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Career Story: Development Manager For A Software Company

Development Manager For A Software Company

Job Title: Senior Development Manager

Type of Company: Our company provides software for the wholesale distribution business.

Education: BS, Computer Science, Central Connecticut State University

Previous Experience: I started at this company as an entry-level programmer and was promoted over the course a decade or so to group supervisor, internal development supervisor and assistant manager of development. Three years later I moved to my current position.

Job Tasks: I am a branch manager for a software company, and need to make sure the people who buy our software have everything they need to run their businesses. My team provides training on the software in all the different areas and functions that exist or can be added. We provide support in case the customer has questions or problems and we write new software to create more functions or to correct problems in the existing code.

So my day typically includes making sure that we have enough people on the phones to answer customer calls, coordinating progress on training and programming projects, making sure there's enough coffee and supplies for our branch, keeping very careful track of our costs and profits, and making sure my boss down in Pennsylvania has all the information he needs to make bigger business decisions for all the branches across the US.

I try not to get involved too deeply in any area as that would take up too much of my time. Instead I try to provide direction and ideas for the key people in each area and help them learn how to make good decisions on their own. For example, the support supervisor, who's in charge of the group that answers customer questions and provides training needs to make sure his people are constantly getting more and more knowledgeable about the software. As we gain more customers and more and more phone calls come in we won't be able to keep up with all those phone calls and questions unless we get faster and better at answering them. So the support supervisor and I will work on plans together to make sure his team is getting trained in different areas, getting tested on what they're learning, measuring how well and how fast they answer customer questions: all to make sure the training is working and that we keep and reward the best people.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I get to decide what projects I want to work on, and let the projects or tasks that I don't enjoy be handled by someone else. I love to write reports and analyze data from our main database, and since my boss does not have the time to do this for himself, I design reports that are easy for him to read and use.

The worst part of the job is when I have to fire or lay someone off, which happens more often in a tough economy.

Job Tips: Stay busy and always prepare for the next task. I did not get to my position by being the smartest kid in the class. Instead I was constantly organizing myself, getting rid of the meaningless tasks and kept asking for more to do. (Because I was well organized I had more time to do more). And as other people or your boss begin to realize that you are steady and dependable, he or she will rely on you more and you will be rewarded.

Do not get involved with gossip or 'behind-the-back' talk. People who participate in these activities usually do so because they are insecure. Be mature and let people trust you by not talking badly about others.

Treat everyone with respect. If you try to bully people or force your opinion on others, what you are trying to achieve may be unsuccessful. If you treat others with kindness and respect they are more likely to help you reach your goals.

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