Are you ready to be a manager? In her column on The Jane Dough, Manilla CTO reveals just how to be successful when it comes to managing a team of people and a ton of ongoing projects. Check it out:


So You Want To Be a Manager

By Beth Devin, Manilla CTO

A major milestone in my career was the transition from being a high-performing individual contributor to my first management role. I waited longer than many of my peers to make this change. It felt so good and safe to be only in charge of me and tackle each assignment with gusto. It was a daunting proposition to step away from the hands on work and trust others to get the job done.

As a technology leader, I often talk to software developers, quality assurance (QA) staff and system engineers who want to know what they need to do to be considered for a management position. They see this as an important next step in their career — sometimes the only way to move up.  Unfortunately, the role and responsibilities of a manager are often misunderstood.

[More from Why It’s Important to be Good Only At What You Do]

Different industries require different styles of management, but there are some common threads that describe what managers do and how they spend their time.

Generalist not specialist – Managers tend to be generalists, not specialists. They often have past experience in one or more functional areas. For example, prior to becoming a manager, I had been a software developer, a database administrator, and a systems analyst. All of these experiences served me well as a manager. However, my focus changed as I looked end to end at the entire team’s contributions, how each person performed individually, and my team’s interactions with other teams. I was much less involved in the detailed project work and more focused on the health and performance of my organization. While I sometimes miss being able to design and develop software, I get tremendous satisfaction and reward from the camaraderie of my team and the work that they do.

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