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June 29, 2005

Becoming a Manager (Technical)

It's been in the works for a few months now (academia moves so slow), but this Friday I officially become a "Technical Manager" for the Tufts University Sciences Knowledgebase (TUSK).

What does that mean? I have a job description that goes into the details of my responsibilities, but the gist is this:

30% - managing development team and process
30% - new technologies exploration and planning
15% - systems architecture, internal and external installations
15% - participation in Tufts IT iniatives
10% - reports and analysis

As my manager has said a few times, there really isn't going to be much of an organizational change. I've been spearheading a lot of these responsibilities for awhile now despite the fact that my job description didn't specify them (I was formerly a programmer and sysadmin).

The two biggest differences (in my opinion):
- there is no allocation for programming, or any hands-on technical work in the responsibilities (which means I will only get to do hands-on when I can get away with it)
- the developers now report to me, making me a full-on manager, not just the senior person who weighs in on decisions

We currently only have two in the development team, but have two positions open, which means at full capacity we're a team of four.

The announcement was made yesterday, so at lunch I went out to get some light management reading and stumbled into Skills for New managers, which is an easy (somewhat hokey) read to at least get me thinking about management. Pete's recommended a number of books but I never see them in bookstores and just haven't gotten around to ordering them.

Management is going to be an interesting challenge. It's such a soft science, and so closely tied to a persons personality. I hope I can be a good manager for the developers here. I have a meeting with a person from Organizational Development and Training to talk about management training.

Posted by mike at June 29, 2005 10:06 AM