Having been promoted to senior, lead and then principal and then choosing to take an individual contributor I have to say I prefer the managerial roles and use it to inspire, lead by example, and help others with professional development along with making sure engineering tasks are on schedule. I am a teacher though and love mentoring others so that helps. Not everyone has the personality for that kind of leadership role and often the wrong people end up in it.
Just because you progress to a leadership role doesn’t mean you should just stop coding. On the contrary, you should never stop doing what you love. Ya never know you just may end up being an individual contributor again.
I have been presenting at meetups and conferences this past year. Next step is authoring a book and it’s in the works. I’m gonna keep the next bit under wraps for now but it’s exciting! Here’s the only advice I really have. If you lose the spark, stop everything and take a break and reevaluate what your goals are. Maybe you will find out something about yourself in the process.
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