Project Management - Reality Check
No offense, but people with a lot of experience in their fields go to special schools and undergo years of training before they are trusted as project managers. Project Management certification programs often don't even accept fresh graduates, only people with X years of experience in the field, as Project Management is a highly valued skill, and talented project managers make a lot of money.
If you can't handle entry level software development what makes you think you have what it takes to manage a project? After all, a lot of the same skills apply:
- Organizational skills
- Logical thinking
- Establishing specifications
- Setting up a timeline, etc.
This list of overlapping aspects could go on, and on.
However, project management also involves handling people, playing at office politics, and taking a lot of responsibility, even for other people's actions, which I'm not sure you've considered, seeing how easily you've given up on software development.
I don't think a few short months is long enough to determine whether you'll make a good developer or not. It certainly doesn't make sense when you analyze the amount of time you spent in school, vs the amount of time you've actually been a developer.
Typically a software development program is at least 2-3 years long (maybe 4). During that time you were taught many valuable skills, and you presumably enjoyed it enough to stick with it and graduate from that program.
You've now been applying those skills for only a few months and you want to give up?
whatever it takes to be a good developer I don't have <- I'm a software developer, and I couldn't tell you what that magical ingredient is, except maybe by being as vague as saying: "be organized", or "have the ability to think logically".
It may very well be that as much as you enjoy the company you simply don't find your projects engaging, or that you feel intimidated by the the amount of information you need to absorb.
If you never had co-op experiences and this is in fact your first "real job", then all I can say is that this is normal. That moment of absolute panic when you look at 10K lines of code and you need to find a bug? I still get it.
It takes me, on average, anywhere between 6 to 8 months to feel somewhat comfortable in a new position, and about a year to "really get it". And I think I'm a pretty good dev. Yourself, as a fresh graduate - and working your first job to boot - are going to need at least that long.
Before you draw any conclusions about your development skills/aptitudes you should ask the senior dev you interact with most often for a honest assessment of your project/skills. On top of that, you should probably wait for an actual performance review and align your goals and expectations with those of your manager.
As a fresh graduate you can't possibly be expected to perform at the same level as someone with even a year of experience under their belt. You simply lack the experience to even "know what you don't know". Stay humble, and keep your nose to the grindstone.
Comparing Yourself To Others
Try not to do it too much. Focus on what you bring to the table.
I've worked with devs who are able to sit down at the start of the day, and focus on their code like a laser until quitting time. For myself, I have days when I have zero motivation to do anything, and my eyes just glaze over as soon as I look at a line of code. I thought I was simply a bad developer until I spoke to a senior dev whom I greatly admired, and was told he experiences the exact same thing. The trick, he told me, was to be super productive on the days when "you're feeling it".
And so, I may not always have delivered the same quantity of code as my super focused colleague, but I produced high quality, polished solutions because when I did "feel it", I did a great job.
That's not to say that you should feel justified to slack 7 hours out of the day, or take 5 months to deliver on a two week project, just that having an "off day" is not something that makes you a bad dev.
Some people can focus easier, others are better analytical thinkers, others still have great ideas, but suck at implementing them. We each have our strengths and weaknesses, and you need to figure yours out, then leverage the strengths.
Don't give up yet. It's my honest opinion that anything under a year of experience is not long enough to determine whether you're developer material or not. You owe it to yourself to give it a shot, if only because you spent years going to school for it.
Remember that those people saw something in you for them to hire you, and as scary as it may sound, if they don't think you can do the job, they'll let you know.