8 Reasons a developer would NEVER want to be a CIO

Why would a developer not want to get the big promotion to CIO? Software developers live to write code.

Writing code is the light of a developer’s life.

The fire of his loins. His sin, his soul. (Thank you, Nabokov.) Writing code is a compulsion for software developers. They have to do it-often at the expense of personal grooming, developing their social skills and cultivating relationships with the opposite sex. Becoming a CIO would take them away from their one true passion.

2. They like to see the fruits of their labours.

Developers don’t want to spend their days in meetings, manage petty squabbles among subordinates or beg for budget dollars. They want to do *real* work. They want to have something to show for their work. They want to point to a software application and say, “I built this,” not, “My team built this.”

3. No habla Ingles.

Many developers express themselves better in Java or C# than they do in English. That doesn’t fly for CIOs, who have to be able to clearly and convincingly explain to their management teams and boards of directors IT’s value.

4. Revenge of the nerds.

The dream of becoming a legendary hacker is far more exciting to a software developer than the prospect of becoming a CIO. It’s also a much more realistic career goal. Landing a good CIO job these days isn’t easy.

5. Developers don’t aspire to be anyone’s bi***.

Let’s face it: Much of the CIO role requires sucking up to the CFO and CEO. Developers prize their integrity and think corporate politics is for wonks. What’s more, they’d rather cannibalize Cowboy Neal than report to and take orders from executives who don’t understand technology.

6. They’re not interested in plumbing.

Even developers see the CIO as tactical. They view the CIO as the guy in charge of infrastructure. Developers don’t want to manage the status quo. They want to innovate. (See #1.)

7. Developers hate PowerPoint.

PowerPoint is such the domain of the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert comics. Nothing is more square than PowerPoint.

8. They think their CIO is clueless.

Why would a software developer ever want to become the guy who none of his peers respect?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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