is being a tech/dev person, a dead end job?

i have been thinking about this for sometime. as a dev, we can progress into senior dev, then tech lead, then staff engineer probably. but that is that. for a tech person :

1. their salary levels are defined. for eg, a junior may earn $10k pm , and the highest tech guy (say staff engineer) will earn $100k pm, but everyone's salary will be spread over this range only, in different slots.

2. some companies give stocks and bonuses , but most of the time that too is fixed to say 30% of the annual salary at max.

3. its a low risk job as a min of x number of tech folks are always required for their tech product to work properly. plus these folks are majorly with similar skills, so 2 react guys can be reduced to 1 but not because of incompetency .

4. even if people are incompetent, our domain is friendly and more like a community learning stuff. we share our knowledge in public domain and try to make things easy to learn for other folks inside and outside the office. this is probably a bad thing too

compare this to businesses , management and sales they have different:
1. thier career progression : saleman > sales team manager> branch manager > multiple branch manager(director) > multiple zones/state manager (president) > multiple countries/ company manager (cxo)

2. their salaries are comission based. they get a commission in the number of sales they get, later theybget comission in the sales of their team> their branch > their zone and finally in company's total revenue. this leads to very meagre number in salaries, but a very major and mostly consistent and handsome number in commission. that is why their salaries ranges from $2k pm to $2-$3millions per month.

3. in sales/management , their is a always a room for optimisation . if a guy is selling less products, than another guy, he could be fired and leads could be given to other/new person. managers can optimise the cost/expenses chain and help company generate wider profits. overall everyone is running for (a) to get an incentive and (b) to dodge their boss's axe.

4. this makes it a cut-throat and a network-first domain. people are arrogant and selfish, and have their own special tricks and tactics to ensure their value.

as a manager , you don't go around sharing the stories on how you got apple to partner with foxconn for every iphone manufacturing, you just enjoy the big fat bonus check and awe of inspiration that your junior interns make.

this sound a little bad , but on the contrary , this involves being a people person and a social animal. i remember one example from the office web series, where different sales people would have different strategies for getting a business: Michael would go wild, Stanley would connect with people of his race, and Phyllis would dress up like a client's wife.
in real life too, i have seen people using various social cues to get business. the guy from whom we bought our car, he was so friendly with my dad, i once thought that they are some long lost brothers.

this makes me wonder : are sales/mgmt people being better at being entrepreneur and human beings than we devs?

in terms of ethics, i don't think that people who are defining their life around comissions and cut throat races to be friendly or supportive beings. but at the same time, they would be connecting with people and their real problems, so they might become more helpful than their friends/relatives and other "good people" ?

Additionally, the skills of sales/mgmt translate directly to entrepreneurship, so every good salesman/manager is a billionaire in making. whereas we devs are just being peas in a pod , debating on next big npm package and trying to manage taxes on our already meagre , "consistent" income :/

mann i want some people skills like these guys

  • 3
    question: why does anyone want to be a billionaire in the first place?

    I'm pretty happy as a tech/dev person, where i stand. The reason is, that the topics are way more interesting, than whatever sales or management ever could be. Be aware that tech stuff is not only software development, but could also be topics that are nearby, but not the same, like designing electronics, or designing dev related physical products, doing digital art sometimes aswell.

    The only thing i can imagine is, that being a manager or in sales is fucking boring.

    And don't kid yourself, sales is not any different than other jobs. I haven't seen a single sales person, that is rich. And depending of what their clients are, they're not even necessarily friendly. Depending on the business model it can sometimes be the other way around, and the devs get part of the commission. But then they're called consultant/dev.

    Nobody is stopping you from building a company even as a regular dev.
  • 1
    Management has more room for growth than engineering. Likely more than any field.

    But engineering paths have gotten a lot better. You can stay in your lane for a long time and build a very good career. If course engineering positions still transfer into management very well.
  • 2
    You ask 20 questions under one question. Decide first, what is it that you want to ask?

    Being a tech guy is a dead-end job sure, but so is every other job. You become the president. What now? You take over all the world under ur rule. What now? Everything ends at some point.
  • 1
    Everything is way off here.

    - Staff engineers don't cap out at 100k. I know non-staff engineers on more than that. In certain places in the US they can easily earn many times that amount. Granted this will vary by location, but where salaries are lower, they're lower for sales people too.

    - I love the fact I have a set, non commission based salary. That's a great thing! Have you seen how many sales people work stupid hours just to try to hit ridiculous commission targets? I don't have to do that. I do a decent day's work, know I'll be paid, then go home to family.

    - Devs can, and do transition into higher roles. Some of the most notable CEOs in the tech space come from an engineering background.

    ...and why do you think transitioning to a role where you earn 6 figures is such a bad thing anyway? If that's a dead end job these days, sign me up.
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    @dotenvironment sorry just realised that your figures there were pm not py - but think the rest apply.
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    @lungdart But who say that there are more room for growth ?

    In tech you can also have 10 different titles if you want. Junior, mid-level, senior, lead, principal... You can go as crazy as the ones you mentioned for sales people.

    You can have architects, engineers, specialists, administrators...

    You can go what ever you like in tech. The sales people are just doing one job : telling lies to get customers buy the product.
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    @Grumm no tech product is too big to have this much level of tech divisions . companies combine a lot of these in to se2 and se3. there is usually 1 or at max 2 higher roles which are just having product bknowledge from tech point of view which are not coding , like tech lead and EM/staff software engineer, but after that, its all 100% management guys who don't even know the app's libraries or stack
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    @AlmondSauce was about to reply about the pm vs py thing . a few million dollars per year is not a bad number. but if you are living in a city full of businessman, nd top sales guys who are buying multiple lands , cars and other assets in secret from those "non-job" money , you might not feel that much confident about your future

    if average cost of living is around 5k per month for a decent lifestyle, then i can imagine it to reach to 50k/m for a person in next 20 years : considering their family expansion and othe expensis. thus a billionaire or a multi millionaire is atleast 20 years ahead of such inflation and would be able to still invest and grow at that time, as we folks now, who are beating the current market with our wages
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    @AlmondSauce also devs do transition in the management roles, i am not denying that. if i may rephrase my question : does the Destiny of a developer is only to transition into a management guy?
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    @dotenvironment Ah, gotcha.

    I'd still say no - a lot of devs do move to management, but some stay as devs (I plan to,I know a lot of other people who have too.) Some also transition to starting their own companies, specialising in a niche and doing high paid consultancy, or move into architecture based roles. All of the above can be just as highly paid as management roles if you play your cards right.
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