Scott Hanselman

This Developer's Life 1.0.9 - Management

December 04, 2010 Comment on this post [5] Posted in Podcast
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dilbert-boss In this episode of This Developer's Life 1.0.9, Rob and I talk to technical folks who have moved on up to Management - and what it means to them.

  • Mark Freedman shares his story about clawing his way out of a successful career as a manager at a rather large, growing company. A good job, lots of respect, and he hates it.
  • Bertrand LeRoy talks about charting his own path right at Microsoft after graduating with a PhD in Physics and how he maintains a career right down in the middle of manager and coder.
  • Todd Baesen talks about moving from Chemical Engineer to Nuclear Engineer on the USS Enterprise (literally), and then to senior management at a big engineering firm in the SF Bay Area.

You can download the MP3 here (58 minutes) and visit our site at

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See you next time!

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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December 04, 2010 11:49
A few points:

I understand what Todd Baesen is saying, but IMO, a logical career path for a technical person can include consulting and training. There are several things someone who wants to remain technical can do and still NOT be limited in income.

There's definitely satisfaction in managing a successful project, but I know several people who feel that not being involved in the implementation leaves them feeling empty. As I'm sure he realizes, Todd's efforts in trying to keep a capable person from leaving management isn't always best for everyone. Just because you may be good at something, it does not mean you should be doing that job.

You only live once. Do what you know you love to do. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s your life. It’s your soul.

I'm considering expanding on this topic, and the subject of moving back to development (and the challenges of starting in this field, in general) in a new podcast series. I put together a list of points I'd love to interview folks about:
December 04, 2010 12:23
The download URL for the MP3 results in a 404.
December 04, 2010 23:13
Love it! :-)
December 07, 2010 2:37
I switched from a programming career to a management career. I was successful, and I even enjoyed helping develop the careers of others. But I found over time that I could not establish strong enough emotional boundaries, so I was emotionally exhausted. It was hard for me to recognize that management was not a good fit because my boss was pleased with my work and I enjoyed helping others. But that is not enough. It was not sustainable. Fortunately, my last boss was very enlightened. Once I made it clear to him what was happening, he helped me move into a programmer role again. I once again enjoy what I do and I have enough energy to enjoy my life outside work as well as my life at work. And I still get to use my people skills with customers and coworkers.

I encourage others to follow what fits. Even if you are good at something or enjoy it, you may not be able to sustain it.
December 13, 2010 9:17
Yes, it does seem an odd concept to be running beta for service packs.

An odd concept, that is, which seems very much necessary and appropriate.

We are definitely seen a trend of software becoming increasingly complex and I expect this trend to increase in intensity. It seems to be getting harder and harder for companies to release software without lots of bugs.

I guess MS is doing what they can to minimize them. Kudos to them.

Looking forward the the release. I'm particularly interested in the improved HTML5 support.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.