Putting on the Tie
When I first started my career as a software developer I found some little trendy piece of pop culture ephemera, a printed dictionary of “hacker slang”. I wish I could find it again, because even though it was instantly outdated, it still influenced my mindset for a while.
One of the terms it defined was “putting on the tie”:
Put on the tie verb: to transition from programming to management. “Did you hear about Jake?” “Yeah, someone told me he finally put on the tie. Poor sod.”
The concept being that programmers wear t-shirts and shorts and managers wear shirts and ties.
I have no idea if everyone has ever used that phrase, ever.
But I have just recently, officially, put on the tie. I'm moving from my comfortable roles close to software development into a “Directorship” role, a position of actual management instead of just overseeing a few fellow devs.
Clear back in the day, I was sure I would never make the move. but as I've grown older I've wanted to spend more time influencing people and less time fixing bad code.
I keep telling myself things like that. There is much that I like about management, there is much that I enjoy about being in a position of responsibility, and I have a lot of ideas about how to make things better.
But part of me is definitely sad to leave that other world behind.
It's been interesting, talking to all my developer friends, and seeing their responses to this move. Overall it seems to blank incomprehension: why would anyone want to be a manager?
My only real answer is that this is that I like working with people more than code. I still hack around on projects in my free time, but this is more my speed. So we'll see!