I would like to be given more responsibility at work but do not feel managers at my work place are aware of my other skills sets. I am a programmer and believe that is all the perceive me as - however I have also undertaken project management courses, scrum master training etc.

I have certificates from these courses I have completed, they are usually short 1 - 3 week courses. At the moment I have them stuffed away in a filing cabinet at home. I was thinking of hanging them all on my cubicle so when managers came to my desk they would notice them.

Is this something that managers would notice next time they are picking who will manage the next project or is due for a promotion. Or is this just trying a little too hard and asking to be laughed at by my co-workers.

My workplace has 600 employees (100 in IT), the roles are somewhat flexible but are moving to be more strictly defined. It feels that management does not care what credentials I have on paper but are looking for practical achievements.

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    How large is your workplace and how strictly defined are roles? If the answer is "large!" and "quite strictly!" then your managers are unlikely to even be considering entrusting a programmer with project management duties; you'll probably need to more formally make the case that you should be promoted to broader responsibilities. – Carson63000 Dec 29 '12 at 5:50
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    my workplace has 600 employees (100 in IT) the roles are some what flexible but are moving to be more strictly defined. I think your right that management does not care what credentials I have on paper but are looking for practical achievements – user5549 Dec 29 '12 at 7:40
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    Be aware that project manager is generally a separate role from developer. If you want to move towards that role, you may have to leave developing behind. be sure that is what you want. Scrummaster however is a developer role, more than a project management one. – DJClayworth Dec 29 '12 at 17:01
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    Be careful what you wish for. – user5564 Dec 30 '12 at 4:01

Talk to your managers about it then. It's easier for a busy manager to listen to you then to read insinuating messages by posters on your cubicle wall.

There is always a shortcut and that is to step up and take the responsibilities yourself - to show that you can deliver. If you have some slack in your programming work (to some extent this is probably something you can handle a bit yourself when plans are set up in a project phase, look for simple tasks you know you can finish fast). Then look for an overly stressed project manager (hopefully someone you know well and that the managers trusts) and simply just try to help him/her out with some project management work. Start small, and it might be the case that your PM plans some of your time into helping out with PM tasks.

You should still have the talk with your managers about your wish to change path and your courses. But if you do this right, you would have some real experience within your company as well.


There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a discussion with your manager regarding your desire to take on additional responsibilities. That being said, if you have that conversation, you immediately place yourself under a spotlight. It is one thing to simply be assigned a task over and above your usual duties, because your manager wishes to give you the opportunity to succeed. If you fall slightly short of expectations, your manager may give you the benefit of the doubt because you didn't ask for it. However, if you put yourself out there, you need to be prepared to deliver. For that reason, some managers tend to look for strong performers over and above educational successes. As far as they're concerned, a certificate or diploma only means that you learn well, not necessarily execute well.

If I were in your position, I would tend to focus on finding out directly what I would need to do in order to advance from my current position. Feel free to have the conversation with your manager, but don't put in the context of "I want to do more because I want to be more than just a programmer." Make it about "I want to do more because I want to learn more about the company." Regardless of how you approach it, I would absolutely not hang my certificates in my cubicle. If you want "credit" for them, provide copies to your manager and ask him/her to add these to your personnel file. That way, you're giving the appearance of making your manager aware of your accomplishments, but not forcing him/her to take an action because of them.


I have a BS degree, an MS degree (both from top tier universities), a state registration, and a prestigious credential from a professional society which I earned. I have framed wall certificates for each one. I've also received a couple of rare honors from a former large employer. On top of that I've donated 10 gallons of blood over the years and received a nice plaque.

But you know, I no longer display any of those things on my cubicle walls. There's just one 8x10 photo of my kids or scenery from a recent vacation, and a recent company-awarded honor. Minimalist and understated. I hope I come across as quietly self-assured. I don't need to brag about my past accomplishments because I try to make my present and future accomplishments speak for themselves. And I assuredly am far from perfect; on those occasions when I do fall short, it would be kind of mortifying to discuss my failures in the presence of all those fancy certificates.

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