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How Do I Become an IT/IS Manager?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the do-i-even-want-to dept.

IT 371

link915 writes "For the last seven years I have moved around from job to job climbing the rungs of the IT ladder. I've worked in tech support, network operations, sys admin, and as a programmer. Two years ago I took a job with a company that has a small IT department. We are now hiring on more people and doubling the department, and along with this growth comes an IT manager. Now, I could stay and wait things out with the goal of taking over the IT manager's position someday; or I could look for a new job as a manager elsewhere. What are others' experiences with moving up the ranks in IT? Is it best to move on to another company or to stay where you are and try to get ahead there?"

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Questions... (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22142938)

1. Have you asked? If you have asked management when the company is growing if you could be an IT Manager explain why you would be a good one.
2. Show management incentives. Do you help out the new guys by being a mentor to them? When you go to meetings bring up your own ideas. Talk to management outside of meetings about your ideas?
3. Do you need a lot of management yourself? Make sure you do not need to be managed a lot, prove that you are self-reliant.
4. Do you have efficient education? 4 year degree, graduate degree, PHD. Having or working on an MBA is a big plus.
5. Do you show interest outside of IT? If not they you may want to.
As a manager of IT your jobs is looking out for the company first then IT second and make sure they work together.

Emphasis on that last line. (4, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143016)

Do you understand the company and the business? Not just IT.

An IT manager is NOT just someone who manages IT. You have to be able to explain to the other business people how you plan to help them achieve the business goals.

Re:Emphasis on that last line. (2, Informative)

kcornia (152859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143996)

This is an excellent point. Also, are you looking for opportunities to manage up, both by providing constructive feedback to your manager and by offering to take on tasks of his/hers to free up their time to do more important things?

I'm not saying be an ass kisser, I'm saying go after the managerial work when possible so you can be seen as already functioning in many ways as a manager. This makes it much easier to promote you when the time comes, and also allows you to build a case if necessary.

Re:Questions... (1)

pthor1231 (885423) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143020)

4. Do you have efficient education? 4 year degree, graduate degree, PHD. Having or working on an MBA is a big plus.
What PhD is better for becoming an IT/IS Manager than an MBA?

Re:Questions... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143100)

Well having a PHD is good for dealing with other people who may be PHD's The MBA does have a negative connotation too, There are PHD in Business. Although the MBA is usually the good one for managers, but if you are not going to get a business degree then a PHD in your area of study works.

Re:Questions... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143276)

2. Show management incentives. Do you help out the new guys by being a mentor to them? When you go to meetings bring up your own ideas. Talk to management outside of meetings about your ideas?
The latter part of this point basically did it for me. Assuming you're competent, then provide them with so much valuable feedback about all areas of the business and deliver so much value that they have no choice but to invite you to be on the management team.

Mod parent up (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143880)

BINGO! That's the answer. In the role of IT manager, the staff needs to respect you. If they don't WANT to follow your lead, it's a lost cause. Mentoring the new people is one way to achieve respect. No matter how good you might be at achieving your OWN goals, the manager is expected to help others achieve THEIRS. The rest of the management team wants a person who distributes accurate information about how IT really works, offers solutions in lieu of excuses, and has the respect of the rest of the department. At the very least, volunteer and offer a solution for every problem you think you can solve.

Aside from mentoring, the next key is communication -- verbal and written. Public speaking and presenting is often overlooked. Either take a course, or at least learn from the examples you see. If nothing else, watch politicians face a tough question from a reporter.

Joining the world of IT management is not something that happens when you fill the checklist with credentials. I have essentially no credentials but I have been in IT management for 14 years. You get admitted to the club when other members ASK you to join.

Understand what the employer wants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143496)

Please read _Ask the Headhunter_, or at least go his web site. In a nutshell: do you know how to do the job the way the employer wants it done? Understanding that is what getting hired is all about. Best advice I ever got.

Re:Questions... (1)

torkus (1133985) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143894)

I'm sorry, but a PHD for entry level management? I'd put that in the 'nifty to have if you already do' part of the chart. MBA? Good for director, AVP, VP...and so on.

Is a degree in business management handy? Yes. Is the ability to lead, organise, motivate and mentor people more useful? Much. Also key is the ability to communicate both upwards and downwards.

There are 100's of books written on this topic. I suggest reading some of those.

As for the choice between promotion within or promotion while changing jobs. In a small and growing company you shoudn't have too much trouble getting promoted assuming you're a good fit for the role. Talk to YOUR manager and discuss. It's possible you're a techy geek (no offense, so am i) and your personality, work ethic, etc. isn't currently suitable for mgmt. It's also possible to learn and change. Your manager should be able to provide some career direction and mentoring.

Oh, and if you're confident you can handle management and have at least some experience? Lie on your resume and job hop for a few years :) You won't be the first.

Management? (0, Troll)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22142974)

Management... it's the beginning of all evil... They do earn more money, so if you want more $$$, go for it. Just be prepared to sell your integrity.

Re:Management? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143556)

And that is a Troll, how?

Re:Management? (1)

Zone-MR (631588) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143722)

If your integrity is something you can "sell", it probably means you had none to start with.

Re: How do I become an IT/IS manager? (5, Funny)

dist_morph (692571) | more than 6 years ago | (#22142986)

And why?

Re: How do I become an IT/IS manager? (1)

Lilith's Heart-shape (1224784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143270)

Why indeed? IT is nothing but thankless jobs; do you think that being an IT manager will be better? Why be a professional fall guy?

Re: How do I become an IT/IS manager? (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143756)

Depends on the compnay too...

I was an IT pleeb for about 10 years...and then got promoted to "IT Manager"

I'm doing the same shit I've always done, with more money for sure, but more morons breathing down my neck for "results" at a company that seems to pride itself on "doing things as it has always been done" and "meeting about new ideas and getting excited about them while doing nothing to achieve the ideas from the meeting", and I can't forget the "Expecting 24/7 IT service in an industry that SHOULD shut down at 5pm, without compensation". Oh, and "Not approving the budget for Technology xxx when Technology xxx is required to implement idea yyy that you've demanded we implement"

Honestly, I was a fuck of alot happier just going in, doing my thing, and letting someone else take the fall for "fucking up" when they had no chance or support to succeed.

