As they get older, lots of software engineers dread the seemingly inevitable move from being a programmer to being a manager. After all, if your true passion is writing code, taking on the responsibilities of managing other people may be a bit more lucrative, but it will obviously take away the time you can spend doing what you love the most. That’s ultimately why Steve Wozniak decided to make the move from Hewlett-Packard to Apple full-time, back in the company’s earliest days, according to Walter Isaacson’s autobiography of Steve Jobs, which read:
“[An old friend told Wozniak] if he joined Apple full-time, he would not have to go into management or give up being an engineer. ‘That is exactly what I needed to hear,’ Wozniak later said. ‘I could stay at the bottom of the organization chart, as an engineer.’”
So when I had the chance to have a brief chat backstage at the Facebook Ecosystem CrunchUp this past Friday with Facebook’s VP of Engineering Mike Schroepfer, who began his career years ago as an engineer and currently serves in a management role, I asked him about how he made that switch. Watch the video above to hear about his thoughts on moving to management, how often he gets to code, how Facebook’s recent CTO departure has affected his day-to-day duties, how Facebook is working to retain its talent, and more.
Mike Schroepfer is the Vice President of Engineering at Facebook. Mike is responsible for harnessing the engineering organization’s culture of speed, creativity and exploration to build products, services and infrastructure that support the company’s users, developers and partners around the world. Before coming to Facebook, Mike was the Vice President of Engineering at Mozilla Corporation, where he led the global, collaborative, open and participatory product development process behind Mozilla’s popular software, such as the Firefox web browser. Mike was...