Thanks for your comment, Ken. Indeed, that's something I discussed with another guy at the same meetup who has been an individual contributor, then a manager then went back to his solo role. He suggested me to read Engineering Management: The Pendulum Or The Ladder in this topic.
Just like you, Mipsytipsy also advocates for doing both at different point of your careers, not to be afraid of switching and make the most out of them in term of learning.
On my side, I still wouldn't like to move to a full-time management role, but I'm fine with roles where I can keep around half of my time for development.
Sandro, It's great to see & hear about more engineers navigating the careers path ladders & choosing what they enjoy most. I'll definitely need to check out the book you mentioned.
I fully agree that the best of both worlds can be had in a half & half role (technical lead, dev lead or managing engineer). The stress level is higher because of the ownership of the team or project but you still get to do what you enjoy and that is develop software & people.
What many people fail to understand is that as you develop software you are also developing or shaping the minds & thoughts of your fellow peers and the consumers of your creation. Software development is truly about people development and your efforts are impactful at so many different levels.
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