Friday, February 29

Professional transition

No, I'm not leaving my job as Senior Software Engineer for Davis Vision.

Actually, this is about that job.

I've worked for my current employer for about a year and a half now; this is the only place I've stayed more than a year, other than the newspaper in Rochester where I was webmaster/tech lead for a little over three years.

I really like it here. I like the people, I generally like the pace, and I love the opportunities I'm getting to refresh and renew our styles, standards and practices, on a team- and company-wide level.

However, I find myself doing more and more administrative tasks. And finding myself in more and more meetings, in lieu of one of the directors going.

I fear I'm on the verge of the balance of my workload shifting away from predominantly writing code ... in some ways, maybe that's inevitable. In some ways, I kind of look forward to that sort of transition. In many other ways, I want to stay put, in the role I'm in now, without a heavy addition of responsibility and expectations.

Is that selfish of me?


Michael O'Neill said...

My current gig (2.3 years) is the first gig where I'm officially a "Manager" of others. Sure, I've lead teams before, but never in a formal hire/fire/the-man role.

In some ways managing is interesting, but mostly because my employees are gutless-wonders, it sucks.

If the compensation were the same, I'd never opt to "manage" rather than work in the technology racket.

I just want to open up a sandwich shop and be done with working for stupid companies.

Jamie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jamie said...

Interesting point... I think the transition from "developer" to "manager" is often a fairly discreet one- my boss certainly used to be a developer, but now he doesn't get near Visual Studio - same most places I've worked. However, were I to ask him at what point he became a manager and stopped being a developer I think he'd be hard pressed to answer!

I think the sheer amount of meetings, managerial duties (and the associated bureaucracy) means that they simply don't have time for it.

Even the "architects" (make of that what you will) at my work don't do much coding, they simply tell us we are doing something wrong. If you are going to end up in management, I think it's vital to keep a connection with the people on the ground, and if you do lose track of how things are done, be aware of this! (not that I think you would, but I've seen it many times).

I wouldn't mind starting a sandwich shop either!

Andrew Badera said...

Both the director and senior director of my department used to be hardcore guys - C++, deep deep SQL Server, etc. etc. The senior director probably could, in theory, sit down and start writing code in a huge pinch. The director -- most recently our architect, recently promoted -- has made comments about wishing he was closer to the code. He actually checked something in last week for ... well, maybe the first time in the ~18 months I've been with the company?

In some ways, I've kind of picked up some of his architecting duties; I've been researching, educating about best-current-practices, setting up demos, initiating discussions with various elements inside and outside of the team to get us more standardized in terms of coding styles, DB practices, so on and so forth.

I enjoy doing those sorts of things. But I also always have at least one IDE open ALL THE TIME ... and I don't think I want to get into a position where that changes.