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Which is best, either Technical or Management side for Career Growth in IT Field ?

 Career advice asked by: Leninkannan| Posted on: 11/14/2009 8:11:26 AM | Views: 9677

Hi All,

Currently I am a senior developer in private company and i have to go next level and i need to choose either Technical or Management Side. This is a important decision for my career, So please tell me that what are the advantages and disadvantages for both ( Technical & Management).

If i will select a Technical Side then what is the high designation on it ? & How is growth in both salary & designation wise.

If i will select a Management Side then what is the high designation on it ? & How is growth in both salary & designation wise.

Please clarify my questions or give the good suggestion to me.

Thanks in Advance,
Lenin.

sainath's Advice on Saturday, November 14, 2009 :
Firstly, both are equally good career paths and you need to make a choice based on where you would like to see yourself in a few years time and where your interests, abilities lie. A similar question was also asked earlier, the link is given below:

www.dotnetfunda.com/advices/a22-carrer-advice-needed.aspx

Let us assume you either want to become a Technical Architect or a Project Manager. I would urge you to take inventory of your own skill sets before finalizing which career path to opt for. The questions below might help:

For Software Architecture:

  • Are you technically strong?
  • Do you enjoy resolving technical issues in a project?
  • Do you keep exploring new technologies when they are in their Beta stage itself?
  • Do you enjoy coding?
  • Do you possess an investigative/exploring mindset?
  • Do you possess good software engineering knowledge (for ex. design patterns, best practices in S/W development,etc) or have a strong interest in the same?
For Project Management:

  • Are you good in planning? (very important)
  • Are you a good communicator?
  • Are you a good leader? (Test yourself - how many people voluntarily accept your advice, approach you for solving their problems. The key word here is "voluntary?, without any reporting hierarchy in between)
  • Are you a good negotiator?
  • Do you like the challenge of handling people (many people underestimate this skill set)?
  • Can you take total responsibility for the success/failure of a project?
  • Do you possess good domain knowledge?
Separating the role of a PM and an architect becomes necessary in big projects involving at least 20-25 resources. Handing project deadlines, gathering requirements, client interaction, allocating resources - people & hardware assets, handling project budgets, handling stake holders (people for whom the software is being made), etc is the primary responsibility of the PM.

A PM needs to possess what can be called "helicopter vision" - the ability to keep the entire project on track. Truly successful PMs are also excellent leaders and masters in man management.

A S/W architect needs to have both "tunnel vision" with respect to the hard core technical aspects of a project, whether something is technically feasible or not, if the solution architecture being adopted is correct. He also needs to have "helicopter vision" - is the project scalable, can it handle a bigger user base in future.

True success can come only when both the HEAD (ability to do something) and HEART (genuine interest in an area) are in sync. Don't get swayed by titles like "Manager?,? Architect" - find your strong area and push forward.

"Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination."
                    - Major General Karl Von Clausewitz


All the best !

Regards,

Sainath Sherigar,
www.ugain.info



Leninkannan said on Sunday, November 22, 2009


Dear Sainath,

First, Really Many Many Thanks to You. Sorry for Late reply.
Please see my answer with in-line.

For Software Architecture:

Are you technically strong? A : YES
Do you enjoy resolving technical issues in a project?
A: YES
Do you keep exploring new technologies when they are in their Beta stage itself? A: NO
Do you enjoy coding? A: YES
Do you possess an investigative/exploring mindset? A: NO
Do you possess good software engineering knowledge (for ex. design patterns, best practices in S/W development,etc) or have a strong interest in the same?
A: I know little bit of it.

For Project Management:


Are you good in planning? (very important) A: YES
Are you a good communicator? A: NO
Are you a good leader? (Test yourself - how many people voluntarily accept your advice, approach you for solving their problems. The key word here is "voluntary?, without any reporting hierarchy in between)
A: I don't know answer fot this, But I handle the small team(2 developer) for 3 weeks & i successfully delivery the small project with 0 defect on time.

Are you a good negotiator? A: NO
Do you like the challenge of handling people (many people underestimate this skill set)? A: NO
Can you take total responsibility for the success/failure of a project? A: YES
Do you possess good domain knowledge? A: Little bit


Still the following questions are not answered.

If i will select a Technical Side then what is the high designation on it ? & How is growth in both salary & designation wise.

If i will select a Management Side then what is the high designation on it ? & How is growth in both salary & designation wise.

As my experience, In the most of company,
Manager has more salary & more power & full control of the project. they are decision maker even they will decide design itself. If they delivered one project then they will good hike & promotion, But if Architect delivery more than one solution to more than one project then they do not get much hike & promotion and all glory and fame goes to only manager.

In indian market, manager getting more comparing with architect. So please tell me that how is growth for the Architect in India.

Please clarify my doubts.

Many Thanks in Advance,
Lenin Kannan


sainath's Advice on Monday, November 30, 2009 :
Hi Lenin,

On the technical side, you can start off as in a Tech Lead kind of role and go on to becoming Project Architect --> Enterprise Architect --> CTO. Shiv has already given the detailed career path in the link posted above.

On the management side, you can progress from Team Lead / Project Lead -> Project Manager --> Program Manager --> Delivery Head --> CIO kind of role.

The architects role is still getting refined in India. Growth in salary is strong in both areas - but it depends more on relative importance of the role in the organization. An enterprise architect in an organization level role interacting with top management to implement technology road maps will definitely earn more than the PM. At the same time, all other factors being the same, at the same band / level in the hierarchy PMs will definitely earn more. This is an open debate.

You are right in saying that the PM holds complete control and decides the project direction. And this is correct - responsibility and accountability should always rest with 1 person, you cannot give the decision making authority to multiple people as this will lead to chaos and confusion. Since the PM directly faces the business and top management, he may get the recognition if the project succeeds. Most PMs will also tell you that they also have to listen to their quota of negative input consistently on a daily basis. As they are mainly responsible, they also have to face the music when someone in their team commits a blunder. To the untrained eye, a PM can appear as only allocating work and seeking updates. To the trained eye, however, the difficulty of the role is evident - PMs have to don multiple hats when dealing with different people - with top management, business users, developers, testers,architects,DBAs, Infosec and other compliance teams, clients. It is a very good training ground if your aim is to rise higher in management and challenging as well.

Sharing glory with the team, and particularly ensuring that all the silent workers get recognised is the PMs job. Good leaders are quick to catch people doing something right and ensuring they get recognised for their efforts. They also take the whole blame when things go wrong without passing the negativity downwards in their team. Their teams are usually highly motivated.
At the same time, poor leaders hog the limelight and forget to recognise their team members thereby weakening their relationship with their teams.
This has more to do with an individual's leadership ability and has nothing to do with his designation.

Regards,

Sainath Sherigar,
www.ugain.info

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