In fact, I even have a chapter entitled "Climbing DOWN the Corporate Ladder" for folks who've made the transition into management some years ago, but who now long to move back into a technical career track.
One issue with making the switch from a technical to a management career track is that your technical skills quickly get rusty. If you love doing "techie" sorts of things, you may find yourself missing such a role within a few years' time, but then getting back into a technical track is tough. (It took me SIX YEARS to make such a transition!!! )
Originally posted by Mark Herschberg:
I agree with Ilja. Don't plan your career around technology, use technology as you execute on your career.
Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10? 20? What roles do you see yourself in? What industry? How do you spend your day and which parts of it excite you the most? Where are you living? Will you have a family? What type of hours will you work? How much travel? What type of corproate culture will there be?
Once you answer those questions, and know where you want to go, you can start to decide what is the best path to get there. That will narrow your choices down to one or more roles--which may require a certain technology component.
Now it's ok to say "I want to be in wireless" or "makeing smart cars" or "finance" in terms of the type of technology you use, but don't focus on Java, MS technologies, PHP, etc. Those are dependent choices (not independent).
Originally posted by Paul Christian:
Thank you Ilja and Mark for your time and consideration. Your insight in this matter is much helpful. Areas like Finiance is not an option as i don't have that background. I would like to work on some enterprise technology and don't have the resources to learn mobile/wireless stuff. Now since i prefer unix platform and like solaris [and don't have the money to buy visualstudio and windows to learn dotnet], i think i'll learn j2ee.
I would like to participate in some opensource projects. Is anybody here leading any project in which i can be a part of?
Originally posted by Linda Pan:
That was a great response Mark. What are your thoughts on transitioning from technical to manager? I'd probably like to get into project management but have no clue on what employers are looking for, ie, a general techie in consulting for 5 years to transition to project management. From what I have seen from our clients, the job almost becomes non-technical. It seems mostly meetings between the technical consultants and business operations.