Web Software Architecture and Engineering – Life on the Bleeding Edge

Previously, I was Architect and Principal Engineer at my workplace. As of late last week, I’ve been promoted to Architect and Manager of the Software Engineering department, now overseeing the full development lifecycle, including Business Analysis, Project Management, Development, and QA (besides IT/Admin rights).
Its tough enough being a CF developer building a full SaaS product suite (using ColdFusion of course), pushing OO RAD to the limit, and using strong software engineering principles adapted to the web (which puts in me unique place compared to other CF folks), but having product development experience is itself an art, and try to top that off with budgetary, increased HR, department goal setting, increased inter-department coordination and management functions, and your plate is overflowing (along with your brain).
Fortunately, the management stuff is all stuff I’ve done in past roles. And having two degrees in business helps.
But the question I’m presenting you guys with is how you handle being promoted? Do you take charge right away, do make changes? How does your relationship with your peers get affected? Are they like, “finally”, or are there issues that completely change the dynamic of things? Are you shy (taught and trained by dear mom to be humble always) like me?
I’d like to know how you handle it, what issues you deal with, and any tips you’d like to share. Now that I’m blogging, and with my background in Human Resources, I’m curious!

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Comments on: "How do you handle being promoted?" (6)

  1. I found myself in your shoes about 10 years ago. While as a whole the experience went ok the one thing that surprised me, was how much people stopped telling me what they thought. I was finally in a position to fix a number of issues and all of the “good ideas” from the masses stop coming to me. It seems people only share their ideas with their peers not the boss.

  2. Andrew,

    That’s an interesting note. How does the story end? What were you able to do, if anything, to change that behavior?

  3. Come work at a large corporation like me and you’ll never have to worry about being promoted. You’ll just get all the extra responsibilities piled on you without the extra pay. Then after 9 years you’ll get sick of it all and stare at your monitor for 8 hours a day.

  4. Congrats on the promotion. I’d say the first, and hardest, thing to do is embrace the new role. I know in my case, managing meant less (nearly no) development. I had to trust in others abilities to do as good a job as I would do. Fortunately for me, I was the one that hired the other developers in our department, so there were no problems with “inheriting” staff.

    As far as making changes is concerned – I hope you would have talked to your manager about your ideas before the promotion, but any changes that you want to make should be very well communicated, and explained as to *why* you want to make them. There must be a clear path to success, and an end point defined.

    As far as the rest is concerned, you know a general “do unto others” rule probably works best.

    Just MHO.

    Cheers,

    Davo

  5. Congrats Sami!

    For me the initial hurdles were:

    – changing the relationship with who used to be peers are now subordinates. Prior to that my language was 100% collaboration in style, always trying to sell ideas and get people to buy into it. You can now say things like “I need x.”

    – Management is not a democracy. You weren’t voted into that position. Prior to management, I needed to sell things to achieve enough consensus to get people to move fwd on it. If you can get consensus that’s good, but your mission is to do what’s best for the business so ultimately the final decision is yours.

    – You’ll be accustomed to still doing things yourself. But management boils down to working through people. Delegating responsibilities and empowering people to get results.

    Random tips:
    – Set expectations big time. People need to know what to hit, otherwise you can’t hold them accountable. Quarterly reviews, weekly 1:1’s to keep tab on how their progressing on their quarterly goals, etc…

    – Management and Leadership (IMHO) are not the same thing. You don’t need to be a manager to be a leader. But to be an effective manager, growing your leadership skills is extremely valuable.

  6. this is nice information need to know more

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