A week after my boss, the IT Manager of a highly automated manufacturing plant, and I had a conversation about the future plans for the Software Development Unit (me) regarding training, junior dev hiring, etc., he announced his resignation out of the blue, with a 4-day notice, and Management unexpectedly appointed me to take his place at a near-manager level, instead of offering the position to the Infrastructure Engineer (the only other employee in Plant IT).
Three months into this role, I have mixed feelings about the position. Being a developer, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of non-programming related technical issues I must oversee, such as network, server and telecommunications infrastructure. Needless to say, the 4-day knowledge transfer was nothing compared to the amount of knowledge required to keep everything running. Add to this that this "manager/quasi-manager" position's responsibilities include about 60% hands-on, high level 7x24x365 application support (i.e. guess which one of the 3000+ corporate-developed applications is not working properly), which I despise to do, and the outlook is not very bright.
I've never heard of a Developer being promoted to IT Manager before. Has anyone had a similar experience? Did you ever went back to development, was it difficult to go back? What did you do to ease this transition? Notes, blogs, books you recommend?