Job satisfaction as a manager?

Managers are usually paid better than software developers – I’m thinking middle managers here, not the C-level. Why is that when the developers are the ones that actually build the product? You can have developers without managers, but the other way round is pretty pointless.

For a long time I held the following hypothesis about manager’s wages:

Managers earn well because they (should) have a specific set of people skills that are not that common and therefore in high demand.

Now that I’ve been in management positions I’d have to amend for myself:

The high income is in part compensation for not having the satisfaction of creating something yourself.

At least I hardly ever get around to create something myself. The days on which I write a concept or interview a client are highlights but they are few and far between. Growing a team and processes is not the same as being directly involved with designing and coding a new feature. At least not for me. I’d love to be the kind of person who strives solely on supporting others but most evenings I go home and wonder what the hell I did all day. Pushing Jira tickets is not gonna save the world.

I dimly recall being much happier as a web developer. When I look back on the past 2 years, I was probably happiest while building and launching Retr-O-Mat, a private project.
Other managers don’t seem to have that “empty feeling”-problem. Maybe I primarily have a problem with being a Project Manager? Anyway, I’m wondering, what do you other managers draw satisfaction from?

On a related note: I quit my job and starting on August 1st I give myself a 6 months Sabbatical to create tons of stuff and find out what I want to do with my life – Web development? Writing? Consulting? It’s gonna be one big experiment and also:

Wheee! Freeeeeeeedom!

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5 Responses to Job satisfaction as a manager?

  1. How Brave!! I’m sure you will not only find out what you want to do with your life but, will knock it right out of the park. Congratulations on your new adventure….whatever it may be.

  2. I am a manager because there aren’t many organizations where I can work as a software developer without coming up against a completely demoralizing, offensive, hostile and unsuitable management system.

    I am a manager specifically to help create the type of company where I would want to work as a software developer again, aka an organization without managers.

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