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What a week. - Tina Marie's Ramblings
Red hair and black leather, my favorite colour scheme...
skywhisperer
skywhisperer
What a week.
My boss has been out of the office all week while his wife has a baby. He left me in charge.

I've always had this rabid fear of management. I'm not good with people, and I'm particularly bad at getting them to do things that I need to have done. So being in charge for a week in the middle of a very busy time scared the living daylights out of me. I've been worrying about this for a month now.

But it's Friday now, and so far things have gone well. I've taken care of what needs to be taken care of, I've made decisions when they've needed to be made, I've dealt with the crises, I've cajoled people into getting stuff done that needed to be done, and generally things have run just as smoothly as they would have if the boss was here. Oddly, this has given me an incredible sense of accomplishment and competency.

I'm worried that this is the Beginning Of The End - what if, next time they offer me a team lead position, I don't turn it down? What if it's not that I'm not capable of running things, but just that I'm scared of failing at it (or worse, scared of succeeding at it)?

I've been writing code professionally since I was 18. It's a comfortable place for me. I've always been happiest when I have a clear task (or set of tasks) in front of me, and development is a god place to get that. Part of what's bothers me about management is that it seems so nebulous and open-ended - there aren't clear tasks that must be done.

OTOH, in 10 more years, I'm going to be bored with writing code. Then where do I go? I was just talking to a friend of mine the other day, who is sick of what he does. I have a theory: We are the first generation of technical workers who don't see management as a logical next step. Yes, our fathers may have worked in factories, but they wanted to become the foreman. A lot of the highly-technical people I know don't see that as a goal - so where do we go when, after 15 years, we have reached the top of our game?

If I had an answer to that, I'd quit my job and start a career counseling agency. :)

Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: London Philharmonic - Us and Them (Symphonic Pink Floyd)

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Comments
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 4th, 2003 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Postal worker

Well, you can always work in a real, physical MX :-)

I joined the post office in January, I've gone from coding (and a 3-month stretch of sysadmining, clubbing lusers to death was quite fun) to overall planning and architecting the new network and counter system for the post office and a few other things. It's difficult to kick the habit. I'm thinking of some parts of the implementation that will be particularly tricky, then realising that I won't actually have to implement it myself and can torture the vendor instead.

We only have 29 post offices in the whole Manx nation, so it's a lot smaller than the project I was last on as a coder (writing the counter system for the US Postal Service!)

...Dylan
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