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I always felt my only chance to stay relevant in the IT industry is to move to a more managerial position because there are so many smarter developers than me, especially the sort that codes in their free time or has a formal education in CS. Essentially I felt that almost everyone is smarter than me. After being a self-thought developer for 15 years I made a transition to Product and I boost the title of Senior Technical Product Manager. Here are some of my thoughts:

- The variety of companies and cultures is way more heterogeneous than I ever thought. I worked as a dev for mediocre companies where I was one of the weakest in the team and I worked as a PM for NASDAQ companies where I was a probably better developer than the average.

- As a developer I was often frustrated by the inefficiencies in the system that I could not change. AS a manager I am often frustrated by the inefficiencies in the system that I can not change.

- You can learn social skills same as you can learn swimming or dancing. Regardless of how much of a neckbeard you are, if you commit to it, you can learn to be a people person. Use your analytical skills as an advantage to filter out bullshit and follow evidence-based advice. Giving a compliment works 99% of the time.

- The recruitment process for managers is a sham. You must know to recite all the hippest theories but in the actual job you will often fight to fix the most obvious inefficiencies.

- I have less stress and higher salary as a manager. This may not apply universally, but as a manager I will never cause production outage or P0 defect.

- My technical background is a huge advantage, still, there are managers with much better people skills, negotiation skills, business intuition etc. Many others just hide behind buzzwords and fake smiles. Listen and learn.

- Manager or not, I highly recommend this gem of condensed, practical advice: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mobile-MBA-Skills-Further-Faster/dp... (based on the success of the book Jo Owen diluted the same content in much longer book The Death of Modern Management)




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