So it turned out that 2017 had in store a big change in my career. After starting a new job with new opportunities and working with some great people, I was offered the chance to lead a small squad of developers with a fairly well-defined direction. That’s not something I was ever going to turn down.
Over the past couple of years I’ve wrestled with the choices of furthering my career through either a technical route (e.g. Principal Developer) or a more leadership (e.g. Dev Lead, Tech Lead) role. Both routes had their appeals, and I believe that - with a good amount of effort - I’d be able to perform either role adequately. I say adequately because I’ve worked with some fantastic people in both roles before, and if I doubt I’ll ever be as effective as they are. I’d be happy to fall just short though!
Perhaps then, it was the opportunity that presented itself that made the decision for me? There’s a good chance that that is the case, but the more I think about it the more comfortable I am with a role based more around soft-skills. Ultimately I enjoy delivering high-quality software… and while I believe I can help a team shape their agile process to support that idea, I’m not comfortable that my technical knowledge can improve to the point where I have the same impact on a team. In a leadership role I can create a safe framework for the great developers I work with to learn about new technologies and best practices, ultimately to build and deliver that high quality software that I’m not sure I ever could.
I haven’t managed to write many posts recently but I’m hoping the next couple will start to explore some of the challenges and surprises I’ve encountered.