I work at a large company where technical people fall roughly in one of these categories:
- A developer on a scrum team who develops for a single product and maybe works with other teams that are closely related to the product.
- An architect who is more of a consultant on multiple teams (5-6) and tries to recognize commonalities between team efforts that could be abstracted into libraries (architects do not write the library code, however). This architect also attends many meetings with management and attempts to set technical direction.
In my company the architect role is where most technical people move into as the next step in their career.
My questions are: Do most companies work such a way that their highest paid technical people are far removed from writing code? Is this a natural tendency for a developer's career? Can a developer have it all (code AND set direction?)