Thursday, January 27, 2005

Techie or Manager

I drove into work the other day listening to meditative incantations. As I drove, I tried to see the world as a child. Water-towers became docked space ships and streetlights become uni-podded aliens attempting to disintegrate me. Beside the fact that I am weird, why would I do this? No I didn't smoke anything. Its an exercise I like to do when I am doing software design. I like to keep imaginitive, and open. This is important because software is soft. Software developers create thier own realities. Maybe a little insanity is good for those whose create alternate realities.
Anyway, I arrived at work, mentally prepared, but not for what was waiting for me. A note summons me to my bosses office - kind of formal and all. I immediately itemized all my misdeeds of the past week or so. Nothing that I couldn't defend, or so I thought. Well to cut to the chase, I was promoted, to Lead Software Engineer.
My heart sank. To begin with, my mentor, leader, and collaborator of 6 years was moving on. He was the interpersonal hub and arbitrator between the disparate elements of the project. He also had to do all the crappy admin stuff. He never really got to do much software design or code. I sort of led the software design and coding efforts as one of the project's Alpha Geeks.
As I thought about it I realized that I really had it made. I get to play with computers for a living. I get to devise, conceptualize and realize. I don't wanna be no manager. I am already living my dream. So I said 'No'. I told my manager that developing software is my passion and I meant it. You can't argue with that. I also mentioned that she could count on me while transitioning in a new Lead.
My heart rose like the mid-day sun.
I had made the right choice.

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