Stay In The Trenches
From Apprentice to Journeyman : Dave Hoover : Home
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"Seduced by the siren song of a consumerist, quick-fix society, we sometimes choose a course of action that brings only the illusion of accomplishment, the shadow of satisfaction." George Leonard, Mastery

Context: As a result of your Perpetual Learning, you have established a reputation as someone who can effectively deliver software. Within your organization, exceptional work is rewarded with promotions up the hierarchy.

Problem: You have been offered a promotion into a role that will pull you away from programming.

Solution: To remain on the path to journeyman, work with your employer to find other mechanisms for rewarding you.

This offer will test whether you have Sustainable Motivations and are willing to walk The Long Road. Most people equate promotion into management with success. They assume that taking a promotion into management is a no-brainer, a sign that you are on the right path. Aspiring craftsmen must not be fooled into believing that they will remain a "technical manager" for long, since, as Pete McBreen wrote, "As soon as a person stops practicing, her mastery fades." Every day that you are not programming is another step away from becoming a journeyman.

Instead, work with your employer to find other mechanisms for rewarding you. These may include more pay or non-traditional technical leadership roles such as internal consultancy. If your organization is inflexible then it is better to seek opportunities elsewhere (see Draw Your Own Map) than to permit yourself to be promoted away from the craft.

Related: Staying In The Trenches is a way to Nurture Your Passion. When you accept a promotion that allows you to continue programming full-time, apply Use Your Title.


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