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As I developer who accidentally climbed the ladder into management (and eventually bailed) I can say that from my own experience it is by sheer force of pressure from non-technical management above oneself.

I fought the management culture hard for a few years, eventually realising that I needed to either become one of them, or quit.

I quit.

Did you quit being a manager or the company? (Honest question). From my observations, it is rare to work for someone as a manager and not succumb to upper management pressure.

I quit being a manager but kinda sideways stepped into a different senior (non management) role in the same company/department. I was quite lucky because I didn't really want to leave the company at the time. I just didn't want to be on the trajectory I was on.

It was kinda awkward initially, mostly for the people I had hired and been manager of who I was now colleagues with, but not for long. Hands down it was one of the best life decisions I've ever made. I feel as though the experience I gained helps me to perform my current role even better than I would otherwise be able to as I have an appreciation of the politics above me that I'd not have had I not been up there and back down again the way I have.

I am glad you could make this transition in the same company.

I've recently had to step down from a senior non-management role (tech lead) that my company forced into management tasks into it, specially things that no one else wanted to do. It didn't work and I ended up leaving the company. It was hurtful because I left believing I had a lot to contribute and was motivated too.

I'm sorry your situation didn't work out as you'd have liked it to. It sounds a lot like the journey I took to be honest. I drifted from "Senior Developer" to "Lead Developer" into "Development Manager" as the company grew. Before I knew it I'd not written a line of code in over a year and all I did was attend lengthy meetings. I'd also have been very disappointed if I'd had to leave the company. I still had a lot to contribute to the business and the product we were working on, just not as a manager.

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