My only hope now is to survive 3 or 4 years in this pseudo-management role & move again to a company that actually strives to excel - hopefully the experience in generating & following budgets, managing other IT-people & the continued hands-on techie stuff will get me the better position when I go after it.

He sounds clueless and uninterested in IT... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143718)

... so he's already partially qualified for management. However he didn't use any buzzwords in his question so he's not completely ready yet.

And the sterotypical response... (5, Funny)

blowdart (31458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143008)

Buy a tie, set impossible time scales and grow a fringe/bangs; they will cover the lobotomy scars.

Re:And the sterotypical response... (-1, Offtopic)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143078)

Apparently my tags have been blocked as well as never getting mod points... I tagged it 'getalobotomy' :)

Re:And the sterotypical response... (5, Funny)

angus_rg (1063280) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143470)

Don't forget to learn phrases like "I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday, too..."

generally... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143046)

Generally, a company will look for someone who has experience working for that company so they'll understand what sort of management style is required for the department/position. Jumping around between companies is NOT the way to get someone to notice you. Your best bet is to stay where you are and try to get a promotion. Have you already asked and been turned down for the new job managing your current IT department? If not, then that's an excellent place to start--let them know that you're interested.

Re:generally... (3, Insightful)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143278)

Actually, this was one of my first thoughts, too. Jumping around doesn't get one noticed.

It sounds like you've moved around a lot in the past few years. If you (the OP) were applying to my company, I'd wonder if you were in a hurry to get somewhere. True, you might tell me you're in a rush to get to the position I'm hiring for, but how would I know that's true?

From what I read and the way it sounded, my first thought was that this is a person who is in a hurry to get somewhere. He's not patient and seems to think he can move up the ladder quickly. In my experience such people are always trying to get up another rung and always thinking they'll be happy at the next level, yet never doing but so well at the current job because of such an anxiety over getting the next job.

A history of jumping around, to me, indicates a person has trouble following through and lets me know that if I hire him, I'll be replacing him fairly soon. He may say he wants an IT management job, but if that seven years started right after college, then this is not someone who knows what it's like to stay in a job long enough to be frustrated -- or how to manage someone in such a situation.

Re:generally... (1)

Amouth (879122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143796)

i fully agree - where i work it takes almost 6-9 months to get a new person completely trained on all of our products. why yes we could do better in training that is how long it takes before you can let them lose and not have to watch them.

If someone is looking to move to another job in less than 3 years then we don't even consider them.

Re:generally... (1)

gusmao (712388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143356)

Jumping around between companies is NOT the way to get someone to notice you.

That's not always the case

If you have an impressive CV or have enough accomplishments that suggest you can be a good manager, you can start in a new company as one. This is specially true if you are moving from a big company to a smaller one, because it's generally believed that if you were exposed to management in a big company, you may be able to replicate that kind of organization in a smaller one (also because small companies usually can't afford someone who is already a manager in a big company).

With that said, most of the managers I know were promoted inside the same company. I guess that happens because it's easier for someone to bet in you as a manager when they already know your work style and what you can do. If the people in your company are not considering you for this role, you have to ask yourself whether the problem is a bad HR (or whoever is playing this role) or if you just didn't show enough to be considered.

Are you sure you WANT to ? (5, Interesting)

JSmooth (325583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143062)

After 16 years in IT I finally accepted a management position in a large company. Yes it is more money and more responsibility but what it isn't is hands on. If you like the techy stuff then stay away from management. In just a few months I already feel like the guys I use to make fun of. If your goal is more money pick up some more certification and then start tossing your resume at the large IT consulting firms. I worked for six years traveling the country as an security consultant. Tough, difficult stuff but I was never bored.

It's easy. (1)

TrebleJunkie (208060) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143068)

Don't keep your head down.

Why the hell would you want to do that? (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143074)

More meetings, more stress, having to deal with morons all day long. I haven't yet known anyone who went into management who's happy about it- in fact I know several who dropped out of management they were so miserable. If its about money, you can probably make more by switching companies than you can getting promoted locally.

Re:Why the hell would you want to do that? (1)

StabnSteer (705930) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143414)

Hear hear! My last company kept trying to move me into management. I tried it for about 3 months and was bored to death since you are supposed to delegate everything instead of have your hands in the mix. I moved back into the position of underling as soon as possible so I could have something to DO!

Re:Why the hell would you want to do that? (2, Insightful)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143840)

I have a coworker. He's a business analyst now. He's been a bigshot. 18h work a day, no private live. Sure he had a chauffeur, the nicest apartments in European Capitals.

He dropped all of it, sure he just make percentages of what he used to make. He's happier.... Guess what counts more.

Of course, you might be a completely different case. Perhaps you enjoy that kind of life

Re:Why the hell would you want to do that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143856)

Exactly. It is no fun, and the money is not worth it. You become a paper pusher and you live in meetings, and to top it off, you are expendible because now you're 'overhead'. Heaven forbid you get laid off - nobody will hire a manager because they promote from within, and they won't hire you as a tech because they think you'll bolt. I went from tech to management back to tech - it was not easy. Never looking back :)

Suck your brain out and vow to impede any... (1)

croftj (2359) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143118)

efforts for the workers to get their job done.

You serious? (4, Informative)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143128)

Why would you want to be a manager?

Spend all your time in meetings and nagging lazy workers to do their job? Asking for money to develop improvements and being told you can't have the budget?

The only rewarding thing to come out of IT is getting into the guts of a computer and making it work, which is not something managers do. I've turned down several opportunities since this became my profession, and I'm glad I did because everyone I've ever seen who got moved into management became bitter, unhappy husks of what they used to be.

Re:You serious? (2, Interesting)

filesiteguy (695431) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143402)


Someone mod that 5- funny, please!

I just spent the better part of my "day off" yesterday working on my $8M budget and all the personnel requests that accompany it. I spent most of the time in MS Word writing justifications, duty statements, allocation categories and whatnot.

