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over 10yrs in the industry & getting back to basics...

 
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Hi dear members,

After spending more than 10 years in the software industry, doing every part of the job be it business management, business development, client management, technology solutions and solution development... I am now back to the basics.

I have almost decided to get back to developing systems my self (I mean coding) that I used to do seven years ago, before I got sucked into the management activities. I want to know from the members of the forum, if this career move is good for me or not so good.
To establish my proficiency in programming (Specially after my long stint of non-coding work) I have to take up certification exams. I have been an open source and Java guy through my career. Now I want to start with SCJA, SCJP and move over the architect certification.

It will be great to hear your comments, which I am sure will have an impact on my thought process.

Best wishes,
 
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Are you trying to go to technical stream leaving management(Taking U turn in career)? Why you feel necessity to do coding again when you are into management?
 
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The career move sounds great if that's what you want. There is a book out (we did a promotion for it a while back) on people who are trying to move back into technology from management. I forget the name but if you search around the ranch you should be able to find it.

--Mark
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Rajesh Thakare:
Are you trying to go to technical stream leaving management(Taking U turn in career)? Why you feel necessity to do coding again when you are into management?



I cannot know why you ask this question but I know many others ask this question out of blind naivety. I'll answer it for the other readers...

Somehow coders got it in their minds that it is better to be in management. Granted, this was partly due to pay scale imbalances which have been balancing out and continue to do so. However, if there continues to be a premium for managers, it would be silly to become one simply because there is more money. Certainly there is no more prestige except what any individual chooses to attribute a person simply from his title.

Writing code and managing are two rather different skill sets. People went into engineering for a reason. If they discover that their reasons no longer make sense, and that management work is more appealing (sitting in meetings, negotiating, playing politics, building consensus, budgeting and reporting, presenting to others, hiring/firing, etc.) then they should certainly pursue that role. But for those who enjoy solid analytical reasoning, problem solving, tinkering, designing, building, technology, and the satisfaction of actually putting something together, coding is much more rewarding. Unfortunately, like a fish who envies a dog, many developers want to leave the environment in which they best function and select another in which they are neither happy nor successful. If indeed a developer works at a company where he feels his only chance for something more (be it pay, recognition, etc) is to be in management than the decision should be to find a company where his work--the work he enjoys--is respected, not to contort his efforts into a job he doesn't enjoy.

There is one sure thing I've heard every successful person say: do what you love and success will follow. I've never heard anyone say, "I didn't really like what I was doing, I only did it for the money, but despite my distaste for the work, I was wildly successful."

Management isn't superior to coding, it is simply different and different people will succeed in each.

--Mark
 
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Excellent said Mark !
 
Sandeep Awasthi
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Hi Mark,

Thanks for answer. But in indian IT industry, normally people do not do coding after 10 years experience. Either they do management or they become architect where they do designing.
 
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I agree with you Mark. At the same time, Indian companies by unwritten rule encourages, motivates guys to move from tech stuff to management rather than allowing him to continue in technology. They also have valid reasons to do so. Indians are generally good at programming predominantly and poor managers. Lack of managerial skills makes companies to do so.

Do you know, certain IT companies over here specify age limit as below 35 for hiring technical guys? This sums up the issue prevailing in India.

The companies just cultivates this culture and it sinks in employees as well. I welcome ranchers to describe the situations prevailing in your countries.

- Shiv
 
Imtiaz Kalburgi
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Dear Members Rajesh, Mark, San ban, Shiv,

Thank you guys for the feedback.

Are you trying to go to technical stream leaving management(Taking U turn in career)? Why you feel necessity to do coding again when you are into management?



Yes. It is a U turn, thats the reason I called the idea 'back to basics'.
I have gone through all the management life which ofcourse involved

"sitting in meetings, negotiating, playing politics, building consensus, budgeting and reporting, presenting to others, hiring/firing, etc.".

I feel that all these things are indeed exciting, but are not giving me that kick (any more) I am looking for. I used to get when I write even a small piece of code which is worthwhile.

My idea is that, since now I know (have been fairly successful) selling, managing and convincing clients and development teams as well, if I can build systems myself it will complete me as a 360 degree IT solutions resource. I now feel and believe that management is no big deal; it is all about human relationship and strategic planning.

But when it comes to technology and building system which is extremely costumercentric, I think one has to have the experience of facing the customer, understanding their psyche and defining their problems to them; if some one who can do this can write code and develop the system, I think the end users and customers gain the most. Which is precisely what I am looking for. Not forgetting the money factor, happy customers means good money which is a global truth.

I agree with you Mark. At the same time, Indian companies by unwritten rule encourages, motivates guys to move from tech stuff to management rather than allowing him to continue in technology. They also have valid reasons to do so. Indians are generally good at programming predominantly and poor managers. Lack of managerial skills makes companies to do so.



Through my circle and friends in the industry I have found that the trend has shifted. The market is now looking for techno-managers who are hands on in technology and are capable of selling, these kind of people are really hot properties.
We should also remember that Indian IT industry is now more than a decade old. Hence we have huge number of people who have graduated to management roles from technical practices. For technical guys, management is generally not a difficult part to play also note that we have lot expats coming back home from their work countries like US, UK etc. They are also available to the Indian companies. Hence there is a fair choice available to companies in picking up best managers.

Coming back to my thoughts, I was told by one of my bosses very long ago that I will be at the cross roads with my career after 10 years and that will be the time to refocus and go back to my roots, which I guess is coding. As Mark said "do what you love and success will follow.". I am now embarking on doing what I love and hoping that success will follow.

Hope I make sense in my thoughts and your comments will help me immensely. I am sure there are guys in the industry who are on the cross roads like me. Put your thoughts and many will benefit from it.

Best wishes,
 
Shiv Sidhaarth
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If I have gone through 360 degrees cycle in IT, I will have all I need to start my own company. What do you feel?
 
Shiv Sidhaarth
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May be design, code, test the product and sell it as well...
 
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I agree with Mark that


Management isn't superior to coding.


But unfortunately, most people don't believe it to be the case. People who do management tend to get higher pay that those people who do coding. It's a very sad fact considering doing technical stuff isn't something that everyone can do.

Anyway, I also believe that if we master what we're good at, we still can succeed.

Just my 2 cents.
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Shiv Sidhaarth:
I agree with you Mark. At the same time, Indian companies by unwritten rule encourages, motivates guys to move from tech stuff to management rather than allowing him to continue in technology. They also have valid reasons to do so. Indians are generally good at programming predominantly and poor managers. Lack of managerial skills makes companies to do so.



If most companies won't let people code after a certain age, then there is surely some smart, innovative company who is arbitraging the situation by hiring those people and using their talents. Forcing people to move into management if they don't have the desire or skills is a recipe for failure.

Most importantly, if your company is doing something sub-optimal, you should work to change that. I have some sense of how difficult that it, how rigid some companies can be in India (although I didn't see India mentioned anywhere in Imtiaz's post), but these changes will come about a lot faster if people are pushing for them rather than passively waiting for it to happen.

--Mark
 
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