I’ve recently hit a point in my career where I feel like I am at a crossroads. I’m currently headed down a path that could lead me to fantastic opportunities in Product Management. When I first hired on at familysearch, that was totally the direction I wanted to head. It still may be, but I’m feeling torn because I still really love developing software.
I love getting my brain wrapped around a programming problem, getting in the zone, and delivering something cool. It is strange to say, but it gives me a sense of exhilaration when I’ve solved a really hard problem. It is really hard for me to let go of that.
I feel like I am good at combining together good ideas to solve problems. Sometimes those ideas are big ideas which would need an orchestrated effort from multiple teams of people to pull off. This is where I see excitement in Product Management.
My fear is that I will become consumed working in heavy product/project management tools (like VersionOne) doing busy work and will lose the enjoyment that I find in software development. I also fear that I will become one of those guys who says “I used to program COBOL or Fortran.” Another fear I have us that I won’t be effective enough in persuading others when I run up against opposition. I don’t like conflict, but I know I need to learn to manage it.
We are experiencing innovation like we’ve never seen before. New platforms, databases, devices, protocols, etc. are being released at breakneck speeds which enable us to imagine things that have never been possible before. The question I have to ask myself is: What is the level of influence I ultimately want to have in defining the future? I guess that is why I am still leaning slightly towards Product Management.