I am an "IT Manager" over a division in a very large county. To answer the question of the OP, here's how I did it. I worked my a** off as an analyst and programmer at various companies until I got a good job running a team of programmers as a project manager. Being able to handle large scale ($1M+) projects and successfully implement them prepared me for taking on more responsibility. I then used my contacts from the '90s to land me a position in my current company as a supervisor where I was quickly promoted to DM based on my attitude, work ethic knowledges of the business and results.

My IT experiences come in a distant fourth in terms of requirements. It all comes down to being prepared.

I do get to delve into the "guts" of systems once in a while, but not as often as I like. However, the money isn't all that bad and having a 20' x 10' window office on the sixth floor with a secretary tends to compensate a bit. Oh, and I can still hack a few systems in my spare time. I'm currently implementing an inventory program written by me in PHP.


Because I can.

Re:You serious? (1)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143418)

There's a flipside, though, when a company is small. Small managers can still do things hands-on. It can also be rewarding to be in a position of decision, particularly if you are managing a team with great ideas. You get to pick which great idea to implement and how. Unless you're a manager managing other managers... then all bets are off.

On the other hand, have you asked about creating a team manager position? For instance, if you have 4 programmers and 4 system admins, what about managing your team? You can get some of the prestige (and money) from management but still be directly involved.

Don't horde knowledge (4, Insightful)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143140)

Make sure that you are documenting not only what you do, but how you do it. If you are the only person who knows how to do a set of tasks, then you will be the IT technician who does those tasks. If you ensure that others can do those tasks, then you have a better chance of convincing others to have IT technicians work for you (thus making you the manager or team leader). Remember, if they can't replace you, they can't promote you.

Get a lobotomy! (3, Interesting)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143146)

Utterly fail to understand the development process. It's just like quality control in a jam factory, right? You want the code now, dammit! Make sure the coders look like they're coding - none of that thinking, discussing, planning, prototyping. Fail to support the development/UAT/release cycle. Look impressive amongst your suit wearing goons by dictating technologies, rather than by using the right one for the job. Ensure you lose your subordinates respect by spouting buzzwords - badly - at every opportunity. Be an email warrior, and make sure you have a far more powerful pc than those who'll be developing enterprise apps.

I know this one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143150)

hand in your notice then watch the realisation creep over management faces that you been single handedly keeping the entire place running for years then argue up their counter-offer to keep you up to manager level! BINGO

Re:I know this one (4, Funny)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143196)

Absolutely! This one can never go wrong.

Consider a lobotomy (1, Redundant) (463190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143156)

The top of an organization is not the place for anyone with a clue about technology. It is the realm of pure politics, and it's worst of all in IT.

IT Manager (3, Insightful)

StrategicIrony (1183007) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143162)

A lot of guys I know got into IT management through two ways.

One.... work your way up... from helpdesk, there is usually a supervisor role that is not a manager, especially at large organizations. You prove to the manager that you're the most skilled or most "together" on the team, you will get that spot when it opens up. If it does not exist and there are a dozen or more people, write a proposal to create it, pitch it to the manager as taking some burden off his/her shoulders. If he likes you, he'll approve the job.

Two... work your way out... go work for a small, fast growing company. Usually the job of "I run the whole damn business" is called "IT Manager". Regardless of whether or not you are leading people, the independent decision making and self-reliance justify the title of Manager. Perhaps as the business grows you can hire someone to help you out. Perhaps you end up finding another job in a "supervisor" or "lead" role because of your former experience.

Regardless, getting "Manager" is not an exercise in duping people or some forumla... but it's a process of impressing the upper management and getting them to think that you are skilled, level headed and capable of being "in charge" of a mission-critical department.


It's not necessarily permanent .. (3, Interesting)

niks42 (768188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143164)

Why not give management a go in your current employment? If you don't like it, chances are that they won't fire your ass, but they will give you a chance to slip back into a technical role. I was a manager for five years, and decided after that it wasn't for me, so I 'dropped' (some would say rose) into a Solutions Architect role. The company knew my capabilities, and were willing to cut me a little slack. If I'd taken a management role with another company, I may have been paid more, but they might have let me go rather than try me in a technical role. YMMV

Why don't you send (0)

thammoud (193905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143184)

and email to Dilbert?

Some of just got lucky (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143200)

I started in the role of IT Admin when I was 19. Before I was 20 I was the manager ... and I didnt even finish my masters until i was 25. Must be the luck of the irish.

The job market isn't a ladder. (4, Insightful)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143202)

I've worked in tech support, network operations, sys admin, and as a programmer.

It sounds like you haven't really enjoyed much of anything you're doing. Why else would you change positions so often? Seven years is a pretty short time to have 4 different jobs in vastly different areas. Why do you want to be a manager, and why do you think you'd be any good at it? If your answer is "to make more money/be more accomplished", you've chosen the wrong path.

I'd say the first step in getting a management job is to show that you can do a job for more than 2 years without more "ladder" climbing.

Re:The job market isn't a ladder. (1)

the_rev_matt (239420) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143552)

Oh I don't know, I've been through 4 different positions in 7 years. All on the same project. Only one of those position changes was a promotion, the others were all cases of the needs of the project changing and me being willing and able to do what was needed to help the project succeed (for sufficiently loose definitions of success).

Re:The job market isn't a ladder. (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143830)

I'm not saying there's inherently anything wrong with doing something new. The OP referred to "ladder climbing" though, which sounds more like a viewpoint on the job world than it is doing what's needed for the project.

Re:The job market isn't a ladder. (4, Insightful)

starfishsystems (834319) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143876)

These are insightful comments.

Each of these roles is a career path in itself. Well, not tech support, but seven years in any one of the others takes the average CS grad to somewhere around an intermediate level of professional competence.

We've all had our encounters with incompetent IT managers, so I won't even go into the variety of forms that incompetence can take. But it is a challenging position, and in my view, absolutely requires senior technical ability. You cannot lead unless you know where you're going, and few technical people will support your initiative unless they agree with your reasoning.

It's great to acquire broad work experience in each of these areas. I've made a point of doing that myself, and I have no regrets. But it takes considerably more than dabbling for a couple of years at one of these areas before you can begin to talk about it intelligently, let alone lead others.

