Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.

Hey, pal!

I’ve heard you has been offered to be promoted and your company is actively hiring now. Wanted to talk with you about it.

Even during my student being there was no doubt that software development is a kind of stuff I can, know and love to do. Even after many years in front of keyboard making code is still my job and my hobby in the same time. It’s great, isn’t it? And, as for me, this is the basic recipe of being free. This is your “don’t give a fuck” kind of ticket to the life. What does it mean? Well, if you are really good in what are you doing you can successfully ignore most of political or hierarchical questions and just keep walking no matter who and what is thinking about it.

When you are around in the industry on different positions for about 10 years and you are really doing something your CV usually looks pretty attractive. And it has results. Nowadays I’m getting about 5–10 emails with different kinds of offers or opportunities almost each week. And it’s not really big amount. At all. Do you know good enough developers who has public activities like tech blog or conference talks? Web? Mobile? Ask them. I’m almost totally sure they can count much better statistics. Such average digits are showing how hungry our industry is right now.

Ok, ok. It’s regular. It’s good. So, what? Why am I writing you about it? Well, what is not really regular is good software development management , does it? Not really. Most of the time it’s messy or at least funny enough to become the most popular topic for jokes among developers. But why? My suspect is greediness and limits. Because of fact that industry is hungry and good developer is rare gem some people are getting nice offers to be managers in this area, but not always money they have reflects job they can do.

Let’s be honest. How many professional “managers” who are really good in what they are doing you have seen in your live? And how many of them were just trying to survive in the world of unknown animals by being nice and keep waving?

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But this is a market. It’s ok. If there is a demand there is a supply. This is how universe works.

What I really don’t like is a fact that software developers prefer to stay away from management even by price of doing stupid things like a-la scrum daily meetings each morning at 9 am. They could make difference, show an example, fight bad myths, make everything better, more efficient, closer to the ground and reality of the code. But they are hiding from this duty to stay in calm shadow under decisions of more active but less prepared people.

If you think for some time you’ll come to the theory that most of project managers and team leaders should be successful ex-developers, right? They understand what they are doing, they grow up, they prove an expertise and they are making decisions now. Sounds logical. But that’s not true in real life. Most of greatest developers I know used to say that management is boring, messy, political and they don’t want to spend their time on fighting with windmills created by others.

As a result, you usually see an ex-QA on such positions. Or just guy who opt out the development because it was not his cup of tea. It makes me crazy each time I hear such story: “Well, you know… I tried development, but I was not really good at this. So I become project manager and now have a team of 10 developers to manage. But I’m not technical, you know…”. God save us all.

And I’m ready to bet that really strange things in our industry comes from this problem. For example, let’s take unbelievable obsession of IT companies with offices and relocations. Do you remember I was talking about offers and opportunities in the beginning? Take a look:

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For every technical enough person it’s pretty clear that React Native is a brand new technology. Every developer who is really experienced in such thing is real treasure. You should be lucky to find one somewhere around you. So, what’s an offer? Relocation.

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What do we have here? One of the most innovative mobility companies across the globe (at least they believe so) and… relocation to the Germany.

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As you can see, there is even government program in Canada which makes developer’s relocation easy for employers, so as a result we have companies which are specialised in such movements:

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Don’t like Germany or Canada? How about Finland?

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Relocation pack, housing assistance, etc. How much it costs? Maybe it’s something unusual? Nope:

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And so on. It’s just few examples from last few weeks. About 50% of all emails and messages in LinkedIn are offering relocation as a bonus. It’s a bonus, Karl! You are offered to cross the globe to have a seat at some A-level office building far away from your relatives and this is a bonus? Hmmm…. For “keep waving” managers maybe?

And it works on all levels. Not only international market is affected. If you take a look on local one you’ll notice that there is the same process but inside of countries. I think Silicon Valley is the greatest example. One of the most expensive and uncomfortable places to live for the developer and one of the most popular relocation offer of all times.

It’s really hard to imagine how much money is spent on it each year. Let’s take Moscow as an example. Simple case. The company is just hiring the developer. Let’s say he is paid around 5000$. Plus 13% of taxes. It’s additional 650$. Let’s also count insurance contributions required by government. It’s around 30% in Russia. Ok, now we have more than 7000$. Plus different benefits like additional insurance, free cookies, dinners, taxi reimbursements or whatever. It goes up to 8000–9000$. Now imagine that after all you offer relocation pack for developer and his family. Price of this action goes to the sky. But why?

Why for the hell we are burning all this money? Where is a problem to give those money to developers instead? If you work by contract with remote developer from Russia taxes are going to be about 7% plus some additional payments. They are paid by developer himself. And he lives with his family in his own house. All money you could spend to make local government happy or to move the developer through the ocean can just go directly to make developer’s live better. No hours spent in subway or train. No problems with schools or kindergartens for kids. Now adoption time. Healthy environment. This is a real bonus, isn’t it?

All this happens in the same moment when most of modern IT companies are built on top of technologies created by distributed team of developers who never meet each other and never had manager on top of them, only real leaders.

Take any example. Let’s say — Github. This is one of the most popular places to host open source projects, right? A tool which works on top of the source management system which was designed to be distributed because the team who is working on Linux is distributed. Developed in Ruby — programming language created by some Japanese guy. Using Rails originally started by the Danish developer. It has “remote” in it’s own blood. An guess what? Office is the default option for them.

What I’m saying is simple:

  1. It’s better to take responsibility. Push, fight, win the battle. It’s needed in order to make our industry look like really innovative space to work instead of being new version of old school factory.
  2. It’s better to hire remote. Talk with your company management to start doing it. Describe with digits. Describe with logic. Describe with passion. Make it default option.

Hope I made you think about all the stuff. And my congratulations with promotion and grow. Please, be the leader not the manager, pal. We definitely need one.

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