3 Reasons to Move Up Into Management as Programmer

And proof you’re already ready

Digital art of someone who is rising up to become a leader
Created by the author using Midjourney

I recently wrote about identifying whether you are ready for management or when it is time to step down from management.

Those two posts were intended to be general rather than particular to a professional trade or field of profession.

In this post, I aim to identify programmers engaged in low-level coding and programming who have never performed as a supervisor in an official capacity.

Have you contemplated rising up the ranks and taking on a supervisory role? I have, and I have followed through on it. My career began with C++ and C# for .NET programming. Following that, I rose through the ranks to become a supervisor, a director, and, finally, an executive.

Here are three reasons you might be ready to advance into management and no longer work in a non-supervisory role.

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Created by the author using Midjourney

Being known as the problem-solver gives you credibility with management and all stakeholders.

Are you finding creative solutions to difficult problems, or can you break down complex problems into smaller pieces and then solve them systematically? Some other signs include your ability to debug and optimize code efficiently for speed and efficiency.

Your peers’ recognition of your contributions matters, especially if other programmers compliment your problem-solving abilities and seek your advice when they get stuck on a problem. When it comes to your peers, as noted, it’s another indicator and measure of your skills as seen by others.

That said, here are a couple more indications to consider:

  • You take charge of your projects and see them through to completion, demonstrating that you can handle matters that come your way and that you care about doing things well and obtaining results. Management (at the very least) values this degree of dedication and commitment.
  • Even when something appears unachievable at first appearance, you discover approaches to do it within budget and time constraints while still producing high-quality work. In some respects, this perseverance distinguishes excellent programmers from the rest.
Created by the author using Midjourney

When difficulties arise that become setbacks or obstructions to reaching deadlines and expectations, I have witnessed firsthand how much creative problem resolution depends on a thorough grasp of the whole development approach (life cycle, processes, touchpoints, among others).

Suppose you thoroughly grasp those processes and can eloquently communicate them to others. In that case, you will have the foundation to combine the two while directing teams or developing solutions. Distilling complex concepts into easily understandable narratives is undeniably a skill that requires years, if not decades, of practice and refinement.

Many programmers, it may be said, have a thorough grasp of the development process. Knowing how to hinge various touchpoints along the process, understanding the regions of convergence in how teams and approaches combine, and fluency in expressing effectively how they all operate contribute to your total understanding.

All teams benefit from having leaders who are well-versed in not just the process touchpoints but also the elements, methodologies, and approaches necessary or helpful for each. For instance, a solid understanding of algorithms and data structures could be essential for specific touchpoints and show that you have specialized knowledge.

In addition, it is crucial to understand how this information links to other stages of the implementation lifecycle, such as the incorporation of different tools and technologies, the use of version control systems, the development of debugging tools, and the use of issue trackers.

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Created by the author using Midjourney

When an issue arises, most programmers attempt to address it independently. The latter generally entails checking for and correcting problems in their code. However, some programmers who take responsibility for issue solutions go beyond just attempting to correct their errors. Instead, they actively seek answers to frequent programming challenges to prevent encountering similar issues (especially to benefit their teams) in the future.

As a programmer, there are a few indicators that you take responsibility for problem resolution and seek answers proactively. First, you have a solid grasp of the tools and strategies accessible for solving typical programming challenges. When an issue emerges, you may rapidly find viable solutions. Second, you stay updated on new advancements in your profession so that you may learn about fresh approaches to old issues. Finally, you’re not hesitant to share your expertise with others.

For starters, taking responsibility for problems demonstrates that you are invested in the project’s success. It shows that you care about your work and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure everything runs smoothly. Such an approach may create trust in those who rely on your code (and those who are not only your peers and leadership teams.)

Second, actively pursuing answers demonstrates initiative and a willingness to face obstacles. By addressing problem-solving and challenging tasks with eagerness, you distinguish yourself from others who may be hesitant to take on such difficulties. Especially where you currently may reside, your immediate leadership notices such actions you take whereby you send a powerful signal to them — to any potential employer — about your commitment to learn and progress professionally.

Taking responsibility for problems and pursuing solutions displays that you are focused on being proactive rather than reactive, adding to an important personality attribute for any programmer demonstrating that you are always looking ahead and attempting to anticipate problems before they emerge. To your leadership, their perception of you may be that your proactivity prevents many potential issues: when problems develop in the future, you will be better equipped to deal with them since you have explored and proven solutions in the past.

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