22 March 2019 Do I truly want to become a manager?

After reading “Do I truly want to become a manager?” by @clairejlew, I decided that I would actual consider and answer these questions. Some questions are difficult to answer as a non-manager, but I’ve tried to answer them the best I can.

How much do you enjoy being in “flow” at work?

Flow is so extremely vital in my current role, but in an open office it’s like trying to get blood from a stone.

I think this question is difficult to answer in terms of “Do I want to be a manager?”. I think this answer would depend on the role and what you want to achieve. As an experienced team member, I’m used to interruptions and helping mentor new developers. Sometimes, I find it difficult when I’m wearing my developer hat, but I generally enjoy mentoring and helping new developers understand a particular concept.

That being said, I think protecting developers time is a key aspect that is severely overlooked in management. This is something I’m keen to encourage going forward.

Does repeating yourself drive you crazy?

Of course it does, but I’m already used to this. I don’t think this problem is exclusive to just managers, but I can see why there is emphasis here.

In terms of mentoring new developers, repetition can occur but it’s a great feeling when they finally grasp a concept.

How big of a control freak are you?

This is such an interesting question. You start thinking about your team mates and who is grasping control of what. As a developer, this tends to be that great feature you implemented or that bit of domain knowledge you introduced.

Recently, I’ve noticed that I’m happy to relinquish control of a new feature and in fact, I’m happy that I can. It’s a huge bonus when you can pass on a feature and someone else can grasp it with little explanation. You know your code is readable, at the very least. Success!

Do you like to play detective?

I’ve been struggling with some peoples behaviour in certain situations at work in (fairly) recent times.

In previous times, especially gaming, I would always get frustrated about something that happened. My initial reaction was to blame someone else; my team mates. I never thought to look at myself. Within the last year especially, I made it my goal to look at myself first and this has come with significant success.

I’ve found it quite calming to take a breather and ask myself about the situation. Was there something I did? Could I have done something better?

I wonder if my team mates or anyone else has tried to mentally play detective…

I think asking questions is a huge benefit for anyone, both internally, running a team or even trying to scrape together a feature in code.

What is your default reaction to conflict?

Ha! This actually made me laugh out loud. I’ve not been known for hiding from conflict. In fact, in some ways, I could be considered a wind up that might cause the conflict. Perhaps a negative quality… Who’s asking? Shut up. I blame my Dad for it, anyway!

Conflict can come in many forms, but in the context of management, I’m not sure I have enough experience to comment. In my current role, anything minor tends to get dealt with quickly and typically by the team directly, but the major problems are taken around the team (to management in one-to-ones).

How disciplined are you with your time (really)?

I’m fairly good. As with most things (for most people!), there is room for improvement, particularly on days when I’m disheartened.

As a developer, I try to block out time for focused work, check Slack and emails at reasonable breaks rather than constant communication feedback loops and I always seem to have that second cup at 10:30.

In conclusion, I don’t think any of these questions have made me reconsider wanting to be a manager.

Growing up and even tonight, I’ve heard many stories, helpful examples and experiences from my Dad about management, so I’m perhaps more drawn to it than is typical - but maybe not.

We’ll see if a management or team leader role happens soon.