If there's one thing that characterizes junior technical people, it's that they think they know what they're doing when in fact they have barely a clue. Those kind make the worst managers. I've managed large staffs myself, and found through experience that it's invariably the most junior, least expert, people that give the most grief.

The best way to move up the IT ladder... (0, Troll)

imyy4u1 (1222436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143212)

Find a smart programmer, steal their work, and claim it as your own. Oh wait, that would be how to move up the Microsoft ladder...

I Think I'd Rather (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143216)

learn the finer points of beef patty rotation. Sure the money would be less, but it would be less boring.

Manage the meat, not the tools (3, Insightful)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143234)

Being a lone gunman or independent worker gets you noticed as the guy who fixes things. And as such, you will always be pigeon-holed into being that guy.

When you start managing the people who fix things, you become that guy who knows people who know how to get things fixed. You begin to be asked for more advice as a strategic advisor and not the tactical fix-it in depth analysis. You move up the ladder many times dependent upon your group of people and how well they get things done as well as managing these same people. (do they do things without gripping or leaving? do they support you? do they keep quiet about asking for more money?)

Once you start managing the meat effectively, you begin that slow steady climb to higher positions. And once you arrive at a certain level, networking not only saves your ass , but it also helps you to climb higher.

Being that tech who does great things only keeps you forever in that position.

Run away! Run away! (5, Interesting)

Desmoden (221564) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143244)

IT management is the most thankless, horrible job/career path on the planet. I know this from much experience and many friends.

I know it's very hard when you are a seasoned experienced IT person to know where to take your career, but IT management is NOT it. May I suggest some other options.

Sales Engineer: My favorite. Great pay, good hours, lots of good lunches, some very technical and challenging problems. It's just like being in IT, but you are paid well and everyone appreciates you.

Consultant: Takes a special personality, but hours and pay can be very good.

Field Engineer: Better pay, hours can be rough, but if you don't like dealing with the business side it's better than the previous two options.

Technical Marketing: Little harder to break into, but good pay (not as good as sales), great hours and you really get to make an impact.

Whatever you do, just say NO to management.

Re:Run away! Run away! (3, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143580)

I don't know. I made the change years back. It's demanding, sometimes painful, but often very rewarding. I get a great deal of satisfaction from seeing my subordinates grow and develop. When I've had problem employees I've had a great deal of success in turning them around; another huge source of satisfaction.

The hours suck, the demands are great, and you often feel like you are in a no win situation. There are also perks if you do your job well. Once you've gained trust in an organization as an effective manager who enjoys a good degree of loyalty from his people while also getting results you gain lots of freedom in many subtle and not so subtle ways.

Of course this is just based on my experience and that of a few friends. I know many who've fallen into the PHB trap, and many who have just plain failed. YMMV.

Re:Run away! Run away! (1)

antiquark (87200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143802)

Hey... can you tell me more about the Sales Engineer...

I'm currently considering my next career step (avoiding management, currently I'm a senior technical architect), and found a job ad for a Technical PreSales Evangelist... which I guess is similar to Sales Engineer

What do you actually do? What kind of technical and challenging problems do you solve?

Cheers :)

Why? (1)

rindeee (530084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143250)

I'm sure I'm not the only person that will echo this same sentiment. Why become an IT manager? Seriously. Have you always had a long desire to manage others, develop policy, answer for everyone else' mistakes and or eccentricities that are often construed as mistakes? Many, if not most, really good IT types do not make great or even good managers. Many make really really great senior IT people. It is not a natural line of succession. Similarly, really good techs are often unhappy in management even if they succeed at it. I have been everything from a sys/net-admin to a Vice President/CIO. I was successful at both technical and managerial. I hated everything about the managerial positions I've held and I am in the process of leaving a very lucrative position as a program director to take a position as a very senior level technical operator (INFOSEC arena). I love management up to and including team leadership and mentoring and 'customer' interaction. Beyond that, no thanks. The money's really no different and in fact I believe that most top-notch technical folks will make more in the long run. Management is great for you if getting an MBA appeals to you and is truly where your passion lies. If, on the other had, your passion is 'in the weeds', stay technical. Just my two cents my friend. Best wishes to you.

PHB manual (4, Funny)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143256)

Start reading Dilbert. The manager in that strip is an oracle of insight, and his methodology has been perfectly replicated in companies throughout the world.

If you decide you would prefer consulting to management, a certain Dogbert would be an excellent example to study.

Based on personal observations (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143260)

From what I've seen, a brown nose helps quite a bit.

(Guess I'd better post this anonymously)

Grow pointy hair... (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143272)

How Do I Become an IT/IS Manager?

Grow pointy hair, replace your PC with an Etch-A-Sketch.

IT Management Forumula (1)

greysky (136732) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143286)

Here is the magic formula for becoming a successful IT Manager:

1-Forget everything you know about IT

First, be as evil as possible. (1)

imipak (254310) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143294)

And by "evil", I mean "eating the still beating hearts of innocent babies", not "swearing when you stub your toe". I mean cynically manipulating people to bring suffering and misery to others for your own selfish ends. Really, properly, capital-E Evil. Then, you live a long and evil life bringing woe and suffering wherever you go.

Then you die.

Then you are reincarnated as an IT manager.

Why would they hire an IT manager? (1, Offtopic)

erroneus (253617) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143308)

It would seem obvious that before they decided on that direction they must have considered promoting you -- you would most likely come cheaper than anyone they'd hire from the outside. There's probably two or more reasons for this:

1. They don't think you're capable and they can do better than you
2. One of the executive good ole boys has a friend or relative that needs a job

There's not a lot you can do about this sort of thing now. It's probably already too late. I have witnessed some HORRIBLE hiring decisions made in the recent past. (Paul Diviney, yes! I am talking about YOU, the incompetent cert chaser!) One case in particular comes to mind where this guy clearly lied beyond belief on his resume to get the job he was hired to do and was completely incapable of executing the functions required and then telling horrible lies while making excuses. (He actually claimed that "I lost the CDs" when asked why there was no Blackberry Server yet when any fool knows you can download the software from RIM's web site!) And to make matters worse, one of his underlings was asked by Paul's boss to "help train him in how to be a better leader!" They knew they made a bad hiring choice and was actually asking the people UNDER him to help train him to be better! (This is all true, by the way. Not an OUNCE of fiction in it and I'm not even changing names to protect the guilty. If you see a resume with Paul Diviney at the top of it, call him in for an interview! Most people can see through his BS even if he does talk the management talk.

