So i've been a dev manager for a little while now. Thought i'd take some time to disambiguate some job titles to let everyone know what they might be in for when joining / moving around a big org.

Title: Senior Software Engineer

- Technical
- Clever
- Typically has years experience building what management are trying to build

- Building new features
- Writing code
- Code review
- Offering advice to product manag......OH NO YOU DON'T CODE MONKEY, BACK TO WORK!

Title: Dev Manager

- Technical
- Former/current programmer
- knows his/her way around a codebase.

- Recruiting / interviewing new staff
- Keeping the team focused and delivering tasks
- Architecture decisions
- Lying about complexity of architecture decisions to ensure team gets the actual time they need
- Lying about feature estimations to ensure team gets to work on critical technical improvements that were cancelled / de-prioritised
- Explaining to hire-ups why we can't "Just do it quicker"
- Explaining to senior engineers why the product manager declined their meeting request

Title: Product / Product Manager

- Nothing relevant to the industry or product line what so ever
- Found the correct building on the day of the interview
- Has once opened an Excel spreadsheet and successfully saved it to a desktop

- Making every key decision about every feature available in the app
- Learning to ignore that inner voice we like to call "Common sense"
- Making sure to not accidentally take some advice from technical staff
- Raising the blood pressure of everyone below them / working with them

Title: Program Lead / Product Owner

- Capable of speech
- Aware of what a computer is (optional)

- Sitting down
- Talking
- Clicking random buttons on Jira
- Making bullet point lists

Title: Director of Software Engineering

- Allegedly attended college/university to study computer science
- Similar to a technical product manager (technical optional)

- Reports directly to VP
- Fixes problems by creating a different problem somewhere else as a distraction
- Claiming to understand and green light technical decisions, while having already agreed with product that it will never happen

  • 15
    "Lying about complexity of architecture decisions to ensure team gets the actual time they need"

    Sure you do, buddy.
  • 20
    @telephantasm No i've really had to start doing this lately. We have this meeting where we discuss estimates. After we give our estimates they then tell us "Oh but we already told the VP it will be done by the 12th, it didn't seem that complex".

    Then they start "oh surely we can take 2 days off here and 3 days here .... there we go, were ready for the 12th". I'll then say no and a big argument lasting weeks will ensue.

    To make everything easier and quicker, I just tack on a few weeks, knowing they will try to reduce it. I'll throw a bit of a "I dunno, sounds too tight" but eventually agree with them. If its way off, then they try to de-scope for push it back, because now these "super critical, must ship by the 12th" features are suddenly fine to wait until next month. They are happy thinking they've won, team are happy they get the time they need.
  • 3
    I actually like my product owner..
  • 2
    @martijnimhoff you lucky bastard. Mine literally (not exaggerating) does nothing.

    E.g. I'm on my 4th group call today, that he is leading, each time he's asked someone else to drive it and has gone on mute. This will be the high point of his week.
  • 1
    @martijnimhoff I like mine too. He knows specs and coordinates Support and Development well, but when planning he always tries to get our effort down as much as possible. He can do that if he wants to. We don't care as long as we get the time we need he can do what he wants.
  • 5
    @practiseSafeHex Hah! You mean "figuratively"! (quote from xkcd.com/725)

    If he did literally nothing, we would be dead. Not that he would die, he would already be dead.
  • 2
    @smb26 see I thought that too, until I got into the shoes of the dev manager. Now I’ve realized the program lead is the enemy.

    See, he does ... *reading @Fabian’s comment* ... nothing useful with regards to work. All he has, is reporting to his bosses that everything got done on time and works.
  • 8
    Title: Chief Technology Officer

    - Technical, long ago
    - Doesn’t like the coding part of programming

    - Reports directly to the CEO.
    - Acts as the geeky, smart guy when meeting with the clients.
    - Decides about tabs vs spaces.
    - Works on a plan to announce in 2022 how our Java shop will allow Kotlin in the stack by 2024.
  • 0
    Oh god, this was so spot on for so many of my roles, especially the product owner one.

    The PO on a team I worked with was so beyond untechnical, yet he was in charge of core decisions and scheduling, it was so mental.

    Smarmy little bastard too, the number of times I’ve dreamt of smashing his face in is too high for civilised society.

    He was basically Tom Haverford from parks and rec but with none of the good qualities.
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