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Developers
Should Not
Become Managers
(unless they should)
Jamie Strachan
Application Development Manager
Info-Tech Resear...
DEVELOPERS
*
SHOULD
BECOME
NOT
MANAGERS
Junior Developer
Senior Developer
Manager
What do you love
about being a dev?
Intangible
outcomes
Tangible
outcomes
Long term
results
Short term
results
Manager
schedule
Maker
schedule
Lots of people
Few people
DEVELOPERS
*
SHOULD NOT
BECOME MANAGERS
I am a Developer
I am a
person who develops
Junior Developer
Senior Developer
Manager
People who
develop
People who
manage
Why would you want
to be a manager?
Growth
Challenge
Force
multiplier
Development can be
good preparation for
management
Problem
solving
Systems
thinking
Empathy
Technical
understanding
To code or not to code?
"Make the change easy
— Kent Beck
(warning: this may be hard),
then make the easy change”
How can I make the change easy
so they can make the easy change?
How do I know if
management is for me?
Learn from
managers
Hone your
instincts
Find
leadership
opportunities
What if management
isn’t for me?
Awesome!
Agile Team Lead?
Product Owner?
Teacher?
Evangelist?
Developer?
Tech Lead?
Takeaways
1. Manager is not a promotion from Developer
2. You are a person who can grow their skills
3. DO think about you...
Developers
Should Not
Become Managers
BUT MAYBE YOU SHOULD
@jamiestrachan
Resources
Books
• The Manager’s Path, Camille Fournier
• How F*cked Up Is Your Management? Melissa + Jonathon
Nightingale
...
Resources
Meetups
• #TeamLeadTO (https://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Software-Team-Lead-
Meetup/)
Slack Groups
• Rands Leadersh...
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Far too often, developers move into management roles for the wrong reasons and without adequate preparation. The erroneous view that management represents a promotion for developers causes mismatched expectations and undue stress on new managers and their teams. We need to talk about what management really is and why it’s so difficult for developers to succeed. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a manager or are afraid you may one day be forced to, come hear about what it’s really like so you can make an informed decision about where to take your career.

As a developer-turned-manager, Jamie has stumbled over enough of the hurdles making the transition to clearly explain why you should 100%, absolutely, categorically, without a doubt not follow the same path he did (unless maybe you should).

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Developers Should Not Become Managers (Unless They Should)

  1. 1. Developers Should Not Become Managers (unless they should) Jamie Strachan Application Development Manager Info-Tech Research Group @jamiestrachan
  2. 2. DEVELOPERS * SHOULD BECOME NOT MANAGERS
  3. 3. Junior Developer Senior Developer Manager
  4. 4. What do you love about being a dev?
  5. 5. Intangible outcomes Tangible outcomes
  6. 6. Long term results Short term results
  7. 7. Manager schedule Maker schedule
  8. 8. Lots of people Few people
  9. 9. DEVELOPERS * SHOULD NOT BECOME MANAGERS
  10. 10. I am a Developer
  11. 11. I am a person who develops
  12. 12. Junior Developer Senior Developer Manager
  13. 13. People who develop People who manage
  14. 14. Why would you want to be a manager?
  15. 15. Growth
  16. 16. Challenge
  17. 17. Force multiplier
  18. 18. Development can be good preparation for management
  19. 19. Problem solving
  20. 20. Systems thinking
  21. 21. Empathy
  22. 22. Technical understanding
  23. 23. To code or not to code?
  24. 24. "Make the change easy — Kent Beck (warning: this may be hard), then make the easy change”
  25. 25. How can I make the change easy so they can make the easy change?
  26. 26. How do I know if management is for me?
  27. 27. Learn from managers
  28. 28. Hone your instincts
  29. 29. Find leadership opportunities
  30. 30. What if management isn’t for me?
  31. 31. Awesome! Agile Team Lead? Product Owner? Teacher? Evangelist? Developer? Tech Lead?
  32. 32. Takeaways 1. Manager is not a promotion from Developer 2. You are a person who can grow their skills 3. DO think about your career 4. DON’T limit yourself to Dev → Manager
  33. 33. Developers Should Not Become Managers BUT MAYBE YOU SHOULD @jamiestrachan
  34. 34. Resources Books • The Manager’s Path, Camille Fournier • How F*cked Up Is Your Management? Melissa + Jonathon Nightingale • Managing Humans, Michael Lopp Blogs/Newsletters/Articles • The Co-Pour (https://mfbt.ca/) • Rands in Repose (http://randsinrepose.com/) • Elided Branches (http://www.elidedbranches.com/) • Software Lead Weekly (http://softwareleadweekly.com/) • A Voight-Kampff Test for Identifying Engineering Managers
  35. 35. Resources Meetups • #TeamLeadTO (https://www.meetup.com/Toronto-Software-Team-Lead- Meetup/) Slack Groups • Rands Leadership Slack (http://randsinrepose.com/welcome-to-rands- leadership-slack/) • Engineering Managers Slack (https://engmanagers.github.io/) Conferences • The Lead Dev • Calibrate

Far too often, developers move into management roles for the wrong reasons and without adequate preparation. The erroneous view that management represents a promotion for developers causes mismatched expectations and undue stress on new managers and their teams. We need to talk about what management really is and why it’s so difficult for developers to succeed. If you’ve ever thought about becoming a manager or are afraid you may one day be forced to, come hear about what it’s really like so you can make an informed decision about where to take your career. As a developer-turned-manager, Jamie has stumbled over enough of the hurdles making the transition to clearly explain why you should 100%, absolutely, categorically, without a doubt not follow the same path he did (unless maybe you should).

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