Senior Software Engineer to a Project Manager

By : Govind

Transition from Senior Software Engineer to a Project Manager

As a part of a startup team, after six years of grueling effort to become a self-learned software engineer, finally, the time has come for me to step up into the managing role. The transition seemed easy at first gaze. Even the  first project seemed smooth, as I was working on the same project before. The scenario changed once new projects started flowing in. I found it difficult to stay up to date with the project status. Slowly I realized that there were multiple factors I had to rectify and improve upon, to get things straight. Few points I have come across are:

Handling the codes for all projects

I realized that once the transition happened, it was difficult to know a project in that deep a detail as how I used to know it when I was developing it. If you try to go deep you will find it difficult when the number of projects increases. It’s just enough to know the process flow and how it was implemented in the project. It gives you a clear idea of how it works and how much effort goes into it.

Brainstorming the coding implementation

When new projects are being initiated. I found it difficult to plan the coding logic for requirements as the number of projects was high. Let the developers break their heads on logic implementation. All I needed to make sure was to give them a clear idea on the requirements.

Delegate work and getting things done better

The delegation of work significantly increases the efficiency and performance of the team. By delegation, you become free to focus on more work. Your duty will be to stay update to date with the project changes. Delegation doesn’t mean you leave it to your team and go your way. Stay with them, help them and make sure things are going right. It also helps to bring up your team with responsibilities.

Your team is your strength

As a project manager, your team’s efficiency reflects your efficiency. So observe and learn the difficulties faced by the team for a project. Work out how work flow can be made smoother within the committed time. Planning plays an important role here. The better you plan a project, the easier the implementation becomes.

Be a Leader, not a Boss

 There is a lot of difference between being a leader and being a boss. Even though at the end of the day both achieve the same thing, a leader churns out a good team at the end of the day whereas a boss squeezes out the team. As far as I am concerned, it’s not the number of projects that we deliver that is of prime importance, it’s the things we achieve as a TEAM. I make sure that the quality of the team improves individually as well as a team. I feel that’s where the true achievement lies. Be a part of the team and lead them. It’s better for a healthy team, both personally and collectively.

Setting up Deadlines wisely

When you agree for a deadline, make sure you have accounted for the worse case scenarios as well. In case things go south, it wouldn’t add as an overload to the team and things can be handled smoothly. From my experience, working under stress never yields a good result. And also make sure the initial planning of the project is done properly along with the team. Always more heads are better than one head. A well planned project makes the implementation part easier with lesser bugs.

 So when you plan on setting a deadline, consider the following.

  • Planning and designing project architecture
  • Comfortable developing time
  • Testing
  • Bug fix

Quality Assurance

Quality is something that can never be compromised. Encourage the team to do things the right way even if the easy way seems a lot shorter. Make them understand the importance of quality. Quality of the product developed, is the only factor that matters in the end, even if the product is developed in no time.

Assist when there is a dire need

Assist your team when they need us. But ensure that you don’t help them throughout. Though it seems to speed up things and ensures better quality, it spoils the team learning. Let them make mistakes and learn to fix it.  From my experience, error debugging and bug fixing is a great source to learn much about how things work in a detailed manner.

Even though I had a lot of difficulties in the transition time, work is now a comfortable space for me now. I have got a great team, who strives to become better than what they were yesterday. End of the day, that makes me leave the office with a smile.

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