Bottom line recommendation? Enroll in some school to please HR departments. You don't have a chance in hell of getting into management unless you're really in good with existing management.

what are you doing IT if you want to be a manager? (1)

lucas teh geek (714343) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143324)

what are you doing IT if you want to be a manager? you should have done a diploma in management and you'd already be ahead of 90% of the idiots who get into management with no formal management training. it's no wonder there are such strong stereotypes of managers being idiots who cant manage shit

Well, (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143340)

You don't 'manage' the itis per se, it just happen.
Watch the boondocks for more information...

Are you already a leader? (2, Informative)

fragbait (209346) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143384)

Are you already in a leadership type position? Do the people you work with already accept, and respect, you as a leader? If so, you would probably do ok in management where you are. If not, do you think you can gain that acceptance and respect?

If you don't think you can get that acceptance, then it is probably best to go else where, especially if you have never been in a meaningful leadership position before. All.....ALL managers go through that new manager floundering stage. Do it where you where and you might lose respect because people still expect you to do what you used to do. Do it else where and they are probably more forgiving. Additionally, at the new place you are introduced as being "in charge" and the frame of the relationship is set. You don't have to be a jerk, but you do have the right to be the boss. Don't make the mistake of assuming that you can be all buddy, buddy and still be the boss. You have to draw a line.

My general advice of my short, 9 year IT career is...find a BUSINESS with which you like to work, the technology will be irrelevant at that point.


Get promoted, then quit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143390)

If you've got good shot at getting the management spot where you are currently working, then you should go for it. Gain a little experience in your new role and get a couple of successful projects under your belt. But you shouldn't stick around for too long if you plan on moving up, unless you're a schmoozer and become buds with senior management. In every place I've worked over the last 15 years, I've come across some rank and file employees who got promoted and became good managers, but who became stuck career-wise because they never moved on to other opportunities with other companies. Their superiors were perfectly content on keeping them where they were because they were making them (their superiors) look good.

remove your head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143424)

Seriously, to become a manager of any sort, one must open their head and remove the brain.

Have a lobotomy. (0)

The Fanta Menace (607612) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143444)

Why would you want to become a manager? Management is reprehensible. They are small-brained, unskilled in anything other than being able to bully people, and are typically alpha-males.

The world is so over-burdened with useless management types that productivity would increase significantly just by removing a third of these dead-wood morons from the workforce and boiling their bodies down into soap.

You will be bored silly in a management position. There's nothing to be done but paperwork, meetings and dealing with idiot staff who will drive you insane.

Get into contracting instead. More money, more interesting work, flexibility and you're not tied down.

consulting is best (5, Insightful)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143448)

becoming a consultant in a management capacity is a good way to go. it's less of a risk for the party hiring you, because they can easily replace you. it's less of a risk for you, and easier to learn to boot, because you can focus on how to run a good team/department without being overly distracted by company politics. then you can turn around and point to your successes as a consultant in those capacities when looking to landing a full-time job.

those sorts of consulting gigs are most often found in companies or industries that are trying to get into new I.T. areas where they have no internal expertise. an example of that sort of thing would be, say, a pharmaceutical company that wants to build a social networking site for physicians. they know physicians, pharmaceuticals, and probably even have an I.T. dept. that runs around ghosting machines and helping people with their email, but they don't know how to build a successful social network and would therefore look to someone like you.

consulting is a better bet than trying to make the leap to management in the place where you are. there are several reasons.

first, if you're good at what you do they'll want you to stay there instead of promoting you, because having to bring in a good I.T. manager is one thing they have to worry about, but promoting you gives them two things to worry about, whether you'll be a good manager and also where are they going to find someone to replace you.

second, being promoted over your peers creates instant personnel/political problems for you, your peers, and the company. that is, will your peers accept you in your new role, and also will you be able to crack the whip when you need to with people you've come to consider colleagues and friends? again, this multiplies the worries for upper management.

and nobody in upper management wants to multiply their worries. so internal promotion to management is a tough sell.

becoming management elsewhere is also a tough sell if you don't have a track record as a manager. and when you do pull it off, it either only happens at the greenest of startups or at established places where you have a serious old-boy network connection pulling strings for you.

so if you don't fill that bill, consulting is the best way to make that transition.


Speak up. (2, Interesting)

dpaluszek (974028) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143460)

Make yourself known around the upper management by going the extra mile, managing projects, stepping up to the plate, etc. These things go along way, but there's a fine line to this. You need to make sure you aren't counted on for "everything." This in turn would make you look like the go to guy for everything which will burn you out. To resolve something like this, assuming you are a senior-level person, delegate these tasks to people under you.

Like others said, make sure you aren't too technical, which could hurt you. A interest in managing and other responsibilities such as budget planning, people management, etc. go a long way.

For starters, read Weinberg, Hohmann, and Brooks (4, Informative)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143468)

Buy and read the following books: Once you've read these three books, then decide whether you still want to be an IT manager. :-) ..bruce..

good question ... (1)

noobstate (1224768) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143472)

how about starting ur own company ... ?

im sure after a while of running your entire setup fail or no fail u shall have enough knowledge to proceed into the working world

thats what im doing , also cause im too lazy to look for a job and school (tried to teach me visual basic) i left . and that was last fuckn year ...

Re:good question ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143932)

OMG ROFL u r so rite u should totally do that b/c learning management skills and principles comes naturally to someone who barely grasps basic communication, English or otherwise. Also, your profession of laziness makes me want to invest heavily in your new business venture.

The way to do it (1)

jamiethehutt (572315) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143492)

I always thought the trick was to sell your soul to the devil then die...

No experience (1)

JimDaGeek (983925) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143500)

You stated "tech support, network operations, sys admin, and programming" in the last 7 years. That means you have less than 2 years of experience in each, on average. So where did you spend most of that time?

