Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Ron » Wed, 25 Dec 2002 17:09:00



Hi,

After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've known
a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
remarks thanks).

Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

-Ron

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Wayne Woodruf » Wed, 25 Dec 2002 22:32:25


There are certain traits of those who are considered high performers
and rise the ranks quickly.

1) Be willing to travel extensively.  Availability on short notice a
*big plus*.  International travel another big plus.  Be willing to be
relocated overseas for a assignment 18 months or more.

2) Career first, everything else second.  Be willing to miss important
family events, birthday's, anniversaries, etc.  

3) Stay late and engage in conversations with Sr. Management.  I used
to have a VP who liked to come for his weekly update at 5PM friday
that would last 2 hours.

4) MBA's are very desirable at higher levels.  

While my comments are snide, there is a lot of truth to them.  People
at the VP level and higher typically put their careers way ahead of
everything else.  Most VP's I know travel 40 weeks or more each year.

If you want to move in to management, volunteer for extra assignments.
Take on additional responsibility.  In downsizing mode, some things
are left undone.  If you can pick up some of them, it will get
noticed.  


>Hi,

>After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
>this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

>I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've known
>a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

>I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
>world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
>remarks thanks).

>Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
>now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

>Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

>-Ron

Wayne Woodruff
http://www.jtan.com/~wayne
Chalfont, PA
2000 BMW R1100R (2ZARS)
1956 Matchless G11 (J86)

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Liz » Thu, 26 Dec 2002 03:50:24


Ron, find somone who's been through it to mentor you through the process ...
you might pick up a pointer or two, but you won't figure it out here ...


Quote:> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've
known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by krasic » Thu, 26 Dec 2002 06:42:47


Have you considered Thought Leadership?

> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by xpytt » Thu, 26 Dec 2002 09:47:37


Ron

Although Wayne badmouthed his own remarks, to some extent they are on the
mark.  As was krasicki's comment.

You need to be viewed as a leader if you are going to get into a more
management oriented job, and just what that means is going to depend A LOT
on the culture of the particular company.

In general, though, managers expect future managers to care about what they
care about, and to be willing to "take the ball and run with it."

When you take on design assignments, do you dig to understand where the
business value really is, then do the design to play to that business value
at the lowest possible cost?  When you talk to managers, do you talk
platforms and application structure, or do you talk ownership cost and value
delivered to the organization?

Wayne suggested volunteering for extra assignments.  Well, it's not quite
that simple.  As he points out, there are plenty of things left undone.  If
you can recognize those things that have the highest business value, and
then deal with them, managers will see you as "one of them".  Usually, this
implies that you are going to stretch the envelope of what you are "allowed"
to do in your role.  How far you can stretch it is going to depend a lot on
the particular culture you are working in, but in general, the more stretch,
the better.

..


Quote:> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've
known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Holger May » Fri, 27 Dec 2002 02:50:38


Make the right "friends".

Have something to offer besides your technical skills.

Talk slowly.

And have a lot of luck.

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Don » Sun, 29 Dec 2002 11:00:42


<SNIP>

Quote:> (1) MBA.

> (2) Suit.

> (3) Schmooze the right people.

> (4) Figure out how to outsource your engineering coworkers' jobs to
> Asia and save the company millions in salaries.

At least on paper.  So it the numbers look good for the end of the
quarter.  Then you cash in your bonus, brag about the great results you
did here, and move on to someplace else where you can pull the same trick.
 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by R. Marti » Mon, 30 Dec 2002 05:29:40



> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

Ask yourself why you want to do this.  Ask yourself if there will
be an industry for you to be a VP in after the next 5 to 10 years.
Ask yourself what you will do if you don't move into management.
It sounds like you already have done this but if not, you have
failed "gather the requirements" IMO. ;-)

Quote:> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

All the previous posters gave valid input, IMO.  Of course the
cynics among us would suggest intensive study of the works of
Scott Adams including the latest, _Dilbert and the Way of the
Weasel_.  Dress well, have good hair.

