I've got a question regarding the path to management for software engineers (computer science), and hope you might be able to give advice and if possible refeer to litterature/webpages ect.
Basicly im interested in climbing the management ladder, but im not sure how I should approch the "challenge". I guess it would be a good idea to get an MBA along the way - but ofcause it's stupid to get it "to early".
My husband has just been offered a management job in a startup company. The way he went about things is that he did his MBA just 2 years of working. And, he stuck with the company he joined after MBA for good 6 years. The last 3 years he has been a Solutions Architect in the Pre-Sales area. So, absolutely no software development. As an Architect, he used to meet a lot of clients and one of them has offered him this job.
I think the key to his career growth is that he found a good company and stuck with it for a long time. As a result, when he wanted to move into other areas like pre-sales and architecture, they gradually did it when they had a requirement for a pre-sales guy.
There are many ways to become a manager and there are many types of managers to become.
I'm not familiar with how you are using the terms you listed. In the companies I work for, Architects do the primary system design work, they are not typically managers. Project Managers are either managers running a group, or not the manager to whom people report but just someone who schedules other resources in something of a matrix reporting structure. I don't know what a specialist is.
To be a manager you should understand: - the different roles on a team - the software development process (ideally multiple ones and their strengths and weaknesses) - how to hire, fire, and mentor people - how to balance features, time, people, other resources, cost/budget, risk, logistics, etc - how your project fits into the needs of the larger corporate organization - how to relate to the other groups with whom you work - other responsibilities specific to your job
posted 13 years ago
Thanks for the replies.
@Sara: Thanks for the pointers. If I should sum it up, your husband got his management job through commitment and education.
@Mark: Let me try to elaborate the meaning behind the "terms" I used.
You might say, that it's my simplistic view of different roles you can have on a project, instead of being YAP (yet another programmer) you might - be a specialist(expert) in an area (J2EE for example) - architect, i.e. deal with design at a higher level of abstraction - manage the project
I see the above, as paths you can choose as a software engineer.
Im aware of the fact, that there are many ways to becomming a manager. Furthermore, I'm aware of the fact that there's no "bulletproof path" to a managerial position - but I'd like to approach the "challence" in the best possible way.
Thanks for the list. Showing an understanding of those areas will send a signal to your boss that you are able to "manage". The things you list sounds like things a project manager should be aware of: - You need to know the different types of people you need to have. - You need to balance time vs quality vs ressources - You need to be able a part of the political game in the organization - You need to plan/administrate a project.
As I see it, there are pros and cons with working to much as a project manager (compared to, for example an architect) + You get experience with managerial issues - You might loose touch with "software development"
As I see it, you need a portion of experience before you can tell other people what they should do - ofcause I might be wrong with the above, as im still a greenhorn in "the real world" as I'll graduate(CS) this summer and I've only got 3 years of IT work experience.
Edit: @Mark.. you mention there are many types of managers. I think, that the goal (with time) would be a position as a CIO or something similar.. [ February 07, 2006: Message edited by: Svend Rost ]