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Discussion on: Ask the engineering manager: career development paths in tech companies from junior, through senior, to staff

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Dave Ford

Do you have any advice for anyone who is at a point in their career where they are trying to decide if they want to go into management or stay technical?

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gergelyorosz profile image
Gergely Orosz Ask Me Anything

Learn more about what management is and take steps to test out the waters, to see if it’s for you. I’ll actually be posting a longer blog post exactly on this topic early next week and I can link it here as well.

In the meantime, gaining breadth or depth in tech is a good way to keep growing. If you commit to the management path, your tech skills will likely slow growing, and might even get reduced.

I am happy that I went into management after I was very solid senior engineer with 10 years industry experience, having gone deep in many technologies: desktop, web, Windows Phone, iOS, Android, distributed backend systems. It both gave me solid technical backing, and it’s much easier to keep my skills sharp, with less effort.

I have seen people with 2-4 years experience move into management, only to feel overwhelmed by not being able to coach senior engineers with 10-15 years experience, as they’ve never been there. The better ones went back to being engineers for a few more years, getting to a good, senior level, before going back into management.