Regards,
Russell

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Andrew Gab » Mon, 30 Dec 2002 09:29:39


The first thing you should do is to try to understand and help the
'managers' above you. Until you know how they think and why, you
won't have a chance of becoming one (although some do,
unfortunately). Try to give them the advice and assistance they
need, in the form they need it. If you do this well, you'll be able
to answer your question yourself in a year or two, and also know if
you *want* to become a manager. You might also find that the move
becomes semi-automatic in a year or two.

In my experience, trying to do your boss's job (when you can) is the
key to maturing and moving up the chain. Most bosses really
appreciate it, and your value in their eyes goes up amazingly. Most
bosses don't fear it either, despite the mythology on this subject.
If they get worried about you, they'll recommend your posting
somewhere out of their chain, at a higher level.

Andrew


> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

--
Andrew Gabb

phone: +61 8 8342-1021, fax: +61 8 8269-3280
-----
 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Sergey Lavrenk » Tue, 31 Dec 2002 13:18:24


Hi Ron,

Let me present you alluring perspective.

I represent a software company from Minsk, Belarus.
(http://www.belhard.com)
We are looking for projects to be outsourced.
You said, you know many VP. It is your tresury, Ron.
You can earn a lot of money helping us to find projects.
We can negotiate long term contacts.
You can do it, we can develop. What is needed more.

Software market are dwindling in countries like US, CANADA, EU because
of tigh competition from the INDIA, RUSSIA, PAKISTAN. But it doesn't
meat there is little to develop, you know!
Unfortunately, this is the long term trend, more and more companies
decide to outsource their not critical projects to another countries
because of cheaper prises.

Do not forget about this offer. Is this not a high level managemenent?
Be quick, we need you..:)

Happy new Year.

My appologies for my English...
thanks,
Sergey Lavrenkin.

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Rober » Sat, 04 Jan 2003 00:00:19


hm,

this sounds as if you are desperate to make a "career".  the first questions
that arouse to me are: why do you want to get into management?  is it
because of the money?  is it because of the prestige?  or is it because you
think you would get more satisfaction from a management job than from a
technical job?  or do you think this is the only way to receive the
recognition (i.e. money) for a long term good job done?  do you think you
meet the skills required?

personally i don't think, people will do a good job in management if they do
it simply for "exterior" reasons like money and prestige.  i think, in order
to succeed - like in any job - one must like to do it, because one likes
what one does.  i can understand that people do not want to stay on a low
level after several years of hard and good work.  question is whether "into
management" is the only way up or whether there are other opportunities that
are better suited - like (system) architect, planner of technical strategies
etc.

from my experience people good at technical subjects are often not that well
suited to jobs that require a lot of social and interpersonal skills.  since
i don't know you i can' jundge the special case.  i just want to point out
some points that came to my mind.  maybe they can help you to find the right
way for you.

kind regards

    robert



Quote:> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've
known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Jim McFarlan » Wed, 08 Jan 2003 02:31:39



>Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
>now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

To successfully move from engineering into high level management, you
need to get rid of two things, your brain and your soul.  8-)

later...
jim

 
 
 

Advice Please, How does an Engineer move into high level management?

Post by Dave » Sat, 11 Jan 2003 01:30:21


Try coming to work at my company ... here the real trick is to get them to
allow you to stay on the technical track ... :-(

DS


Quote:> Hi,

> After some google searches, this looks like the closest group for posting
> this request for info, if not, please refer me to another group.

> I've got about 8 years of software engineering behind me now and I've
known
> a bunch of engineering VPs that became VPs with 12-15 years of experience.

> I was wondering if anyone could relate their personal experiences or real-
> world advice on the matter (please no, "go to school and get real smart,"
> remarks thanks).

> Things seem to have become especially difficult for moving into management
> now that companies are laying off and tightening their belts.

> Thanks for any advice/input/experiences,

> -Ron

 
 
 

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