Management Training

Jonathan Stowe jns at
Sun May 6 10:10:58 BST 2007

On Sun, 2007-05-06 at 01:21 +0100, Paul Makepeace wrote:
> On 5/5/07, Merijn Broeren <merijnb at> wrote:
> > Quoting Nic Gibson (nicg at
> > > People get promoted into a management position because of their
> > > professional/technical expertise. Sadly, brilliant programmer X is not
> > > going to be brilliant manager X. In fact (s)he might be utterly
> > > pissed off manager X because they're now in the position of not
> > > using those skills (to some extent).
> > >
> > I'm sure half this list has just muttered 'Peter Principle' under their
> > breath. Wikipedia link for the other half:
> There's quite an easy--theoretically and operationally--way around
> this which is to have programming and management rewarded on an
> orthogonal basis. I.e. be paid to be an awesome programmer who has no
> management responsibility, or paid to be an awesome manager who does a
> bit of programming, or just be an awesome manager, or anywhere else in
> that space.
> Once you make it two dimensional with neither axis weighted (i.e.
> management isn't seen as "more important" or vice versa) the problem
> is much reduced. I've seen my peers go on management tracks, take on
> those roles, do it for a few months and then go back to pure tech
> roles after deciding it wasn't for them or they just wanted to get
> back down to relatively more coding for a while. So if you allow
> fluidity along the axes the problem reduces every more.

Whilst I think this inflexibility of reward structure is one motivation
for skilled technical people moving into management (which they may be
ill-suited for), another aspect is that most enterprises have a rigid
hierarchical structure which make it difficult for people to control the
resources (staff, budget etc) and strategic direction that impact upon
their ability to do their job properly (as they see it) unless they move
into the management sphere and then of course the overhead of being a
manager further interferes with this ability. 

There are ways round this of course. But it's a holiday weekend and my
brane is focused on other stuff ....


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