Hello! What's your background and what do you do?
I am a Computer Scientist by training, and hold a PhD in Computational Linguistics. I've worked for a while as Software Developer and Data Scientist, and recently started my first management position as Team Lead.
How was your transition from software development to management like?
Rough – mostly because right now I'm just in the process of building a team, and until that is done all responsibility for my project is on me, which is challenging.
What does your day-to-day work look like, and what motivates you to do it every day?
Assessing the state of the project, coordinating with other teams, prioritizing and formulating requirements, and implementing stuff myself in lieu of enough man power.
What are the biggest challenges you've faced so far? What did you do to overcome them?
In the context of switching to management, I think the biggest task is to learn to prioritize – which tasks require immediate attention, which can be delegated, which go into the backlog. It'a a process, but it's important to overcome the fear of doing something wrong. You will make mistakes, but if you do your best it will usually be fine in the long run.
What has been the biggest surprise so far? Something you didn't expect?
How much more attention people pay to what you say when you are in charge – which also means that you need to think more carefully about what to say, because now it has a larger impact, even if it is unintentional.
What's the best advice you've received about being a manager?
Learn to delegate, but always be respectful. Don't dump tasks on your team without explanation, always try to make clear what the goal is and try to make everyone understand what they contribute to it.
What do you tell developers who are considering making the switch or new to the role?
Really think about what you want your day to look like – if you don't mind spending many hours in meetings, writing mails and updating tickets, and you feel that you can let go of controlling every detail of your project, that's a good first step.