I am starting to think I am at a crossroads in my career. I love coding, and more specifically I love solving problems with technology. I love the team I a m on and the role I play on that team. When I think about where I want to be in 5, 10 or even 20 years down the road I can't see myself in engineering. The ladder in engineering still goes higher than the rung I am currently on, but it climbs up to the rooftop of a building I don't want to be on. The engineering ladder leads to senior engineers, lead engineers, and engineering managers. It's still all engineering, and I want to keep learning m ore about the process, more about marketing, more about sales, and more about finance. More importantly, I hate the fact that I have very little strategic in put on our product or what I am building. The problem is in order to change ladders I will have to give up coding. Maybe I am ready to do that maybe I am not , but the opportunity to jump to another ladder is opening up now.
At my company several Product Management jobs are opening up at various points this year and it is making me consider making a switch. Product Management gives me the opportunity to work with engineering, but also with sales, marketing , and finance. The Product Management ladder is different then the engineering ladder in that it forks off in many directions instead of going straight up. This means that I could go a number of different directions as I climb, and in 20 years I can really be anywhere in the organization (except for m aybe HR, fine by me). The best part of a jump to product management is that I still get to solve problems with technology, and that could ease the pain of quitting coding cold turkey. Have any of you faced similar crossroads? I would love to hear some thoughts in the comments.