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Thread: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

  1. #1

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    ex-Administrator brad jones's Avatar
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    Question Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    What are the issues you've seen when moving from a developer to a development manager? What do development managers need to know that a developer might not know until after they are promoted into teh role?

    If you respond, please indicate if you are a dev, dev manager, or some other position. That will help us understand your perspective.

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  2. #2

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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    No thoughts on this? Is it that VB developers don't get promoted to management....? (That was a joke!)

    Do you believe that techies that get promoted to a development manager need help in any areas?
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  3. #3
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    I am not a Dev Manager but a Team Leader, but in my experience the answer is it depends.

    I depends in the person and the organisation,

    Managing people is a skill and not all "techies" are good at it. This is actually part of the job i enjoy but not everyone does and some would benefit from training in this area.

    Managing projects is a skill and not something you necessary get exposed to in the same way when your just developing. Again Training and guidance from other managers here is a good thing.

    Managing Software delivery and expectations to senior managers is a skill, i have seen managers under pressure to deliver to deadlines flat out lie about the status of projects, and either blame it later on on someone of something else outside of there control or in one case just leave the company before the real status of the project could come to light !

    Having a good team around you can make your job a lot easier and less stressful, recruitment can be tricky and i was able to sit in on some other managers recruitment before i did it myself which was very helpful.
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  4. #4
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    There's a saying "Those who can, do. Those who can't get promoted to management." It's a cliche. But as a dev here's my own experience - First, I've taken a management class in college, and I never want to be a manager. Ever. I'm happy being a worker drone. I've seen the stuff the other managers here deal with, I don't want it. For the most part, of what I've seen the Dev Managers that are/were Devs themselves, never last long. I had one manager for two years before he moved to a position back as a dev. Since then it's been a revolving door of managers. The ones that were Managers with some tech background, but not devs themselves seem to last the longest and do the better job. Those that were devs or have a strong tech background, average has been about 6 months before they slide back into another position that takes them into development work, or in the case of one, left hte company completely.
    Strangely it's not because they were bad managers or couldn't manage their people, but rather it was the politics from above their level that did them in. Good managers will isolate their people from that kind of stuff rolling down hill, so sometimes we're not aware that it's going on, so we think, "oh, hey, we can do this..." and get promoted into a Dev-manager postition, and then suddenly have to deal with that crap we're not used to dealing with and don't really have the skills to do so... and... well, it wears things down until something gives. Unfortunately I'm not sure that's something that can be taught. You either have the ability to cope with it, or your don't. I don't. I happen to be lucky enough to know that I don't. Not everyone is.

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  5. #5
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    From my post on codeguru http://forums.codeguru.com/showthrea...21#post2219221

    Going from a grinder to a minder (eg developer to manager) requires a different set of skills and a different mindset - soft skills for managing people. Some grinders can make the leap and some can't. Just because you are a 'brilliant' developer does not mean or imply that you will be even a moderately good manager. A grinder deals mainly with technology - a minder deals mainly with people. You can go on courses for 'people skills' or project management etc etc but if you haven't really got an instinctive 'feel' for minding then you're going to struggle. You also need to have/retain the respect of your grinders - which means that they respect both your technical and management skills. If you can't get their respect and keep it then you might as well go back to being a grinder. You need to be able to make decisions, know when things aren't going right and when to change things. You need to know what's going on and to keep on top of things. One of the biggest problems for a newly promoted grinder to minder is to realise that you are no longer a grinder!
    I also agree totally about dealing with the cr** from above. That can be a major part of the job - depending upon the people involved.
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  6. #6
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    but rather it was the politics from above their level that did them in.
    That does rather depend on where you work, there is always politics but in my last place of work for instance it was really bad, lots of pressure from above, senior managers making un-comprehensible decisions, lots of staff being hired, then within 2 years lots of staff being layed off, 4 different heads of Development in 5 years. Constant changes to methodology and expectations.

    At my new place there is still pressure to deliver projects but its much more transparent, much more stable and on the most part we are given the tools that enable us to deliver. Plus my current employer is a Gold Star investor in people, which is a certification you can get as a company in the UK which basically shows and means that you look after your staff and have good staff benefits and are generally seen as a good place to work.

    My current boss used to be a Developer (in fact i used to work with him elsewhere) and he has successfully been the Dev manager here for 4 years now
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  7. #7
    PowerPoster techgnome's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    There's always the pressure to deliver, I don't doubt that. The problem was multi-fold as I saw it. 1) The priority project was what ever executive sponsor complained last ... meaning high profile projects were often under undue pressure even when things were going along nicely; 2) Pet projects were often pushed to the front causing project plans to be constantly re-worked not to mention forecasting and resource planning in general; and 3) decisions on how things should be done were being pushed from the top down in some cases... at one point we had a division head that thought we should all have the same training and could all be these "Super Consultants" ... didn't matter if we were an Architect, Developer, Business Analyst, Functional Analyst, Project Manager.... we should be able to, on a moment's notice, be able to fill any one or more of those roles on a project. Not only did it not look good on paper, but it didn't work out in practice either. Those of us that are developers are developers for a reason. BAs are BAs for a reason. They don't want to do our job, and we don't want to do theirs.

    That was at the beginning of a big shift for the company too. We were trying to figure the future out. The past 3 years have been rough, but they are finally starting to stabilize and get better. I don't think we're out of the woods, but things are probably on the right path. I have to give my manager credit though, she's busting her hump making sure that we continue to have work in these lean times, even if it means doing cross-training and getting into areas out of our comfort zone.

    -tg
    * I don't respond to private (PM) requests for help. It's not conducive to the general learning of others.*
    * I also don't respond to friend requests. Save a few bits and don't bother. I'll just end up rejecting anyways.*
    * How to get EFFECTIVE help: The Hitchhiker's Guide to Getting Help at VBF - Removing eels from your hovercraft *
    * How to Use Parameters * Create Disconnected ADO Recordset Clones * Set your VB6 ActiveX Compatibility * Get rid of those pesky VB Line Numbers * I swear I saved my data, where'd it run off to??? *

  8. #8
    King of sapila
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    I haven't worked for a big software house, probably for medium to small. I'm mostly worked for insurance and currently multinational companies that they have their IT stacked "somewhere in there", so I cannot have a transparent opinion for a developer to developer manager, just with managers in general. I know one thing though. I prefer the Developer Manager NOT to have been a developer. This will usually end up poking his nose into other people's business and that's where the problems starts.
    Slow as hell.

  9. #9
    Hyperactive Member 2kaud's Avatar
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    Re: Moving from Dev to Dev manager....

    Quote Originally Posted by sapator View Post
    I haven't worked for a big software house, probably for medium to small. I'm mostly worked for insurance and currently multinational companies that they have their IT stacked "somewhere in there", so I cannot have a transparent opinion for a developer to developer manager, just with managers in general. I know one thing though. I prefer the Developer Manager NOT to have been a developer. This will usually end up poking his nose into other people's business and that's where the problems starts.
    Yeah! A minder is no longer a grinder......
    All advice is offered in good faith only. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2017 (15.5.1)

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