As people progress up the ladder in an organization, there are two things that clearly happen, The new role brings in newer sets of knowledge and experience. Let’s say that you are a programmer and suddenly become a team leader. The earlier focus was on good code writing skills, with associated debugging skills. Also some configuration management expertise, Now suddenly you are thrown in a new position where leadership skills are more important than coding skills. You see that your need for writing code diminishes, as you enter the shoes of a reviewer, than a coder. Suddenly your interest is on the build, more than individual programs. Integration scores high on your list now.
Slowly as years pass by, you become a Project Manager. Now you find yourself in the Project manager’s triangle of cost, duration and quality, these being the sides of the triangle. Now your focus is on deadlines or deliverables. Containing the project within the agreed parameters is paramount and then comes people management and code, a distant third. In fact, by now you are probably out of touch with your coding skills.Now its more about people management – that includes your team, your stakeholders and last but not the least – your customers.
Now years later you covet the title of Vice President or simply VP. Now your most favorite word is target.You are immersed in strategy and planning. Your operational role is peripheral mostly. You demand reports from your lower rung people and are mostly into the ‘everything is going well’ syndrome. You have to prepare presentations and excel spreadsheets to be shown to CEO and customers. You talk in millions of dollars. Revenue, top line and the bottom line, Some sales has also rubbed of you. Your numbers are most important to you, even though you don’t know if HTML really is a standard, a language or a protocol.
And on and on it goes, Your accolades on one side and the demise of knowledge on the other, By that I mean distancing yourself from the real technology. But there are some who don’t forget their roots – they can roll up their sleeves in review and debugging. But this breed is slowly dying and giving way to the the rather dysfunctional management leader.You are able to make nice charts – but you have forgotten how technically those charts appear. You are able to give a pep talk, but you really do not know,what is brewing within the team silently. You are able to take a person to task ( say a programmer ) without even knowing how to read his code. Is this really what you wanted when you moved up the ladder? Ask yourself …