Or for my non-sports-enlightened readers, if Tom Cruise was in your movie, would you make him director? Now, don’t get me wrong, Kobe might be a great coach and Tom Cruise might make a great director, but it’s not what they currently do best. Making the greatest current basketball player into a coach would be an awfully strange move if you really wanted your team to have success. So why is it then that so many companies make managers out of their best developers?
The best developers have pride in their work as well as that innate desire to create mentioned in the link above. They don’t work at companies where “coders seem to be considered commodities and low level craftsman”. I really don’t understand how companies run by smart people can think that promoting the very best employees into a job they aren’t specifically suited for would be a great idea but it seems to happen quite a bit, including where I currently work.
Joel recently wrote about why he started his own company, specifically so he could have fun at work. I don’t remember the last time I had a single day where I could actually say I had fun at work, though last Friday I had a pretty darn good 4 hours in the afternoon. I’m leaning more and more towards doing something almost all my coworkers and acquaintances would find dumbfounding but I’m having zero luck finding jobs in Dallas where the guys and gals who write the software are on the same standing as the suits that sell it. It’s ridiculous going through life being proud of something everyone else looks down on.