Get my email lessons on how you can build a tech team you can depend on.

Can you go home again?


When I was a Team Lead of 8 programmers, I envied them.  Not because their job was easy, but because I missed programming.  I missed writing software each day.  I missed the periods of deep focus, of technical problem solving, of putting the final touches on something I was proud of.  I missed delivering something that made a users’ life better, even in a small way.

I often thought of going back to programming, especially when being a manager was stressful.  Or thankless.  Or I couldn’t see progress in my work.

But I didn’t go back.  
I wish I could say that I didn’t for noble reasons, but that wouldn’t be true.  I didn’t go back because…
1. I didn’t want to make less money
2. I didn’t want to hurt my career at the company
3. I didn’t want to let down my boss
4. I would have felt humiliated, as though I had failed at being a Team Lead
5. My boss, wife, parents, and family wouldn’t understand my decision

I wonder what would have happened if I’d stepped back into an IC role like Senior Programmer.  At the company I worked for it would have been a Career-Limiting Move (CLM).  Management had a distinct “US vs. THEM” mentality and I’m not sure I could have survived transitioning back from the US to the THEM.

What’s it like where you work?
Maybe it doesn’t have to be that way.  I’m not sure, so I’ll ask:

  • Have you thought of going back to coding full-time?
  • What holds you back?
  • How would a move like that be received?

I have more thoughts, but I’ll save them for another day.

About Marcus Blankenship

Where other technical coaches focus on process or tools, I focus on the human aspects of your Programmer to Manager transition. I help you hire the right people, create the right culture, and setup the right process which achieves your goals. Managing your team isn't something you learned in college. In fact, my clients often tell me "I never prepared for this role, I always focused on doing the work". If you're ready to improve your leadership, process and team, find out how I can help you.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This