Opinions about the role of engineering managers in coding are quite diverse. As a young engineer, I used to write code. In my first five years, I coded a variety of projects from robotics to data analytics, using a variety of languages, including those for mainframes. When I focused on engineering management, I stopped coding anything more complex than an Excel macro or an excel formula, allowing me to focus on the business and the team I was managing.
While I can’t say this is the right answer for everyone, it was definitely the right answer for me. Coding languages and paradigms were moving so quickly that if I didn’t invest serious time in staying up-to-date, I would quickly become obsolete as a coder. With my pivot towards management, I believe I made the right move. I enjoyed the bigger picture and, in hindsight, I can’t imagine a different career. Here is an interesting article to prod your thinking in this area: https://www.quora.com/Should-software-development-managers-also-code. What’s the right answer for you?
Written by Mark Werwath