I'm at the crossroads of my career. I need to make some important decisions which will stay with me for a long, long time.
The most important decision at this time is whether to choose the managerial route or the technical route.
The 'normal' career path of many people in the software industry is that they start off as programmers, testers etc. and learn the ropes, so to speak, for a few years and then either continue in the technical area by graduating to design and architecting or slowly get into a managerial role where they lead teams and are responsible for delivery.
Due to my rather unique circumstances, however, I did not get a chance to spend enough time on programming in my early years. I had to take on a managerial position pretty soon. I like to believe I did well.
Now, when I have some time on my hands, I find myself inclined to the technical side. I am focussing on learning Linux on the one hand (shell scripting, how Linux works, the different libraries etc.) and Cocoa (building desktop applications for the Mac) on the other hand.
I enjoy this thoroughly.
On the other hand, some of my friends feel I make a good manager and dealing with people is my forte. Also, some people have suggested that I should now aim to handle an independent software unit rather than manage single projects. This is because I have been doing this for the last few years and doing some technical stuff or managing single projects would not be a step that could be construed as 'growth'.
This is the dilemma I must resolve. And do it quickly.