From developer to manager - what are the requirements?

From developer to manager - what are the requirements?

At some point you will have to decide, probably like any tech specialist, whether you want to continue pursuing a technical career or switch to a leadership role. Choosing between the two career options is very challenging. Nonetheless, there are telltale signs as to whether you have the skills or temperament to succeed as a manager. So that you can make this important decision without having to suffer a major career shock, we have summarized some requirements below that will show whether a job in management is the right choice for you.

You don't like meetings

If you hate spending much of your day in back-to-back meetings, and don't enjoy answering emails and phone calls, you're certainly not alone. “The only problem is that if you really don't like talking to people, or if you don't listen to them longer than absolutely necessary, then you certainly won't become a good manager. As a project manager or other manager, you probably spend more than 70 percent on communication. If communication isn't your thing, a managerial role probably isn't for you either.

You're not that good with people

You don't need to be good at reading people to get your first management job, but having a high "EQ" will definitely help you. If you are not a strong "person", you must make a serious effort to improve your Emotional Intelligence (EQ). EQ is defined as the ability to recognize and understand what others are experiencing emotionally. EQ is also the ability to manage your own emotion in ways that reduce stress, create empathy, facilitate communication, and defuse conflict. If you're not consistently working on developing your emotional intelligence or you're hopelessly introverted and have trouble getting along with others, you may be better suited for a technical career or perhaps a lead developer role.

Uncertainties worry you

If you don't like ambiguity or are uncomfortable in the gray area, think twice before stepping outside of your comfort zone. As a tech manager, you face many problems for which there is no right or wrong answer. Matrix organizational structures, multi-channel customers and competing interests create challenges that are not always easy to solve. While as a developer you could make decisions based on logic and best practices, if you want to become a tech manager you always have to consider several scenarios, observe a lot, and consult with others before choosing the best solution.

You want to be liked

If you don't like dealing with conflict, enforcing rules, or making difficult decisions that may not be popular, then you won't be effective as a manager. Unfortunately, management is not a popularity contest.

You are too fond of technology and details

Your technical background can help you better understand issues project teams face. Managers who like to delve into technical details often find it difficult to fulfill their other responsibilities and often lose the overview. As a manager, you must devote your time to strategic activities, administrative tasks, recruiting, and relationship building. If you're still passionate about code and algorithms, you might not want to start a career in management immediately.

You think management is easy

Many developers move into management because they earn more there and think they are better at the job than their current manager. However, being an effective manager is harder than it looks from the bench. For example, decisions about projects, priorities, budgets or personnel assignments are very often influenced by upper management or the board of directors. You'll also have to deal with office politics, staffing issues, pressure to perform, and limited authority, which in turn affect the effectiveness of your work. So don't get pushed into a leadership role too quickly, or fall in love with a great title or higher salary too quickly. Think about the professional and personal implications beforehand!

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