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Any techies who made the leap to management?

Is anyone here a programmer who made the leap to management?  In hindsight what were the pros and cons of the change?  Would you do it again?

I have the opportunity to become a manager with an excellent company working in an exciting field.  I'd be overseeing the internal IT development staff (3-4 programmers). 

I've worked for 10 years as a programmer/tech lead and I think I'm ready for something different.  I like challenging situations with variety and coding run of the mill business apps isn't really appealing to me anymore.

I'm just looking for any advice anyone can give me.  I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who made the transition successfully or if anyone failed and went back to being hands on technical.

Tim
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I did not do this, but my boss has. He has had a problem leaving the techie world behind and as such is quitting management.

What I am curious to know Ted is what "lessons" do you feel you have learned from your experiences as an employee that you will take with you to Management? Everybody (who isn't a manager) loves to complain about managers, so I am curious what you expect to bring to the game. Good thread!

m
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Whoops, sorry, Tim not Ted.

m
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I did and I am enjoying it. I set outragous deadlines, use bullying tactics excessively and demoralize every single subordinate on a regular basis.

THAT'S MY REVENGE.

Jason
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Jason,

You sound exactly like the kind of manager I want to work for. Is your company hiring?

Michael Bolton
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

The trend in IT is going to be more offshore or commodity labor.  If you do not see yourself as a niche market player,  you will have longer employment as a manager.

Doom and gloom for everyone else? No, but if given the opportunity and a future, bet on the sure thing.

My2Cents
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Career and job security wise it is a good move, but Tim are you prepared to never ever code again? If you can say yes, then you will do ok

the artist formerly known as prince
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

Michael

Send me your resume, I'll see what I can do. In essance, I want a yes man who understands boss' needs and direction. I don't want a wise cracking smart ass.

Jacob
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

i made the leap about 8 years ago ... mgmt has many upsides ... more $s ... more influence ... more chance to affect direction.

but

most managers i know who were programmers long for the days when they could sit in their cube and control their own destiny ... as a manager, you're only as good as your worst employee ... and you're at the mercy of whoever hands you your latest unreasonable milestone/goal

my advice

try it but leave yourself a way out after 6-12 months and take it if you're not absolutely having fun ... if you do it, go out and buy every book on s/w management, team building, motivating people, etc, etc, etc and read them, absorb them, and implement every best practice you learn.

bob
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I'd personally love the opportunity to move into management.  I have more vision than time, and my biggest frustration is the inability to implement my vision alone.  The only option I can see is to rally a team behind me, and move into management.

The prospects of doing so in my current position seem limited, but I am working to polish my bed side manners and politicking.  I have found that is really difficult, and my emotions are too transparent.  There is a lot of the sociology that doesn't seem relevant in the midst of that C.S. degree which suddenly seems important when considering a larger organization.

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I did it and actually really enjoyed it.  Every case is different though.  I'm was at a small company and managed to also keep my role as a developer.  Obviously, I did WAY less coding than before, but I tried to always assign myself something and I also stayed very active in design and code reviews, so I didn't lose touch with the code.

For me, it was a great challenge, and like Christopher said, it was a way for me to further control what was done and how it was done.  I didn't think I'd like the personnel aspect of managing, but I grew to like it.

Everyone's different though.  I'm somewhat atypical for a programmer in that I'm not overly introverted.  I'm not a smiling sales guy type, but I have people skills.  Obviously, that's something that many programmers don't have.  If you're one of the many more solitary programmers, that's going to make the jump to management a bit rougher.

David
Tuesday, November 18, 2003

I moved to manage our company's IT department after more than a decade as a developer.

In my region it is rather difficult for a developer to earn more money just as a technician.

I think it is a great experience. It gives a broader vision.

I had to learn project management, team leadership, budgeting. You have to worry about many things, like hiring people and making vacation schedules.

I act as a technical project manager, and I try to function as our departments chief architect. I'm very involved in system design.

I hope this helps.

Fernando Correia
Wednesday, November 19, 2003

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