The programmer's guide to breaking into management

The transition from command line to line-of-command requires a new mind-set -- and a thick skin

Become An Insider

Sign up now and get FREE access to hundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more.

Software development, like any career, is divided into leaders and producers. You're either Steve Jobs, or you're Woz. Two completely different approaches, and yet both can lead to great success.

Talented engineers may see managing a team as the next step to growing their careers. So if you're moving in this direction, what tools do you need to make the transition? We'll look at some possible approaches, common pitfalls -- and offer solutions.

A first question might be whether to make a change at all. What if a Woz-like existence is more your style? Knowing yourself and whether management is really where you want to land is worth some self-reflection.

"You have to think about what aspects of the job you really enjoy, and which you try to avoid," says Adam Wolf, head of engineering for foundational applications at Bloomberg L.P. "If what you really enjoy doing is bringing everyone together to accomplish something as a team, or building a vision and getting everyone behind it, then management is a great opportunity to have a broader impact."

To continue reading this article register now

Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies