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Old 28.01.2012, 15:37
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Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

Hi!

I am currently a .Net senior developer. I enjoy my job, but as I see it, from a career perspective, technical positions have less possibility of progression.

I mean, if you're a techie, what's the highest you can get? IT Architect? I believe that non-technical IT careers have further possibilites: project manager -> program manager -> department head -> CTO. Besides, project managers usually earn more than techies, so that's also something to consider.

Well, maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I see it from my experience so far.

So, you guys mind sharing what your thoughts are about this? Am I correct? If so, what would be the best move for a senior developer to try to get into project management? Maybe getting the PRINCE2 certification?

I know, I know, you should do what you enjoy most. The thing is, I've also done some project management and I really like it as well. So I wouldn't mind pursuing a career in either of these two tracks.
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Old 28.01.2012, 18:02
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

I married an IT project manager and it is a lot of thankless hours and politics and the extra cash (while admittedly can be quite high) wasn't worth the overtime, stress, etc etc.

I mean it depends on your finances and ambition and family situation more than anything but from my exposure to IT I would rather be in my office doing dev or testing than trying to herd cats and manage a budget and deal with senior management etc etc. But to each their own.
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Old 28.01.2012, 18:31
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

I'd say that to jump from Developer to PM you have to be in the right place at the right moment, because without previous experience in PM nobody will give you a job on PM, and there's no way to gather experience unless somebody gives you the chance. You begin from the inside of the company taking more responsibility as tech lead, team head... or network your way to the position you want (where I come from that's called "ass kissing").
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Old 28.01.2012, 18:33
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

I took (and passed) the PMP exam like tens of thousands over the world, I hear for pure techies in Europe PRINCE is better, in any case, I would say a certification is both a good personal intellectual challenge and a plus on any resume.
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Old 28.01.2012, 18:54
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

I don't agree. To me, there's no need to move to pointless and boring IT Project Management positions if you're a senior developer. There's a lot more fun being hands-on with technical issues than soft talking about hot air. As senior developer, you can get to VP/DIR level or Executive Director at UBS if you're really smart.
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Old 28.01.2012, 20:33
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

I guess the choice of career is just a personal one. Some people just don't like project managing. But for what I've seen, I think I'd enjoy this kind of job.

pabcbc, have you gotten a project management position with that certification? Or did it help in some other way? I'm actually thinking about getting some kind of certification. It wouldn't hurt.

So, you guys have any info about which certification is better to have here in Switzerland? You need to attend a course to study it, or you can just order the books and study at home? Where can you sit the exam for those certifications in Zürich?
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Old 29.01.2012, 21:29
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

to Frogdr - thanks for asking. I was already active in the field and wanted to preach by example, force myself to learn the concepts I was missing or not structured enough about and beautify my resume.
In the areas that I had practiced less (for instance earned value management or more scientifc scheduling) this was very useful.
So a matter of personal choice and career development. But everything is a project, even a piece of code.
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Old 01.03.2012, 09:53
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

Hi Frogdr

If you are really interested into Project Management, maybe you would fit into our company! Are you currently looking for a new challenge?
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Old 02.03.2012, 13:08
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

my suggestion is to take project management certification like PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioners, or ITIL Foundation/Intermediate where no PM experience is needed. And try to get PMP certification as well
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Old 02.03.2012, 14:45
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

Hi Frogdr

I'm kinda in the same mindset as you at the moment as I have been wondering recently about how long I will continue to do development. My work is half development and half business analysis with some limited project management. I have just signed up to do the online Prince2 foundation and Practitioner course and then do the exams in Bern.

My thinking was that at the very least, it will round out my skills and may offer me and my department more flexibility in the future, when new projects come online. If I do go down the Project Management path, then I have a recognised qualification and theoretical understanding as a starting point.
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Old 03.03.2012, 10:59
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

The thing is, I do have a bit of experience in project managing, but those responsibilites were always combined with some other roles, I do not have experience as "the project manager" of a project.

I've been taking a look at the PMP and PRINCE2 certifications. Many people say that it would be great to have both, that they are complementary. So I think I'll try to get the PRINCE2 certification, and then, later on, I'll pursue the PMP certification.

Now, I'm also studying German now. I don't think I'm going to have too much free time for the next few months. Oh well, I'm sure it's worth the effort.
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Old 03.03.2012, 11:07
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

potbelly, would you mind sharing where you signed up to study on-line? I think I could take a look at that as well.
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Old 03.03.2012, 11:07
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

This video will go you some thought on what you could read to help you along: http://www.youtube.com/usenixassocia...37/3KpPBnEtRj4
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Old 03.03.2012, 11:51
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Re: Advance one's career from senior developer to project manager

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The thing is, I do have a bit of experience in project managing, but those responsibilites were always combined with some other roles, I do not have experience as "the project manager" of a project.

I've been taking a look at the PMP and PRINCE2 certifications. Many people say that it would be great to have both, that they are complementary. So I think I'll try to get the PRINCE2 certification, and then, later on, I'll pursue the PMP certification.
Hi, I'm a Program Manager for a large multi-national, been doing that for a couple of years now. If you want to jump to project and then program management any certification is nice as it gives you a management methodology to use for a project or program. However for successful Project Management, and much much more so Program management, people management skills are more important than which project management methodology you use.

My recommendation is that if someone doesn't have the tolerance level to deal with the people/emotional management (ie: task, time and deliverables) ego, otherwise known as stakeholder management, and how to politically block out distractors who want to either butt in, divert or introduce scope creep for their own gain at your expense, then it's not the right job for them.

At times managing all of that can be frustrating and sometimes be left wishing for the good old days when someone else dealt with all of that, but if you're someone who wants to be in on the decision making side of things it has it's rewards.

One last thought..if you're serious about making the move a DIMACK/Six Sigma certification (green belt minimum) carries a lot more weight than which project management style you're certified in, and that trend is strongly growing in the Consumer Packaged goods industry

Good luck
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