Middle Management

A manager may have scarcely more control over real decisions than an individual contributor does. And they often have the added stress of having to communicate plans they don’t necessarily believe in to folks who will be displeased by them.

The potential level of bullshit that a middle manager may have to deal with is an order of magnitude higher than that of an IC. Is the difference in compensation enough to make up for it? Maybe not, in a software engineering context. Engineers make a darn fine living just fiddling with the bits.

Some mid-level management jobs are great, for sure. But I suspect the worst management jobs are way worse than the worst development gigs.

Management where you can make a difference, where you have some leverage to have more of an impact than you could as an individual contributor… That’s a worthy engagement. Management where you’re not much more than a conduit for information, a deliverer of bad news, a place for blame to fall when things don’t work as expected… That’s not worth your time.