I am guessing tech support. If so, see if you can be a tech support manager. Don't even think you have enough experience to be a manager of programmers or real systems administrators.

Sorry, I am not trying to be rude, but the IT world is filled with non-talent "managers" who want the nice pay increase, but have zero real-world experience as a programmer or systems administrator.

I have been programming for 14 years or so. I still don't want to be an IT manager and never will. I need to get my hands in the code. I am sure the same goes for my fellow admins that know their stuff.

I think before any experienced IT people can give you an opinion, you need to elaborate on your experience more.

I personally think that if your 7 years in IT was spent doing just one specialty in IT, you wouldn't be asking this question, because your boss' would have offered you the IT manager job.

Clearly they didn't.

That should be a strong hint to stick with _something_ in IT and become good at it. After that, look into becoming an IT manager if that is what you really want.

People Skills... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143502)

I take it you have people skills?

Before long you'll be taking the requests from the customers (via the clerk) to the Engineers - that's when you know your on your way!

False career path (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143510)

When I worked for a large American Airline, the expectation was that all competent IT staffers would eventually "progress" into management. My stepmom, who worked for the same company, had to actively resist being promoted -- because she *wanted* to keep solving problems with code, not with overhead-projector (pre-PowerPoint) presentations.

I figured it wouldn't be so bad, so I moved in that direction by being the "lead" on a project. I got good feedback from our (internal) customer, so there was no reason to think I couldn't continue to "progress". It was really only because of a boss with personal hangups (he thought I wasn't "manly" enough for the mechanics -- the mechanics didn't care, they just wanted the thing to work) that I'm not still there, "progressing".

But I'm extremely happy where I'm at now. There is no obvious path from technical expert to management, and it works just fine. The most senior programmers are free to -- get this -- program at a senior level. Our management consists almost entirely of folks with a deep understanding of the business, not the code. As a result, we have virtually none of the micromanagement of the coding process that sometimes gummed up the works at the major American Airline. There's one project in particular that was completely FUBARed because management had no understanding of the business needs of the customer. That's never happened in my 12 years at my current employer.

So I'd suggest you ask yourself: are you asking how to get into management because that's what you want to do? Would you really rather direct projects and people than program? Or is the "path to management" a false career path foisted on you by the culture of your current employer?

Decisions, decisions, decisions... (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143540)

Many people are right when they say, stay in the weeds, and that IT management is a pretty thankless job, it is.

I am not a manager, but I see what happens to my co-workers who move up the ladder to that position. Unless you can keep you integrity people below you won't respect you. And unless you are willing to take risks with timelines that are impossible to meet, higher management won't want you.

It takes a rare individual to make a good IT manager. If this is where you want to go, build up your knowledge and stay with a company for a while. Having moved around to different postions actually makes you well rounded, and sometimes seen as too hands on.

Some companies prefer their employees cross over to different departments every 2 years to make them more marketable when layoffs come around.

If you've been at this company for a while and you like the company, and pay is decent, I'd stay and ride the waves. Some stability and loyality to a company is helpful.

Good luck in what you decide.

I'm a manager .. Not all fun (2, Insightful)

Weslee (1118943) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143544)

I ran the IT gambit. Ben there, done that.
I liked programming the best.

My current job promoted me to a manager, I figured why not?

You win and lose.
I grew from just me to a dozen working for me.

At first it was fun, I got to program still (what I enjoyed) and got to have the power to make decisions.

But as time goes on and the team grows, things change.

First thing with being a manager - You represent the company.

When your a programmer you can bitch with the rest of the team. Complain about things, and not worry about the details.

As a manager, that all changes. It doesn't matter if you agree with the decision or not, but when it comes to explaining it to your team, as you represent the company, your expected to back the companies decisions.

You have to find reasons to get your team to agree to things you may hate.
At the same time, your expected to bring up issues your team wants delt with. So you have to represent them.
And if your boss says "Its not something we can deal with right now", you have to find a polite way to explain to your team without hurting their motivation - As if they are late, you answer for it.

And what about budget issues? Do you have to keep a budget? And prioritizing projects?
As a programmer, you may not want to cut corners. But as a manager you have to balance all the issues.

If you make it bullet-proof, it'll be late. Leave a bug or two in, it'll be on time.
The programmer says do it right - But your the manager, people yell at you when it late, you have a decision to make.

Are you prepared to argue your case up the chain? Say you wanna make it bullet proof, how many battles do you have to fight to get it?
What value does it add to the customer? What percentage of users are going to see the bug, does it justify the delay for the other customers?

And then there is the politics. Hard to avoid in most companies.
As a manager you have to argue the politics you may have blissfully avoided as a programmer.

All of these are now things you get to deal with.

Then there is - Are you friends with those who work for you?
What if you have to fire that person?

What if two people don't get along? How do you handle the situation?
Your the one in charge - You have to make it work.

Being a manager puts a line between you, regardless if you want it to or not - You have to represent your team and shield them from any issues so they can focus on their jobs.
But you also have to represent the company when it comes to pushing decisions back down.

Being a good programmer doesn't automatically make a good manager.
More often then not I've seen bad managers then good.

Don't expect to remain programming either.
As the team grows that part goes away with it.

The pay is usually better, but it always comes with a price.

If you can do all that without issues, then maybe you can be a manager. :)

Me? I'd personally preferred to be paid less and deal with code issues then get paid more and deal with people and political issues that I might not like myself for.
I split my team, so I get to program more now, and less politics.

I think the more important question is (2, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143562)

...whether this is a place you'd like to make career. You could probably go a little bit faster up the corporate ladder by jumping around for that high branch, but my experience from some years as a consultant now is that companies are different. Even companies that are in the same line of business and that you'd think are very similar are worlds apart. Some are very informal, some are authoritarian, some er beurocratic, some are indecisive, some are commiteeish, some are loose cannons and some are just bizarre. I'd get an ulcer working for some of these companies, others are really cool. If I got a job with a company I liked, I'd stay unless I felt I was seriously held back (and wanted to go into management, it's a different ballgame).

Ignore the comments of the peanut gallery (1)

rbonine (245645) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143570)

Despite what many of the basement-dwellers here think, it IS possible to be an IT Manager and keep your integrity, and it can be a very rewarding career step. I moved into management years ago and never looked back. I love having the ability to influence the strategic direction of a business.

