In this episode, Asim Razzaq clears out the career path dilemma for software engineers, whether they should pursue a path as an individual contributor (IC) or in a managerial role. He will detail the difference as well as give guidance on how you should base your decisions and consider the payoffs.
[01:04] Wrong Ways of Choosing a Path
[02:22] Difference Between Contributor and Manager
[03:12] Advice on Decision-Making
[03:52] Management Role
[06:52] Individual Contributor Role
Career Path Misconceptions
Software engineers often think that the only way to a successful career is up. But management isn’t for everyone, and it’s not the only way to advance your career. When choosing a career path, you first have to understand the role that you are getting yourself into. Managers are dealing with the people operations majority of the time, while the individual contributor role is often focused on the technical applications. It’s also important to note that being a contributor doesn’t always mean that you are choosing a less ambitious career path.
The Right Way to Choose
Being that IC and manager roles are two entirely different things, don’t jump too fast into a manager role. It is important to really take a deep dive into the things that you can do and how the work is going to transpire once you start on a specific path. Sometimes it is okay to also give each path a try to truly immerse yourself. It is also good to openly discuss with management if you need training in particular job tasks or work-related matters.