I was recently asked what I was looking to do in my career after leaving my previous position as Director of Database Architecture and some time later the answer still remains the same, I don’t know. It is really a hard question to answer.
I am going to start off by broadening my horizons from a technology standpoint. I have been in a bubble for the past nine years doing strictly DBMS work. This provided a plethora of opportunities, however in the meantime plenty of new technology has sprouted. Cloud technology, specifically AWS and its impact, has been proliferating along with new automation and deployment tools. I want to update my toolbox.
One thing that I know I want to continue to do is managing and making a positive impact with that skill set. I really enjoy process improvement and problem resolution. The study and analysis of work is a favored topic. I believe what draws me to this is the constant evolution of improvement, just as in work as in life, and I am competent at both.
I once had someone try to convince me that I was not a good manager and was potentially in the wrong position. This was laughable at best as the contributions made were large scale, but I played along to see where it would go. The improvements made were incessantly complained about, as was my approach, with many of the complaints being off the wall and bordering on petty.
My approach, covered in another recent blog post “Management Philosophy”, was to use modern management techniques as well as DevOps principles to improve the function of my department. While the same people complaining about me and my improvements were running around spouting buzzwords like DevOps and Agile, I was actually implementing the core of those very techniques. In the meantime, I allowed none of this noise to slow me down.
At the end of the day, none of it had anything to do with my form or function as a manager, but more to do with being perceived as a threat to theirs. A kingdom building exercise by a subset of poor manager(s) to get me under thumb and for someone to take credit for both resolution of problems that did not exist as well as for my work.
There are lots of signs that differentiate a good manager and a lesser one. Working in many different arenas over the years the most obvious to me is that a good manager is good at resolving real problems that are beneficial to an organization, while a lesser manager is outstandingly great at finding and resolving problems that do not exist.
I have great disdain for the latter.