My colleague who switched from program management to programming has this to say about unintended consequences:
- My wife says that I am much more pleasant to be around.
- My social skills appear to have become a lot better, which is really counter-intuitive to the standard image of a developer.
My take on this is that I developed through the needs of my job as a lead program manager the ability to talk to anyone at any time to get a particular issue dealt with, but that I didn't necessarily want to do this or enjoy the process. After work or on the weekends, my wife was hard pressed to get me to see other people. Now, there is no such issue. The reduction in forced human interaction is such that I am no longer overstretching my ability to interact with people, thus rendering me able to undertake those interactions and actually enjoy it.
Of course, this doesn't necessarily work for lifelong programmers, since they may not ever have developed these social skills to begin with!