A few tips for you:

1. Leaders get promoted. Are you acting like a leader? Do you mentor junior employees, step in when not called upon, and/or speak up in a professional manner when a problem arises? If you want to move into a leadership position, the time to lead is now.

2. Take an interest in the larger business. I can't stress enough how important this is. The easiest way to distinguish yourself from your peers is to really understand your company's specific business needs and tailor technology to meet those needs, and not (as is often the case) trying to force-feed technology to the business.

3. Make your case. Have you shown your ability to lead in your current role? If so, by all means talk to your employer about it. Most likely, they will appreciate knowing where you stand.

A lot of fairly useless comments here... (1)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143594)

I think in your situation, it would have been wise to get some sort of certifcation in management. If management has always been your goal, a MBA is probably the best bet. With your years of experience though, you should probably try to apply to management type of position with other companies.

Get an MBA (1)

metoc (224422) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143608)

or a lobotomy, its cheaper with more immediate results.

Almost forgot.

Get your haircut short on top, short on the sides and back, long & curly at 10 & 2.

The ZONAR Challenge (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143612)

I knew one kid who was 19 and fresh from ITT technical school and was the sys admin at a local startup. The head developer built everything himself and they couldn't keep anyone hired to work with him because he was so unprofessional and refused to work with anyone. Eventually because that fresh faced ITT grad was the only one who could manage this developer, they gave him the title 'Software Development Manager' with no experience whatsoever.

Getting a management position is a crapshoot of who you know, whose butt you kissed and has absolutely NOTHING to do with your qualifications. I have only had TWO managers worth spit who were capable intelligent individuals; one at Amazon who they pretty much chased away for that very fact and another at a failed dotcom which failed because all the other managers were prime examples of what he wasn't.

Focus on Business (1)

notorious ninja (1137913) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143634)

You need to show them you are knowledgeable about business as well as technology. See if you can take on leadership roles at your current company, even if they are non-technical. You should also talk to your boss and mentors for advice - the next time something comes up, they'll know to point you to it.

Here's How I Did It... (4, Insightful)

nordaim (162919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143636)

I asked the owner of my company for the job, provided him with documentation (hierarchy chart, a detailed description of the position), and discussed him with how I felt my taking over the department would make a difference. We agreed that this would be a trial position for 3 months, to see if I could implement constructive changes. It is several months past the end of my trial and things are going.

I found my foothold because the company is growing and there was no direct management of the IT staff, just a hodge podge of upper level managers making, often contradictory, decisions that had a negative impact on those beneath them. Since I had spent time in the trenches, I knew what it was like to be there and some things that could be done about it. I also had several supervisory roles on past jobs, so had an inkling how to do it.

For those of you saying that it is a horrible and thankless job, generally I agree. Why did I ask for this position? Because I am interested in leaving IT in a couple of years and having manager in my title and the experience to go with it helps my long term career.

Do I want to stay here forever? No. Is the money great? No. But it opens up a large number of doors for the future.

Well... (1)

neowolf (173735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143678)

I think it really depends on how happy you are where you are at...

Do you like what you are doing, and do you like the company you are working for?

If you do- I'd stay and gun for the IT Manager job. Although- if they just hired one out of the blue without even offering it to you- that may be the writing on the wall...

I'm a sysadmin/network manager/developer right now, and from what I've seen my boss go through in the last 8 years- I don't want his job. For that reason- I wouldn't be all that eager to be an IT Manager anyway. You are just a fall-guy every time something goes wrong, and you have to constantly explain to upper management how you can't give them what they want because they won't give you a budget to do anything with. I really don't think that's all that unusual...

With the economy on the decline- I would be very hesitant to leave any job right now, even in IT.

Why do you want the job? (1)

pcguru19 (33878) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143688)

It's the first question in damn near every management interview and it's a good gut check to see if you'll be happy. If the answer is more money, you need to think twice about going in that direction.

IT Manager is a manager position in the IT department, not an IT position with more money. If you want to make more money in IT, it is far better to grow your skills and expertise in a technology that interests you and get certified as high as you can in that technology.

If you want to enter into management, you'll only be truly successful if it's because that's the work you want to do every day. The good part of it is you have a better say in the direction things are headed, the bad part is you have to make the tough choices: layoffs, hiring decisions, dealing with performance problems, and deciding where to spend your limited budget. You'll be placed in a position where you may have to fire a friend or former coworker and if you can't live with that, don't apply for the job.

Don't give a gun to anyone who wants one (1)

suitti (447395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143748)

Computer programming is a one rung ladder. Once you get into management, you are no longer doing computer programming.

A number of companies i've worked for have pushed me towards management in one way or another. My experience is that people who want to be managers should in no circumstances be allowed to do it. One good reason to do it is if your current management is so bad that something just has to be done about it. At that point, you're ready for it.

There's a long standing argument over whether computer programming is engineering or not. As an engineer and practicing computer programmer, i can say with authority that computer programming is engineering, only more so. Non-engineers can't manage engineers. It's far worse with computer programmers. Even engineers aren't prepared to manage them.

So read Fred Brooks' book - The Mythical Man Month. Understand how it relates to what you do. It's a start. A bad manager can set up the programmers for a 30x slow down with a guarantee of poor quality. Who has time for that? Life is too short.

better question: How do I become a GOOD manager? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143772)

I've been in this field for a little more than a decade, and I've had good managers that are very happy with their work, and then I've had BAAAAD managers. We all know bad managers, and good managers are worth their weight in gold.

- Good IT managers take the excrement raining down from upper management, wash it off, box it up in tissue paper, and present it to their employees as motivation, while bad ones just point fingers at their own people and forward the nasty email chains.
- Good IT managers are available 24/7 ready and willing and able to put an emergency plan into place if systems fail, while bad ones wig out and then forward all calls to the project leaders.
- Good IT managers help their employees succeed in their goals (usually by getting to know their employees really well.) Bad IT managers thwart their employees goals and then wonder why there's no retention.
- Good IT managers know when to decline meeting invites. Bad ones SEND meeting invites.

