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Taming the TTW reviews on amazon

Burk Hufnagel
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Jacquie,

Congratulations! I went to amazon to see what people thought about the book and all seven of the reviews are 5 stars. I do have a question about one of the reviews though; it asks,
What do we need to do to go "upstairs" in the management ladder?
- which I assume is addressed in the book.

I've noticed that many good developers feel the need to move into management so they can continue to "advance" and I wonder why this is so? Some of the people I talk to mention that they can't keep up with new technology anymore - it takes too much time. Others feel that they've hit a ceiling on what they can get for writing code and figure they can make more and work less overtime by moving into a managerial role.

What's your opinion on this? I've been creating software almost as long as you have and from what I've seen, this seems pretty common. So, I'm wondering how it makes sense from a business perspective?

Thanks,
Burk


SCJP, SCJD, SCEA 5 "Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science!" Agatha Heterodyne (Girl Genius)
Jacquie Barker
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Burk, please see my reply in the thread "Taming the Technology Tidal Wave: Practical Career Advice for IT Professionals". Thanks!


Author of Beginning Java Objects, Beginning C# Objects, and Taming the Technology Tidal Wave
Burk Hufnagel
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Jacquie,

I read the thread you mentioned, but don't see anything about why it makes sense for businesses to encourage experienced senior developers to move into management rather than do what they're really good at and enjoy - writing programs.

I'm really interested in your thoughts and opinions on it,
Burk
Henry Wong
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Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18855
    
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http://www.coderanch.com/t/471354/Jobs-Discussion/careers/Taming-Technology-Tidal-Wave-Practical


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Burk Hufnagel
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Henry Wong wrote:http://www.coderanch.com/t/471354/Jobs-Discussion/careers/Taming-Technology-Tidal-Wave-Practical


Henry,

I'm a bit confused. I see the link above to the one thread where Jacquie was answering the questions we'd posted in different threads, but at the end of that thread you asked her to respond in the thread where each question originated. Do you want us to continue to post different questions in different threads or try to stick with one thread? Either way is fine with me, I just want to know which way to do things in your forum.

Thanks for the information,
Burk
Nidhi Sar
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Joined: Oct 19, 2009
Posts: 252

Burk Hufnagel wrote:I've noticed that many good developers feel the need to move into management so they can continue to "advance" and I wonder why this is so?


Burk,
Good question! For those of us who love to just program and would happily do it just for the fun of it, it is a very pertinent question. Trying to keep on top of technology is one aspect of it, but also there almost is a peer-pressure to just "move ahead".

Management job = higher salary + higher respect.

Even though management skills and technical skills are just different and equally important to the success of the project, because of the above, many happy, great programmers feel forced to become unhappy, bad managers. Its one thing to talk about following your heart. Real life is another story.


"A problem well stated is a problem half solved.” - Charles F. Kettering
SCJP 6, OCPJWCD
Burk Hufnagel
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Nidhi Sar wrote:Management job = higher salary + higher respect.

Higher respect from who? I've found that most senior developers don't have much respect for their bosses - especially those that don't really understand what the people reporting to them actually do.

Nidhi Sar wrote:Its one thing to talk about following your heart. Real life is another story.

That's what I'm saying, why does it make sense from a business perspective to take a productive senior developer who knows how things work from a technical viewpoint and make it attractive for them to go into management. The business loses the benefit of their technical experience and gains a newbie manager. Granted the new boss understands ow things work (for now) and the business can fill the position with a less expensive developer, but if it's a complex system or something older that most folks don't understand then the business has made (in my opinion) a poor trade.

Do you know of a good reason for businesses to promote such behavior?

arulk pillai
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Joined: May 31, 2007
Posts: 3220
Management job = higher salary + higher respect.


Not always true.

-- Dealing with a computer is more rewarding and easier for some than to deal with people and politics.
-- Some technical jobs do pay a lot more than managers (middle level), especially contracting and consulting assignements.
-- There are jobs where you can get the best of both worlds.
-- There are technical go to persons earn lot of respect from their superiors and peers.


Java Interview Questions and Answers Blog | Amazon.com profile | Java Interview Books
Jacquie Barker
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Joined: Dec 20, 2000
Posts: 201
Burk Hufnagel wrote:
Nidhi Sar wrote:Management job = higher salary + higher respect.

Higher respect from who? I've found that most senior developers don't have much respect for their bosses - especially those that don't really understand what the people reporting to them actually do.

Nidhi Sar wrote:Its one thing to talk about following your heart. Real life is another story.

That's what I'm saying, why does it make sense from a business perspective to take a productive senior developer who knows how things work from a technical viewpoint and make it attractive for them to go into management. The business loses the benefit of their technical experience and gains a newbie manager. Granted the new boss understands ow things work (for now) and the business can fill the position with a less expensive developer, but if it's a complex system or something older that most folks don't understand then the business has made (in my opinion) a poor trade.

Do you know of a good reason for businesses to promote such behavior?



Enlightened companies WON'T do such a thing if they value their technical staff, but all too often, a company is focused on one thing -- their bottom line profits; a manager can, in theory, leverage more income for the company than an individual contributor technical person can. Take, for example, a consulting firm: a senior technical consultant may command several hundred dollars an hour of revenue, but a manager of such a team can ensure that all of his/her team members are billable concurrently => more $$$!

It happens in virtually every industry, not just IT -- even physicians are pressured to move into administrative positions at hospitals, etc.
Burk Hufnagel
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Jacquie Barker wrote:Enlightened companies WON'T do such a thing if they value their technical staff, but all too often, a company is focused on one thing -- their bottom line profits; a manager can, in theory, leverage more income for the company than an individual contributor technical person can. Take, for example, a consulting firm: a senior technical consultant may command several hundred dollars an hour of revenue, but a manager of such a team can ensure that all of his/her team members are billable concurrently => more $$$!

It happens in virtually every industry, not just IT -- even physicians are pressured to move into administrative positions at hospitals, etc.

Jacquie,
Thanks for the insight. Does your book contain any suggestions on how to find an enlightened company? I don't think I've run across any...

Burk
Jacquie Barker
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Joined: Dec 20, 2000
Posts: 201
Burk Hufnagel wrote:
Thanks for the insight. Does your book contain any suggestions on how to find an enlightened company? I don't think I've run across any...

Burk


Alas, no, Burk ... it doesn't. Sorry!

Just network, network, NETWORK to learn about those that are ...
Burk Hufnagel
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Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 814
    
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Jacquie Barker wrote:
Burk Hufnagel wrote:
Thanks for the insight. Does your book contain any suggestions on how to find an enlightened company? I don't think I've run across any...

Burk


Alas, no, Burk ... it doesn't. Sorry!

Just network, network, NETWORK to learn about those that are ...


Oh well, it was worth asking.

As for networking, you are absolutely on the mark. One thing I strongly recommend to people is that to build your network before you need it. To me, asking someone you've just met to take a look at your resume because you're looking for a job is fine at a job fair, but doesn't make a great first impression anywhere else. What's your opinion?
Jacquie Barker
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Joined: Dec 20, 2000
Posts: 201
Burk Hufnagel wrote:
One thing I strongly recommend to people is that to build your network before you need it. To me, asking someone you've just met to take a look at your resume because you're looking for a job is fine at a job fair, but doesn't make a great first impression anywhere else. What's your opinion?


I agree! A networking relationship is just like any other relationship -- you need to invest of yourself in it over time, giving value as well as receiving, so that when you really need assistance, the other person is happy to lend a hand. (If the only time you contact a friend is when you need to borrow money, how real is that friendship?)

Cheers,

J.
 
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