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Are You a Developer Or Tech Entrepreneur?

Sigma School
7th February 2024

The roles of a developer and a tech entrepreneur may seem similar, but they require different skill sets and mindsets. While developers focus on writing code to solve problems, tech entrepreneurs use technology to create impact and disrupt industries. However, being a successful tech entrepreneur involves more than just building a product; it requires understanding customer needs and finding ways to solve their problems.

Defining the roles

A developer is someone who develops code to solve problems and translates business requirements into technical requirements. On the other hand, a tech entrepreneur is someone who uses technology to add value, create impact, and disrupt the space within the tech industry. They do not necessarily need to be able to code, as long as they have the means to use technology to solve real-world problems. As for why people think developers make great tech entrepreneurs, that is a misconception and being a developer does not guarantee success as a tech entrepreneur.

Skill sets and traits

Developers have the skill to build a product, but being a successful tech entrepreneur requires more than just building a product. It involves identifying a common problem that has not been effectively solved, understanding customer needs, and finding a way to solve their problems with or without code. To become a successful tech entrepreneurs, developers need to learn how to speak to customers, hear their problems, and understand how much they would be willing to pay for a solution. Many developers may be afraid to do this, but it is essential for success.

Pathway to Success for a Developer

The path to success as a developer involves writing code that solves customers' needs and continuously improving upon it. However, running a startup is not as simple as just building and launching; developers need to speak to customers to know what to build. Sigma School, has free resources to help developers get started. On the other hand, for a tech entrepreneur or any business person in general, people skills are crucial, such as closing deals and finding users' problems. Being a successful tech entrepreneur has a higher risk of losing money, but also has the potential to make a lot of money. The chances of building a successful company are less than 10%, while the chances of becoming a successful developer are higher.

Success Stories and case studies

Sigma School's founder, Deric Yee, shared his success stories as a developer and tech entrepreneurs. His first success was coaching a friend who struggled with algorithm challenges in an interview. He then gained confidence and started closing projects ranging from 10K to 100K. Now, he started a school and helped non-technical students pivot to become developers, including lawyers and accountants. He strongly emphasized that anyone can become a developer regardless of their background.

Making the decision

Deric started as a developer and realized he also wanted to be an entrepreneur. He left his job to pursue generating a certain income per month but realized later that to truly succeed in business, they needed to think bigger and scale. Being an entrepreneur involves dealing with various legal, accounting, operational, and administrative tasks, which can be overwhelming. If someone wants to solely focus on software development, they can become a tech entrepreneur and specialize in that area.

Advice for aspiring Developers or Tech Entrepreneurs

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to whether you should pursue a job or start a business, and it depends on a number of factors such as your personality, situation, and goals. Taking a personality test to help identify what type of work might be a good fit for you, and recommend committing to whatever path you choose rather than having a backup plan. Starting a business can be challenging, and it's important to consider financial stability and support from family. Ultimately, doing research and taking the time to reflect on what the best next step might be for you, whether it involves learning to code, pursuing a job, or starting a business.


Developers and tech entrepreneurs have different roles, skills, and mindsets. While a developer's focus is on writing code to solve problems, a tech entrepreneur uses technology to create value, impact, and disrupt industries. Becoming a successful tech entrepreneur requires more than just building a product; it involves understanding customer needs, finding ways to solve their problems, and developing people skills. Aspiring developers or tech entrepreneurs should take personality tests, consider financial stability and support, and commit to their chosen path. To succeed in business, one needs to think bigger and scale beyond just generating a certain income per month. The best next step is to do research and take time to reflect on what path is the best fit. Whether you are a developer or a tech entrepreneur, take time to evaluate your strengths and interests and commit to your chosen path. Explore resources like Sigma School to help you get started and seek guidance from successful entrepreneurs and developers to learn from their experiences.

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