Career crossroads

Greetings all –

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My apologies for being a bit out of touch for the last few weeks.  There
have been several “fires” burning that I’ve had to deal with, plus a short vacation
for my 10-year college
a couple weeks ago.  And now,
my manager has been promoted to a different position inside MSFT and I’ve been asked
to be interim development manager for our team (which is about 40 developers) until
a permanent replacement is found.  I agreed,
but not without some ambivalence.  My
current team is 11 people, so I still get to do a lot of technical things, but in
my interim role managing a team of 40, I’ll be a full-time bureaucrat for the next
couple of months.  Meetings, process,
people issues, needing to deal with cross-group wrangling, etc.  The
kind of thing a technical person least wants to deal with.


It’s been an interesting little adventure so far.  When
the news got out that I would be doing this stint, a lot of people would hit me “the
question”: Do I want the job permanently?  Now,
this is a question I would only hit someone with if I knew them fairly well, but maybe
I’m a bit on the reserved side.  So, since
everyone keeps asking me this question, I might as well tell the world the answer:
I don’t know!


The big downside of going into the bureaucracy business would be that I’d have to
delegate away all the really interesting technical tasks, which I do enjoy.  On
the other hand, going up one level in the hierarchy would give me more influence and
much better enable me to make some improvements to our internal development processes
that I’ve been wanting to make.  I guess
it’s mostly a matter of how I want to influence
things, and on what kinds of tasks I want to spend my day.


Of course, this is probably an irrelevant question with respect to my boss’s job:
it certainly hasn’t been offered to me permanently, and probably won’t be anyway.  But
whatever happens, I will have a fun time doing, essentially, a “dev manager internship”
and maybe I’ll get some insight into where I want to go during the second decade of
my career (wow, do I feel old when I look at it that way!).


While I’m in this interim role, I plan to continue my blog, although I may expand
it to address some VS IDE features beyond VS solutions & projects.


Well, that’s all for now! -Chris


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