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The best tech leads in the world are always the ones who have done time in management.
A tech lead is a manager … but
Being an IC is like reverse-engineering how a company works with very little information. A lot of things seem ridiculous, or pointless or inefficient from the perspective of a leaf node.
Management is not a promotion, management is a change of profession . And you will be bad at it for a long time after you start doing it. If you don’t think you’re bad at it, you aren’t doing your job.
Managing because it feeds your ego is a terrific way to be sure that your engineers get to report to someone miserable and resentful, someone who should really be writing code.
The best frontline eng managers in the world are the ones that are never more than 2-3 years removed from hands-on work, full time down in the trenches. The best individual contributors are the ones who have done time in management.
And the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth. Like a pendulum.
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