Is the next step for a software developer becoming a Business Manager?
This is very common in software development today. If you work diligently for many years and become expert in your field you will be rewarded with a business manager role.
At first this sounds rewarding but some will discover it they don’t have the skills or attitude needed. Others will get by but every day they will regret the loss of work they really loved – working with technology they love. In contrast to software development, management lacks a clear sense of accomplishment at the end of every business day. Everyone of us needs to have sense of progression in their careers, but this doesn’t need to involve moving to business management.
It is important to note that there is an fundamental difference between business management and technology management positions. Ultimately tech management focuses on the management of new technologies and innovation, and how these relate to other areas of company. This includes operations, finance, suppliers and strategy.
Its about understanding how existing technologies can work together with new technologies to enhance an organisation’s processes, products or services. This requires a permanent commitment, a broad perspective and an understanding of what works best, when, where and why.
Technology managers need to use their skills and more importantly their teams skills to improve business operations and deliver value, both internally and externally. They need to decide where and when to bring new skills in to company: to experiment and to embrace failure.
For every experiment it is important to understand your KPIs, how to define success or fail? Success is almost never 100% in these experiments but 100% failure is a real possibility. Being humble enough to realise these two facts allows you to understand the KPI’s that matter.
Technology innovations are changing the world we live in from on demand video to legal and financial services. Most of long lasting industries are disrupted in some way by technology innovations. There is no doubt they will transform or become obsolete. That transformation needs to come from technology managers inside those companies, working on new ways to incorporate emerging technologies.
With that in mind it is obvious why there is an increasing demand across public, and private sectors for people with both the operational and strategic capability to plan, develop and manage technology and technological innovation.
Technology specialists develop many core business skills along the way. They can make a huge contribution to general management.
If you decide to become technology manager you will need to constantly work on your technical knowledge in order to make the right decisions about technology acquisition, exploitation, implementation and innovation. Perish any thought that this battle can be won by diligence or hard work, this is never ending war with time, money and risk. Prepare for this and it can even be fun occasionally.