Few reasons to not become an engineering manager

Don’t become an engineering manager if you see it as a way to continue your career growth. Engineering management is a different career path and not an extension of engineering. If you aren’t growing as an engineer, fix that first.

Don’t become an engineering manager if you are at a phase in life where you can’t spend as much time at work. Management takes more of your time, with far less flexibility and over tiny unfulfilling 30 min chunks.

Don’t become an engineering manager if you want to tell people what to do or if you want to “make decisions”. Engineering managers are at the bottom of their hierarchy and even senior engineers have more control over key decisions.

Don’t become an engineering manager if you are seeking a higher status career path. VP of engineering sounds amazing, until you realize there are dozens of candidates for every role, most companies promote internally and not always on merit.

Don’t become an engineering manager if you think you are “good with people”. Gregarious individuals often think they will be good at management. This notion will be quickly dispelled in the inevitable 1:1 when one of your reports asks why they aren’t being promoted.

So, unless people around you thrust you into the position of an engineering manager, don’t go around actively seeking it. You will be far happier and wealthier being an engineer.

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