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Discussion on: I spent 30 years coding full-time, then I switched to full-time management and leadership. Ask me anything.

orask profile image
Oras Al-Kubaisi

Hi Lorenzo,
I signed up here just for this thread. I first would like to thank you for affording your valuable time to answer questions and give back to the development community.

I read in your answers that management is a totally different job to coding, I have series of questions for this:

  1. How long does it take roughly to adapt to changing mindset from coding to managing?
  2. Any recommendation for a book to help transition from coder to a manager or lead?
  3. In some companies, team lead is expected to be a line manager, scrum master, writing tickets, code and do code reviews. Is it possible to do the transition from a developer to a manager in an environment like this?
  4. What is the best book you read the was a checkpoint in your people skills?

Thanks in advanced.

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Lorenzo Pasqualis Ask Me Anything

Hi Oras,
Thank you for the kind words. I am glad the discussion is useful, and I it makes all the difference for me to know that I might have been helpful.

  1. There is no rule. It really depends on the person. It took me a long while, but only because I didn't have a good mentor. Once I found a good mentor things changed quickly. So... for me, it took many years of technical leadership positions before I was ready to make the switch. I'd say 10 years. However, the "switch" was more of a "decision" that I didn't need to code anymore.
  2. No one book did it for me. I read anything and everything I could about leadership. I posted an article with a good starting list here. I believe all of those books will help to master the skills necessary to be a better leader.
  3. Yes, absolutely. In fact, it is helpful. It makes the transition smoother. In my organization tech leads manage a few people. That gives them the opportunity to see if that's something they want to do fulltime or not. It is a great training ground, and it is good for the people being managed as well since their boss is very technical and involved.
  4. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to point to one single book. It is a journey. The biggest difference that I see as a "checkpoint" is the confidence given to me by my own managers/CEO and their willingness to help me learn. I received that confidence when I found my own confidence and determination. One day I knew I wanted it with no doubts, and that was the day everything fell into place.
orask profile image
Oras Al-Kubaisi

Lorenzo, Thank you very much for your reply. Much appreciated.