Episode 345: Head of Engineering vs writing code and Voluntary Severance
In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:
I have around 14 years of experience and was recently promoted to a Head of Engineering role. I am now leading an engineering department of around 75 people. I’ve become increasingly ‘hands off’ with coding, and it’s been at least 2-3 years since I wrote code regularly. My role is completely hands off technically.
I’m questioning whether this is the right role for me. I want be more hands on, but I worry my skills are now so rusty that I’d have to start over and spend all my spare time learning to code again.
Do you think it’s realistic to get back to a hands on engineer role at this point? Have you seen it done successfully before? Does walking away from this leadership role make it harder to potentially take on other leadership roles like CTO in the future?
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that you were pretty sure layoffs were coming to your company even though they say they are cutting costs everywhere else that they can in order to avoid layoffs. Now let’s say that, hypothetically, in anticipation of this you took some interviews and received an offer from a company that you believe will ride out the upcoming economic downturn fairly well, and, hypothetically, you accepted the offer. Would you go to your manager and offer to take a voluntary severance, and in doing so, would you let them know you had something else lined up or would you leave that out and present it as just taking your chances while your severance checks were coming in?
Thanks for doing what you do.