Wednesday, 28 May 2014

The Peter Principle

At some point most software developers have to make a decision in their career. Do they move into a managerial role or do they continue as a software developer.

The Peter Principle is named after  Laurence J. Peter who wrote a book in 1969 in which he suggests that people will always get promoted to level in which they are incompetent. The Principle states that you will get promoted based on your ability to do your current job and not on any assessment of how you would do your next role. Let's face it, this is especially true in the IT industry. How many strong developers have been promoted into a role out of their depth because they were technically strong?

Managing people is hard, much harder than it looks. If you want to avoid Peter Princpile you have to be aware of everything you do and say 100X more than you ever did before. You have to gain a deep understanding of what motivates people, you have to actively seek feedback and act upon it, you need to read and understand things like EQ, how teams form, how to create a diverse team, how to handle conflict, how to be a good mentor, how to set gaols how to lead people to the "right" solution through questions and dozens of other things. I warn you it is a much different job and you do not get the creative high you do from programming. However it can be rewarding in its own why.

Before making this kind of decision you really need to do some deep thinking about what makes you happy and where you want to be in the future.


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