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Submitted by jrb3 on


Greetings, all!

I'm a mid-career software developer in individual contributor role on contract, looking to step up into a manager role as an employee somewhere with a much shorter commute.  I seek advice, thoughts, and brainstorms around successfully creating this transition in the coming months.

I know I can survive and thrive in management.

  1. Hiring and firing:  I've managed volunteers for many years, gathering together and guiding teams to do what we set out to do for our organizations.
  2. Detailed skills:  I have Manager Tools here for the nuts-and-bolts of doing this as my vocation.  My project management skills are reasonable, and have kept me effective in contracts and employee positions as a team lead.
  3. Money and administration:  I have built and run (and closed down) a half-dozen one-person and one-household businesses.  The household's long been debt-free because of my skill with our finances.
  4. Coaching and feedback:  I've long been complimented on my mentoring of junior developers (and peers) in communications and technical skills.

My weak area is relationship-building.  My intuition is that I need to dial this up.  I know of managers, directors, and other top leaders across many organizations through Toastmasters.  There's plenty of strong companies in several clusters nearby, some of which would have technical software teams.

I plan on doing some informational interviews to scope out specific organizations and answer questions (salary ranges, training desired, ...).  I plan to visit a number of nearby Toastmasters clubs and ask (one-on-one) for good managers to talk with.  I plan to chat up friends to find good managers to talk with -- including a few well-respected ones here where I'm on contract too far from home.  I plan to continue serving in my local Toastmasters district ("state" level) in running and improving aspects of conferences and training.  I even plan to take the Effective Manager and Communications seminars this fall to cement the transition.

What else might I consider?  Are there other attitudes or approaches I can layer on that folks have found effective?  Thanks in advance!