The Problem with Promoting


“ Too often, we take our best coders and turn them into incompetent managers because it seems like a logical next step, and because we don’t pay adequate attention to what we really want from these critical executives. (Hint, this is about many fields, not merely software).”
Seth Godin “The extraordinary software development manager”

Exactly. Why can’t we just reward our best coders, developers, designers without having to promote them into management positions in which they will suffer and perform poorly?

Michael Lopp has similar thoughts:

As I wrote about in Being Geek, the Curse of the Silicon Valley is that great engineers are often promoted to leadership for their hard work. While many succeed in this role, an equal part fails because the skills required to lead are vastly different than the ones required to be an engineer. The Curse is that we\’re often placing our most valuable engineers in a role where they\’re predisposed to fail.

Think of it like this: there\’s a large population of immensely talented engineers that should not be leaders. There is no amount of training that would make up for the talent we\’d extinguish by teaching them how to write annual reviews.

Stop the nonsense.

Also, read Being Geek.