I’m a developer, I like to write new exciting code everyday, my perfect day at work is a day that when I wake up, I know that I have to write some code that I haven’t done before or to use a new framework/language/platform that is unknown to me. The best days in the office is when a project is waiting for me to architect or write. In my 15 years in the development field, I had to in order to get a better salary to manage people, not just to lead developers, to actually manage people. Something that I found out when I get into a management position is that I’m not that good at managing people, and not afraid to say it. I do not enjoy that part of the job, the worse one, takes time away from what I really like.
Leading developers and managing people are very different things. I do like teaching and leading developers in a project. Yet most people believe, and is true in most companies, the way to get a better salary is to be promoted to a manager position. In order to advance in your career you need to let go of the everyday writing code and become a supervisor or manager. This is the path for developers after they become senior developers. As you get older and your family grows, the only way to hit your salary requirements is to advance your career to become a manager and get that manager salary. That path is the common in most companies, the most intelligent companies out there, have learned that promoting good developers means getting a crappy manager and losing a good resource.
Now scratch everything I said, because as I previously stated, I don’t see myself going to the office everyday and just managing people until is time to go home. I like to spend hours working in some code to accomplish a task, learning new platforms and languages or patterns to existing languages. Being interrupted every 15 minutes by emails or people stopping by my office to resolve their problems, is not something I could enjoy.
All the sudden riding my motorcycle to work one cold morning over the Redlands Canyon and listening to .NET Rocks podcast, Michael “Doc” Norton explaining how to take control of your development career without necessary going to the manager’s track. I know, I should not have headphones under my helmet when riding a motorcycle in California.
His conversation with Carl Franklin and Richard Campbell was just confirming everything I have ever did with actually more details and assuring that there are other paths. His method was simple yet most of us, already do many of those steps, Mr. Michael “Doc” Norton believe that it pays off on the long run, that finally companies prefer to pay higher salaries to those developers, yet I would actually think that many companies do not see developers that way, this is not true for bigger companies. However I do believe the value of those developers increase and most of the time, changing companies could increase their salary instead of staying in the same one.
In short without even trying to get into the shadow of Mr. Norton and without following the steps in the order; you should love to learn new technologies, and then teach them to other geeks. I personally have learn many technologies and I haven’t stop doing that, I am a professor at UCR where I teach ASP.NET and Silverlight.
Mr Norton continues that after than, you want to be involve in the development community, user groups, online forums, open source projects. I personally talk to user groups, I’m very active in forums asking and answering questions as well as for those I got awarded the Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET.
After you accomplish all those, you should also expose yourself for what you know and what you do not know, learning a new language will make you humble again as well as extremely happy. There is no better feeling that learning a new language or pattern in your daily job. If you love your job everyday and what you do, I really recommend you to follow Michael’s presentation that he kindly share it on the link below.
His confirmation is a refreshing, knowing that my future is not behind a desk where the computer screen is on my right hand side instead of in front of me. Where I don’t have to spent the days filling up performance forms for people and the new platforms that I haven’t been using yet are just at my fingertips.
Presentation here. http://www.slideshare.net/LeanDog/take-control-of-your-development-career-michael-doc-norton?from=share_email_logout3
Take Control of Your Development Career Welcome! Michael “Doc” Norton @DocOnDev http://docondev.blogspot.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org
- Recovering Post Technical
- I love to learn
- I love to teach
- I love to work in teams
- I love to write code
- I really love to write code
- What about YOU?
- Do you love your job?
- Do you love your Employer?
- Do you love your Boss?
- What do you love?
- What do you really love?
- Take Control
- Take Control • Get Noticed • Get Together • Get Your Mojo • Get Naked • Get Schooled
- Get Noticed
- Get Noticed Know Your Business
- Get Noticed
- Get Noticed Understand Management
- Get Noticed
- Get Noticed Do Your Existing Job
- Get Noticed
- Get Noticed Make Yourself Expendable
- Get Together
- Get Together Join a User Group
- Get Together Help Run a User Group
- Get Together Start a User Group
- Get Your Mojo
- Get Your Mojo Kata
- Get Your Mojo Koans
- Get Your Mojo Breakable Toys
- Get Your Mojo Open Source
- Get Naked
- Get Naked Run with Group A
- Get Naked Do Something Different
- Get Naked Own Your Mistakes
- Get Naked Admit You Don’t Know
- Get Schooled
- Get Schooled Choose a Mentor
- Get Schooled Attend Conferences
- Get Schooled Teach a New Subject
- Get Started
- Read These (Again)
- Take Control of Your Development Career Thank You! Michael “Doc” Norton @DocOnDev http://docondev.blogspot.com/ email@example.com
In a short summary, I recommend any developer to check his blog and more important his presentation, I haven’t been lucky enough to watch him live, I’m looking forward the day I have the opportunity. He is giving us hope in the future of developers, when I see some of my geek friends moving to position that in short years they begin to regret, I get more unsure of my future doing what I love. I would say that now is looking at the spectrum of companies that understand and appreciate developers. There are a few there, hopefully with time code sweat shops will start disappearing and being a developer will feed a family of 4.