn new skills and that 87% of our grads get jobs, it’s easy to see that getting out of sales and into tech like our two examples below is definitely doable.

Featured grad: Andrew Millsaps

After a successful 10-year career in sales at his own insurance agency, Andrew MillsapsRekindling His Curiosity for Tech After A Decade in Sales: Andrew Millsaps’s TripleTen Story was ready to rekindle his teenage curiosity for tech. After researching his options, he enrolled in TripleTen’s Data Science bootcamp, sold his agency, and treated studying like a full time job. Two-thirds of the way in, Andrew applied to a role that he couldn’t pass up and was hired. He’s worked as a Data Analyst at Volunteer Energy Cooperative ever since!

Featured grad: Rachelle Perez

Five years ago, Rachelle PerezFrom Tourism Sales to Data Science at Spotify: TripleTen Grad Rachelle Perez Lands a Career in Tech was working for a company that sold sightseeing tours along the New York City harbor. She knew she wanted to grow and explore data, but the firm had nothing to offer her. So when she was laid off in 2021, she decided to enroll in TripleTen’s Data Science bootcamp. This experience equipped her with the skills she needed to be hired as a Data Scientist at Spotify, where she enjoys better benefits and more time with her son.

See if a bootcamp is right for you

Professional bootcamps have become popular over the last decade as a way for people to break into tech without the financial overhead of a college degree. These self-contained programs are designed by experts to help you master the fundamentals and successfully pass technical interviews. Best of all? Most are designed to fit around existing commitments, making it easier for working professionals to transition careers!

At TripleTen, we know from experience that people of all backgrounds (including sales) can become in-demand tech professionals. Our practical curriculum, supportive community, and career prep courses have helped thousands break into tech. If you’re ready to launch a new career, check out our self-assessment quiz for help navigating your options.

IT career tips

Sign up for our newsletter to get future-proof advice from tech industry experts.

Stay in touch

Is a bootcamp right for you?

Discover your ideal path to tech by taking our quiz.

Take the quiz