Recently we were hiring a project manager for our company. We scheduled interviews for few candidates. There was one candidate having 10 years of experience in project management. His skills were good, he has good experience of handling mid to large projects and have worked with small to medium size team. Everything was good. I almost make up a mind to hire him but later he said something which screwed up all the things and that is.
I WILL NOT WRITE A SINGLE LINE OF CODE
That is something I feel that a manager should not do particularly when you are working with small or medium size team. I understand that a job of project manager is to manage team and setting up goals and lead the project from start to end. The main job of an engineering manager is to grow their team - by hiring good engineers and by helping each existing engineer on their team become a better engineer.
But what I feel is when you are working with small or medium size team, as a project manager sometime you may have to participate as programmer and help the team and team members. I have been working in IT industry since last 10 years and during that time I have evolved from being a developer to project manager but I still write codes while managing projects and you have to do it sometime. Particularly when you don't have efficient team members. For example once I faced this situation. There was project with tight deadline and my most experienced developers quit the job and I was not having any option to replace them immediately but the deadline is deadline, you have to deliver. You can not tell client that I don't have resources. So at this point a project manager has to act as programmer and finish the job.
Also sometimes there is a situation due to security reasons, you are not allowed to expose source code to team members or you don't trust your team members so in in this case you have to write a code and make the necessary changes.
Also as a project manager, you have to review and correct code of your team members and this sometimes you have to do it. You can not always ask team members to correct it. Sometimes they don't understand verbal communication, you have to show them example by writing code and show them.
Coding cannot be the primary activity of the development manager. However, development manager capable of coding influence team members much better than those with no coding skills. In smaller teams, manager should be able to review and correct the code. If required, manager should be able to write a small portion of the code.
So in my opinion, I would prefer to have project manager with coding skills and IT background and if required he shall be able to write codes and explain to team members. He should be able to manage project in difficult times like lack of resources and tight deadline. This is my opinion you may have other opinions about this. Do let me know if you have anything to add to this.
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