18 August, 2007

The M Word

Back when I was a teenager working summer jobs at startup companies and corporate MIS departments (they called it "MIS" back in those days, when dinosaurs (OS/MVT; 8-bit micros) roamed the earth), I marvelled at tales of senior programmers (there were "system programmers" and "application programmers" and even "programmer/analysts", but we hadn't become "developers" or "engineers" yet) moving "up" to management later in their careers. What self-respecting geek, I wondered, would do such a thing? Who would ever give up the joy of writing code in order to push paper around?

Fast forward to now, and you guessed it -- I've been promoted to management. Much to the surprise of my teenage self (and if I could have ten minutes to talk to my teenage self, boy howdy would I ever have optimized my intervening years around a different set of assumptions), I really enjoy the management side of my job, almost as much as I love writing code. All of the crappy, annoying things that used to come down from management in previous jobs that made my life so miserable, I actually get to do right here... and that's exciting.

Dave Thomas recommends learning a new language every year. "Manager-speak" certainly qualifies as a language (and a "programming paradigm") all its own. And just like other languages, I've started to notice some neat hacks as I've been learning this one. Hence the point of this blog.

I also get to still write code, thankfully... which is mostly a mad scramble to keep up with my team technologically, since I only get about 50% of my time (in a good week) to spend on code rather than on management, and that number looks to only go down as I advance. Not only am I no longer the best developer on my project -- any project -- it's now very important that I not be, because I'm going to be away from the code at least half the time, and can be a significant roadblock if I'm the information silo. Thankfully, I was clueful enough to hire the best people I could find. We're doing some really cool things technologically, and it's really a fun project to work on.

Anyway, welcome to my shiny new blog. Isn't it shiny?

1 comment:

Mark said...

Shiny indeed! I look forward to reading more, and hearing about your speech to text efforts.

Good luck!

Mark

Mark Horstman
Manager Tools