My technical career timeline would look something like this…
- Computer Science & Engineering Degree
- Project Manager (kicking and screaming away from tech)
- Technical Project Manager (very opinionated that the only good managers were those that were technical)
- Long period of time developing Leadership skills
- Director of Development
- Agile Coach/Trainer
Lately, I have found myself wanting to be technical again. Yet, when I really explore what I’m missing, it’s not that I’m longing to code again. Yes, I still geek out when I see code but more that I have found myself not involved in any technical excellence conversations as of late. For example, as the Director of Development, I could engage in the value of TDD or Continuous Integration. I may not have been doing it myself but as a leader in a software development; the technical practices were as important as the teamwork practices.
However, these days, I am specializing away from these conversations. And I’ve decided I do not like this path. I’ve been having this feeling for a few months now but didn’t know what to do about it. Then as with most things, a path presented itself: I’m very lucky to have one of the top technical trainers, Rob Myers, just join Agile For All. My first step will be to attend one of his CSD courses and maybe have him help coach me to what is the best balance for me.
Why did I decide to share this on a leadership blog? I found myself surprised to be conflicted still with where my attention and skills should be developed further. I have always known that software development was important to me (why I stay a leader in this industry vs explore others) but honestly, I thought the days of questioning how technical I need to be were behind me. Insert laughter here J. Simply typing this out made sense…I choose my career not because of a title but because what intrigues me, what I’m passionate about, what I find important. Sometimes you don’t realize the nice balance you had found until you go out of balance. And I’m out of balance now – which I intend to fix.
What skills do you miss as a leader?