I could go on for hours about this topic.

The way I've seen good managers become good managers is they start acting like good managers LOOOONG before they get the job - encouraging people, offering to help others, being available after hours, establishing good rapport with other teams/project leaders, etc.

So please do the universe a favor and figure out if you have what it takes to be a good manager before you submit that application.

Move on (1)

sertsa (158454) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143808)

I worked for a fortune 100 company while finishing my degree, and wanted to continue after I graduated. Now admittedly I was a student and as such made some (small) dumb mistakes along the way, but overall I always thought I did a pretty good job (at least I got good reviews and decent raises).

It also just so happened the VP of Human Resources knew my mom and was always happy to give career advice - he even helped me polish my resume and cover letter. While we were talking one time I asked him about applying for a management position after graduation. While it kind of hurt at the time I thought he gave me some good advice. He said sometimes you have to move on to move up. He went on to say that I was a good at what I did and was easy to get along with, but it would be hard for people to forget when I was the new kid learning the ropes. And it helped that he said he too had started with another company in a similar position and had to look elsewhere to get into management.

I took this to mean that I should look for employment elsewhere after graduation. So I did, and fortunately got a decent job.

I've seen it happen to lots of people. They have great skills and work experience, but the companies they work for don't recognize, or value, those skills. In today's workplace where CEOs have no qualms about laying off thousands of employees in order jack the stock price up for their bonuses, you should always keep your resume handy, keep your ear to the ground about openings (network and stay in touch with business associates, classmates, and even your professors), and don't be afraid to apply for jobs elsewhere even if you aren't sure you want them.

You never know when something better may open up.

A few simple steps (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22143812)

1. Forget everything you know about the technical operations of your organization.
2. Forget how to communicate in anything remotely resembling the English language. Practice stringing random words together and assume that your subordinates will be able to translate it accurately into a sentence!
3. Formulate a plan for actively sabotaging your operations. Bonus points if you can spend millions of dollars on an off-the-shelf software package that supports none of your current business practices and jumps you back ten years in customer service.
4. Congratulations, you're an IT manager!

Place you head between you legs (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143858)

And sit....

Nah, like you would any job. They advertise them internally and externally, but aside from the money I really don't know WHY you'd want to be in management. It removes you from useful rotation.

Look after your subordinates (1)

Neil Watson (60859) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143874)

Don't forget about the other half of this power structure. Look after your subordinates. Talk a page from the military leadership book. Always protect your people. Respect and loyalty are earned. If you earn that, your people will make you look good. When they do, remember to reward them for it.

Why? (1)

retro128 (318602) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143890)

Do you like getting your hands dirty playing with the latest toys? Do you enjoy being intellectually challenged? Do you have a low tolerance for duplicity?

If so, then avoid management like the plague. I've seen a lot of guys fall into the same trap you're going into. They got lured by the money and took the management position, and then all of a sudden they were buried in paperwork, kissing corporate's ass, and ordering people around. Their skillset ended up rotting. One friend of mine decided he couldn't take it anymore, and had a hard time getting back into the tech side of things because his knowledge was so outdated. He ended up taking an entry level tech position at a small company.

Leave management to the brainless MBA bean counters. Tech guys don't belong in that position.

Been there, done that... HIRED THAT.... (1)

cloudance (139340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143906)

Lots of useless and some useful advice here. Let me give you mine:
1 - I assume you know this is what you want to do. If not, see other posts as they're fairly accurate.
2 - Easiest way to get a job is to do the job. Start acting like a manager, start doing the job and it'll become yours even if you have to go elsewhere to get it. (If you can't manage, you can't make a case for being a manager at another company, and if you've never done it you can't make a case).
3 - Make the Director's/CIO's job easy. That's the whole idea behind a manager is to make life easier for the people up the chain. Figure out the best way to do that and get it done. This is the part where people say you're political or brownnosing or whatever. That's one way to do it but it doesn't have to be brown-nosing to make someone else's job easier)
4 - DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT make yourself indispensible as an engineer (or whatever job you have). If you do they'll never promote you. If you can't let go of the daily work once you're a manager, then you're failing.
5 - If you want to stay where you are and move into that job, again... start doing the job. Make it obvious you're the manager's replacement if/when (s)he goes away. Make sure you train your own replacement while you're doing this. That's the best way to mentor a team and prepare to move up.

Stand by your men (1)

XiC (207670) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143944)

I am an IT manager and the best thing you can do is to defend your "guys".
They want a bigger screen? More RAM? More Time?
Give it to them!!

Shield them from all other PHBs, be their umbrella (ella, ella, ey, ey).
When the shit hits the fan, take it like a man and don't let them get hit by it.

When one of the guys isn't helping the rest out, send him away.

Ask them what you should do.

In short:
Don't become a manager, become a leader.

Most Important Thing! (1)

HP-UX'er (211124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143956)

You need to have the correct haircut.
The more pointy, the better.
For examples, see 'The Boss' [] .

Three little words (1)

BigLug (411125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143958)




Conflating hardware and software (1)

robmclaughjr (1076293) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143966)

I find this discussion very confusing. Network administration/helpdesk/IT manager and software engineer/programmer are very different fields. I understand how layman could mix the two areas. They're all computer-related, after all. But anyone with an IT or CS degree should know better. I think you should pick a discipline and stick with it. An IT manager has no need to keep up with the latest software design principles or language changes. A software engineer or programmer doesn't need to know how a network or email system is deployed or managed. Unless you've received specific on-the-job training in other areas, you should consider sticking to the area you studied in college.

get out (1)

ActionAL (260721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22143990)

we dont need any managers, all you managers do is cause us trouble and get a bonus for making us work our asses off and taking the credit for it.

I'd quit job hopping (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#22144000)

For the last seven years I have moved around from job to job climbing the rungs of the IT ladder.

I don't know how it works in IT, and I don't know how many times you've jumped, but when we're hiring it's a big red flag if a guy can't stay in a job. I'd try staying where you are for a little while, feel out what your chances are at your current place.

The old fashioned way.... (1)

lexsco (594799) | more than 6 years ago | (#22144018)

....sleep with the Boss.
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