One Year as a Technical Leader

After 2011 in my career, I decided to become a good technical manager and I had been reading lots of things about agile software development, scrum, people-oriented processes, organizations, etc. I started to share my knowledge in-house. This has lasted for about 5 years. I did lots of thing in terms of software development management with my teams and the other teams. I sold agile software development at some level in my department. But at the technical side, my knowledge didn’t go further than the theoretical level, I couldn’t practice this theoretical knowledge enough.

With 2016, I started to think about my career path again, what I’m doing, what I’m producing, for what? What are my abilities? Are these abilities valid for what? Which company, customer, country? Am I a software engineer who has globally valid abilities or, am I a company-specific IT guy, subject matter expert for company-specific business processes? What’s the problem of becoming a middle-level manager? The short answer is that jack of all trades master of none. The long answer may become a subject for another blog post.

I made my decision to change my direction to the technical side, and started to work on the technical side more.

With the support of my manager, I made a switch in my career last year, from the management side to the technical side completely. I wasn’t a pure manager, my one eye always at the technical side but I wasn’t practicing(e.g. coding) enough for a technical role, just reading, tracking new developments, and trying to keep the gap short as can as I do. Of course there has been some gap to fill to become a technical leader, but I wasn’t too much behind the reality.

My observations about some technical people who became completely domain specific, company-specific people, they lost their technical abilities year by year, they live in a very sterilized environment, when they find themselves outside of the jar, they can have some hard time related with their career.

Of course, some challenges of a manager is still valid for a technical leader, such as;

An article from Martin Fowler, “Who needs an architect?”, has shaped my vision about an architect role or a technical leadership role, and to achieve this, people/team-first approach is the key so it’s impossible, keeping far away from people.

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