Next move: How do I move on from development?

Advice on your IT career.

The question: How do I move on from development?

I have been working in development in different business environments for a number of years. I have done support work and major development work, from analysis through to implementation and testing, but I would now like to move into business management. How would I do this?

The solution: Project management is best way forward

The simple answer would be "with some difficulty". Recruitment decisions are highly influenced by risk and whether there is evidence that the candidate is able to carry out the position being recruited for. The greater the evidence, the lower the risk.

It seems that you are facing the fairly common situation of being stuck in no-man's land between development, testing and support. This can make it more difficult to make the progression into management.

One approach is to apply for the type of management role you want with your current employer. Sound out your bosses concerning project management. This would give you experience of managing staff and commercial projects, which should give you the requisites to move into a purely business management role.

If your company is not able to support this, you may want to look for an IT position within a large organisation that has strong internal career development paths and promotes staff retention by secondments. Finally, if the above options are not bearing fruit, take an MBA, which , although costly and time consuming, would make this transition easier.

Solution by Nick Dettmar, product director at Computer People

The panel: Computer People, Hudson, No Limits Coaching, The Training Camp, Wreay Group


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So I have a similar question. I been involved in the I.T. industry for over 17 years (South Africa) starting as junior software developer all the way through to senior software developer and now most recently development team leader. My problem it would seem is I dont know where to next? If I am to stay in development then what language,  my language of experience during all this time has been Delphi. I have done various certificate courses in C# and PHP but would not say that I have enough practical experience in these to apply for a Senior Role. Delphi jobs are scare and those that are available pay less than that of my current Team Leader salary. So the only choice I see is to either become proficient in languages such as PHP, C# and Java which are in more demand and pay better (but then how to become proficient in it if not exposed to it in my work enviroment on a daily basis). Alternatively I must look at roles such as Business Analysis etc but would probally require some sort of additional studies to apply for such roles. Would really like some input from those in the know with similar experiences