Take the 2-minute tour ×
Programmers Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development. It's 100% free.

What does the career path of a Software Development Manager typically look like, in terms of years of experience, education, professional background, and so on?

share

migration rejected from stackoverflow.com May 4 at 15:21

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers. Votes, comments, and answers are locked due to the question being closed here, but it may be eligible for editing and reopening on the site where it originated.

closed as off-topic by gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, durron597, Snowman, GlenH7 May 4 at 15:21

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions seeking career or education advice are off topic on Programmers. They are only meaningful to the asker and do not generate lasting value for the broader programming community. Furthermore, in most cases, any answer is going to be a subjective opinion that may not take into account all the nuances of a (your) particular circumstance." – gnat, Bart van Ingen Schenau, durron597, Snowman, GlenH7
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
In my experience it's usually just tenure and being a "yes man" to senior management. Technical skill doesn't matter as much as complimenting the boss(es). Yes, that's a broad generalization but I can count the number of "good" managers I've had on one hand, and would need both hands and feet for the number that only were manager only by virtue of being the first programmer hired/longest programmer there/always says "Yes, we can do that" to the CEO –  Wayne M Apr 11 '11 at 16:31

2 Answers 2

It mostly depends on the organization.

In the job postings that I've seen, people in managerial roles (including technical leads) have at least 5 years of industry experience, often in the domain that the company operates. Most have upwards of 10 years of experience, however, with a subset of that being in the domain where the company works. In larger companies, many have post-graduate degrees, with technical managers having degrees in engineering or engineering management and program managers having degrees in engineering management, business management, or an MBA. In smaller companies, the experience is the driving factor.

Generally, you have proven yourself "in the trenches", so to speak. You have some kind of development work on project teams to show for yourself, either in the organization, in previous jobs, or in other personal projects. I've never seen a manager without a degree of any kind, but in the places I've worked, a degree is a prerequisite for any position and I can't speak to start-ups and smaller mom-and-pop software companies.

Someone who is a manager or leader, from my experiences, has proven themselves to be technically competent and a top individual performer. They might or might not have formal leadership, business, or project management experience, but have demonstrated the ability to learn on the fly and would be expected to learn the skills needed, either on their own or by seeking out company sponsored or funded training sessions.

share

Software manager? I'm in the same situation. The way I see it is years of experiences and perhaps knowing how to database design. Taking project manager courses will impress those PR people. I know how to manage code monkeys! What you basically need is skills in leading people and project manager courses is a selling point for interviewer, years of experiences in related industry, and if you know how to plan abstractly (ER diagram, UML, etc..). Stuff like oh I was a senior programmer and I mentor some jr and mid programmer helps too.

share

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.