Job Title: Software Development Manager
Type of Company: My company creates software primarily for large businesses to use for running their business. Examples include software applications such as WebSphere Application Server and Lotus Notes.
Education: BS, Computer Science, Ohio State University
Previous Experience: I was hired right out of college by a large computer maker and have worked for them for 25 years.
Job Tasks: I manage a group of ten software developers who create computer programs which are sold to our customers. On a daily basis my job involves two types of activities: meetings and conversations about the design, direction and execution of the software application we are creating and meetings and conversations about the performance and careers of my employees.
As a development manager, I participate in discussions with our software architects about the design and strategy of our software product. We have to take into account many factors when considering the design of our product including whether it meets our customer's needs, how much it is going to cost, and how long will it take us to build it. We use both technical knowledge and business acumen when making our decisions.
I also spend time helping manage my employees careers and performance. I meet one-on-one with my employees on a regular basis to discuss their performance and career goals. I work to eliminate problems that are holding them back and we look for opportunities they can use to gain either promotions or exposure within the organization. On an annual basis I give each employee an evaluation which is directly tied into their compensation for the following year (annual bonus and/or pay raise).
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is working with highly skilled software developers. The quality of the people I work with is tremendous. I also enjoy a very flexible work environment which includes opportunities for telecommuting and travel.
The worst part of my job is the overhead and the process that comes with working in a large corporation. Because my company is a large, international corporation, we have to deal with many requirements imposed by US government and other countries, when developing our software.
Job Tips: One of the key skills required for my job is leadership. Take advantage of every opportunity to hone your leadership skills, whether that's leading a group project or leading a community service project at your local church. The lessons you learn in dealing with your team will be helpful the rest of your career.
Another skill that's critical in my job is public speaking. On a daily basis I make presentations in front of groups ranging from 10 to 100's of people. You need good speaking skills so that your audience focuses on your message, not your inability to convey it.
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