Difficult choise. To leave or not to leave? That is the question.

I am a web developer. If I’m not wrong, I work at this position nearly for 8 years. Of course firstly I was trainee/junior freelancer, than junior full time worker, than middle and last 4–5 years as a senior php developer. Yes I chose php, but it’s another story. I worked in small and big companies, product and outstaff ones. I learned a lot of technologies, versions’ differences of them and I also had already forgotten several of them.

Maybe a year ago I just started thinking that it’s the end of the selfdevelopment way of a programmer. But the solution was simple, I had to go further. I had to become either someone more closer to tech e.g. architect or become a team leader, who is closer to people management, motivation, etc. You know, when I settled on this I realised, that I do not know anything about how to be a team leader at all. So then I started analysing. I looked at all of my almost 6–7 years in web from the other side. I tried to understand how my team leaders worked, which of practices they did were actually good and which ones failed.

The result of the analysis was understanding that it’s not enough just to copy practices, which I thought were good and become a good TL. So I decided to read some books and articles, obviously. Articles were more interesting, but books were more valuable. When I finished reading third or fourth book about management, I got a valueable portion of information. I became more familiar with SDLC (software development life cycle) scrum, kanban, waterfall, xp and with a lot of other stuff. But at the end of the day I realised that it’s a full stop. I were just reading and doing nothing with that knowledge. I had to do something. I couldn’t grow up at my previous company, any of my ideas was rejected and I decided to leave.

I changed the company from product to outstaff. During the interview with the HR I was told that there are a lot of opportunities to become a team leader and there would be a lot of projects, it’s a work of a dream with unihorns, black jack, you know, every recreuter do the same.

After a half of a year there I had a chat with a kind of HR in the outstaff company. The meeting was called appraisal or something like that. So we were discussing my achivements, thoughts, goals and ambitions. We created a plan, how we’ll work on improving my soft skills and the way how to delegate part of current team lead’s work to myself. We decied to recheck my objectives at other meeting during the week. In the real life the next our meeting was in a half of a year) You know deadlines, problems, releases, bla bla bla.

Before this meeting I thought that it’s enough for me and I need a TL position just right now. Me, myself and I settled on it and I went for an interview in several companies for a TL position. I told them pretty the same story which is written above. At the end I got a job offer from one of them. I was really happy and so on. You know it’s like to get the lucky lottery ticket.

In the middle of that I had a meeting with CTO of my current project. He announced me a role, which was created only in this company for people who has leadership ambitions. it’s a role for safe growing a developer into a TL on small projects whith mentors, trainings and without being afraid of making mistakes. I would be able to take as many responsibilities as I could. Of course I wouldn’t have such salary as I could at full TL role, but responsibility is less also and here are a lot of mentors/teachers and just people who could help in any trouble with new responsibilities.

At the end of the day I have a choise. To leave or not to leave? To be honest I think there is no wrong answer. Everyone is correct. Nobody knows which one is better, it depends on many things. I haven’t chosen yet, but I think, any result will be positive. Of course I want bigger salary (everyone wants), but here is a good way of growing, maybe even faster than there. I’m not sure that I’m 100% ready for all of the responsibility. I’m scared a bit. I don’t show it, but it’s true. Currently I think that 65-70% I’ll stay in this company. Maybe it’s a time to take a chanse and just throw a coin or roll a dice.

PS. I would much appresiate if anyone tell their own story in comments. What decision you guys make in this way. I have no doubt here are a lot of Team Leaders who were developers before with their own level up story.

PPS Also if you know awesome literature about leadership or management or something close to the theme, write a comment please.