challenges and choices

I recently got a silent promotion* to Senior Engineer here, which I thought was funny, until they put me in charge of the Pets strike force, and I now understand how deadly serious it is. I'm heading up the engineering effort to add pets to our MMO platform, and now all of a sudden I have to do things like "code reviews" and "assigning tasks," which is always a challenge for me, because I often have very specific ideas about how everything should be done, but delegating means letting go to some extent.

Actually the best practice I ever had in delegating was my time as work frosh for Interhovse, back in the day. I found that people really need a clear task, that suits their interests and capabilities, and in some cases a lot of support in terms of tools and advice, but given that they will take ownership and really shine. It was such a great experience, being a part of that process, that I chased it all throughout college. The dolphins, the HME, all that good stuff.

Well anyway it's tricky, making a shift now from being a programmer to being a team leader. I'll still be doing a lot of coding, but more and more of my time is probably going to be spent on other people's code, which frankly I am not thrilled about. But on the other hand it means I can tackle bigger problems, which is fantastic. I know that a lot of programmers have trouble making this transition, and I can see why. So I hope I can beat that curve.

And also I might have to buy some nicer shirts. :-/

*I know right? But in a small office, almost nobody ever uses anyone's actual job title. So to announce it would be rather conspicuous and frankly probably not that great for the morale of people who haven't been promoted so, I can see the point. Of course, it's possible that everyone else was already a senior engineer, and I just didn't know it. :-p

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