Developers always find sanctuary in code

Did you move from a coding position to a manager position? Big question...are you still coding?

Written by Jonathan "JD" Danylko • Last Updated: • Develop •

I've talked to a couple of developers that have moved from actually coding to the managing of coders. Most of those developers...errr...sorry, managers don't code any more.

There are a couple of issues that I've seen from time to time:

  1. Programmers promoted to management aren't allowed to code.
  2. They are put into a position, almost forced to code, when they become short-staffed.

Issue 1

I've never met a programmer who doesn't like to program. Unfortunately, in the corporate world, the only way to make more money is to take a management position. 

Everyone has their passion and to most people, their passion is solving complex problems using their favorite language and IDE as opposed to using Word and/or Excel. Usually, their IDE is replaced with MS Project or other open source project and over time, they lose their ability to code.

Well, code efficiently anyway.

Some people think coding is an art while others think it's just a job. If you love your career, passion rules over compensation.

Ok, back to the issue. For most programmers promoted, they can't code at all.

Actually, it's not that they can't code. It's just that they're not allowed. Quoted from the matrix, it all deals with "choice."

If you decide to go into management, know what to expect. There is an option that you may not code for a while. Just a warning.

Issue 2

I've worked with a lot of individuals who have made the transition over to management, but then, they've been asked to program when short-staffed...after a couple years of managing.

After a manager who hasn't programmed in two years, do you think they'd make a quality, efficient, durable program that they could maintain and market?

Yeah...I didn't think so either.

Ok, maybe I went a little too deep with this topic, but it's just something I've noticed over the years.

Do you know of anyone who made this transition from coder to manager? If you do, has the move been good or bad?

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Picture of Jonathan "JD" Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a web architect and entrepreneur who's been programming for over 25 years. He's developed websites for small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies since 1996.

He currently works at Insight Enterprises as an Principal Software Engineer Architect.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "I like to write and I like to code. I also like to write about code."

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