Sometimes I compare my life to others, and of course this doesn't go well. The main point is this: I'm not really management material. I probably won't ever be supervising a team or running a project on my own. This feels wrong. It feels like someone at my stage in my career should really be starting to develop those management skills and moving up the ladder. The fact that I am not doing so, nor likely to do so in the future, fills me with shame.
But here's a recent realisation. There's the management track, where you gain a greater altitude and less involvement in the day-to-day work, knowing more and more about people and less and less about the details of how they do what they do. Then there's the craftsmanship track, where you just get better and better at what you do, down at the low levels, until you are well-recognised as skilled and a producer of quality work. When I get upset that I'm not on the management track, I need to remind myself that those guys have chosen to withdraw from one kind of work in order to do an entirely different kind - one in which I have no interest.
Now, this choice may backfire on me later in my career. Very few companies will want to hire me in a couple of decades as a 50-year-old developer who can't manage a project on his own and can barely mentor anyone else. Still, it's the path I've got, and I enjoy being here. That's what counts.
Mokalus of Borg
PS - It's the right path for me.
PPS - At least for now.