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Part of a re-org that happened in our company, several Dev and QA Managers have had to transition into a Team Manager role (I moved from QA manager to this role). In terms of responsibilities, it is:

  1. (people management like hiring, retaining, promoting etc) for both Developers & QA in the team
  2. strategic directives in terms of what the team could and should develop in the near future
  3. project management for the ongoing projects

My questions:

  1. Job market doesn't have this role in Software development teams, so i am not sure what this role corresponds to in other software companies
  2. Since I do not come from Development background as such - only limited automation skills from QA / Testing background, will a future employer expect me to have coding / architect skill ?
  3. Since this role doesn't exist in most Software companies, what should I aim to learn as part of this role and which role should I market myself to a future employer as?
  • 1
    Are you planning on leaving your current company in the near future? – sf02 Apr 29 at 20:04
  • No, but i need to know that the new role is giving me some shape and form to do so IF and whenever I do. Team Manager role looks like some amalgamation of Project/ program manager / Development manager / Scrum master and people manager. I need to know if this new role means something in the outside world. – derekS Apr 29 at 20:12
  • Most employers are interested in your previous experience and responsibilities rather than a specific title. The title may mean nothing to the outside world, but the actual work you are doing does. – sf02 Apr 29 at 20:14
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this role doesn't exist in most Software companies

Sure it does. Plenty of software companies (including every company I have ever worked at) have managers/leaders with both developers and specialised QA people reporting to them.

It might be called "Team Leader", "Project Manager", "Scrum Master", "Delivery Manager", or something like that, but breaking down the silos between development and QA is really common these days (especially in teams that want to follow an agile SDLC).

will a future employer expect me to have coding / architect skill ?

Some might, but a reasonable employer would be more likely to expect people leadership skills from a people manager. If they wanted coding leadership they'd hire an experienced developer, and if they wanted architecture leadership they'd hire an experienced architect.

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I want to address just this part of the question:

  1. Since I do not come from Development background as such - only limited automation skills from QA / Testing background, will a future employer expect me to have coding / architect skill ?

Appoint a "Lead Developer" for coding development. Let him handle the code architecture/development. With all the responsibilities of management, the worst thing a manager can do is to keep trying to program and to act as the "Lead Developer." If you keep trying to fulfill "Lead Developer" then you will become a bottleneck for the team.

  • It would be ideal if the chosen "Lead Developer" would be someone who could be groomed to be a project leader or a manager someday.

  • With all your other responsibilities you'll still have plenty of work.

What you want to be focused on is being the outside contact for the team. (The team will love you if you can minimize outside interference.) Most importantly since you're the overall project manager you want to be sure that you have clear written requirements and manage change control.

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The best way for you to find out what "Project Manager" entails in your company is to ask your own manager.

I see here some people equate it to team leader, scrum master, delivery manager. In my company, those are all distinct roles (I guess I would consider our delivery manager the project manager in our organisation). So people here can guess all they want, we don't know your company or how the reorg affected roles. The only ones who know are the ones who created the role. Talk to your manager and ask what your responsibilities/tasks are, and if you feel you lack some skill to have success in that role (like coding knowledge), talk about how you can be best be brought up to speed. If your manager can't answer that, ask who can. Get that information from your company.

For what it's worth, the fact that your company wasn't clear with their employees about their redefined roles is bad. If they drastically changed your role without your input, it's really really bad. I'm not saying you should change jobs tomorrow, but I would put some feelers out to see if my skills would be better valued and respected somewhere else.

  • The question isnt about what the current role entails. i have mentioned what it entails in my question. The problem is it is an amalgamation of engineering manager, project manager and people manager. Typically in the job market these roles are separate and distinct. So if and when I want to move on, I am not sure which of these roles I can market my skills as and in fact whether I will even be gaining skills on all 3 fronts equally. – derekS Apr 30 at 18:23

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