You're working as a software developer for a few years and wonder what will be the next step in your career?
Let's review the different paths, the options you may choose to continue to progress and grow your impact.
You're interested in designing and mastering complex architectures, in teaching technical aspects to your teammates. You like to explain different designs, their pros/cons in the given context, and support solid tech decision making.
The technical expertise path could be a good fit! It leads you to design some larger systems by taking into account architecture, scalability, and security concerns.
You're interested in leading a technical team and animating this team to collaborate efficiently together. You like to organize the work and to follow the progress on your project. You enjoy making or supporting relevant technical trade-offs. The ones that balance well the business & technical aspects.
This lead dev path could be an excellent fit! It requires to balance strong technical leadership with an excellent team animation to make the project a success. If you wonder what aspects you need to work on to follow this path, I published an extensive article on How to Become a Lead Developer?
You're interested in mentoring your teammates and supporting the development team to grow its impact. The business attracts you, and you like to tie the business goals with the technical strategy. You enjoy thinking about team organization. You love to get involved in hiring, onboarding, and training.
The engineering manager path could be a great fit! It's a significant shift, almost a new career. It requires changing your focus from tech leadership to people leadership, to working a lot on communication and organizational topics. If you wonder what aspects you need to work on to follow this path, I published an extensive article on How to Become an Engineering Manager?
Each developer's journey is different; there is no one-size-fits-all. What matters is to choose a path that matches what you like to do and who you'd like to become.
Moving into a different position is, first and foremost, a choice. Once you've decided, you'd raise your chance to reach this role with proper preparation. Your current job already offers plenty of opportunities to train yourself, what matters is to identify them, and to be ready to catch them.
Do you envision any other paths to progress in your developer's career?