Can a Technical Developer Find Happiness as a Project Manager? I have looooong contested that in order to be a good and creditable IT project manager right out of the blocks then you need to have some sort of technical background.  Whether you were previously an application developer, a business analyst, a technical support specialist, a database administrator or from some other field, the idea is that the technical background and experience you have will help you become a better IT project manager faster.  Why?  Because – to name a few:

  • Estimating and validating developers’ estimates will be easier
  • You’ll sound more credible to the customer
  • You’ll understand the proposed need and solution better
  • Your credibility with the development staff will be higher

For this article though, I’d like to turn the tables somewhat.  Do technical developers and other technical staff really want to be project managers?  I think it’s likely that more business analysts, DBAs, etc. who happen to be in somewhat more administrative type roles would possibly migrate toward project management than strictly application developers would. Speaking just in terms of my own experience and observation, I’ve found that most application developers who have later become development managers were not happy in that position.  Not all, but a majority.  My plan was really never to be an application developer so my case may not be the norm.  I was happy in the development manager role that I eventually moved into and have found happiness and success for many years as a project manager. I would very much like to hear from our readers on this one.  How many of you have moved from the ranks of technical positions into project management?  What type of position did you move from?  Are you happy in the project management role you currently hold?  Are you frustrated?  And if you’re still filling both roles, which do you find more rewarding and why? And please chime in if you’re in a technical position and are hoping to move into project management.  What is your motivation for doing so?  Money?  Job stability?  Craziness (just kidding)? Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your timely and interesting feedback – we all look forward to the responses.