If your a techie and don't like dealing with clients, customers, and politics, the Architect is the position for you. If you like customer facing, politics and power, then the manager role is for you.
On equal terms, if your a good architect, you should do fine financially. But if your a good manager, you probably will move up and be worth more to an organization. IT people are not looked at highly in the business world, no matter how smart you are or good you are. Fair or not fair, a good manager will get more praise than a good architect. The other problem is in defining what an IT Architect really is? On some projects, you might just be an engineer. On other projects you might be everything, including developer and tester. On other projects you might be interacting with "C" level execs. That's the problem with the term IT "architect." There are no clear roles defined for what it is..
A manager is a manager. Plain and simple. And not everybody can be a manager.. Just not like everybody could be an IT Architect. Well, anybody can, but not a good one.. The roles are quite different. Management is more about politics, socialization, and leading while an IT Architect is more about interaction, technology, and near expert knowledge of that technology.
If your a techie and don't like dealing with clients, customers, and politics, the Architect is the position for you
Actually it depends. You would still be expected to know what the customer is saying and check if you can meet those expectations and you cannot disregard team politics either. Good managers and good architects are hard to come by and not everyone can fill the big vacuum they leave. You notice it only after they leave.
Originally posted by stephen gates: If your a techie and don't like dealing with clients, customers, and politics, the Architect is the position for you. If you like customer facing, politics and power, then the manager role is for you.
Not so cut-and-dried. Firstly, as an architect, you are a "service provider" who works for the developers who use your systems. Bad architects think that the developers are beholden to them -- not so. Good people skills are mandatory.
And while I have no end-user contact in my current position, I've had architect positions where meeting with clients and end users was a large part of the job.
Fair or not fair, a good manager will get more praise than a good architect.
You may be speaking from your own experiences, but that greatly depends upon the organization. Absolute, general statements like this are not applicable across the board.
A manager is a manager. Plain and simple.
Again, not generally applicable. I've had some management positions that were very "hands on" and some that were purely administrative (pure hell, imho). Again, it depends upon the organization.
And not everybody can be a manager
Sure they can. Just suck up to the right people. But not everybody can be a good manager.
Just not like everybody could be an IT Architect. Well, anybody can, but not a good one
Same as applies to management. [ April 30, 2007: Message edited by: Bear Bibeault ]
I agree with Bear.. Anybody can be anything, but not everybody can be good or great. As far as genralizations, I think it varies more in IT than in any other field. If you are a manager and part of IT, you might be hands on, you might be more a project lead, you might be a powerpoint jockey, you might be a meetings jockey.. The list could go on.
But outside of IT, and in more business roles, if you start out in management type roles and work your way up, there really is no such thing as "hands on". A person who graduated with an MBA probably wants to move into the business and management roles. That's more of what my generalization came from.
Yeah in IT, if you move from programmer to lead to manager, it really depends on the organization, the project, the team and so on. There really are no clear cut "roles" in IT.. Sometimes you might have the role as "Engineer" but in reality your a heads down coder. Other times you might have the role of "architect" and your nothing more than a project lead or manager type.. All that depends on where you work and how they define roles.
But if you start out on a management track, have an MBA, your "hands on" roles are more or less management type roles.
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