Are students getting brainwashed to become project managers ?
As we all know, the percentage of IT projects that succeed is very low, and this post doesn’t have the pretension to explain you why. The reasons are multiple and complex. But there is one that we all know about and live on our day to day jobs : IT projects are mostly made of junior developers and tons of unexperienced managers. Well, at least in France, but I know other countries that follow the same pattern. Here, code is bad. So if you turn 30 and you are still spending 8 hours a day in front of your IDE it’s because there’s something wrong with you. And, of course, your salary will not increase as development is not seen as a valuable job. So, what do you need to do ? Become a project manager of course. You will get a pay rise… and a gorgeous girlfriend. What ? You don’t believe me ?
The other day I went to a IT university (I’m not mentioning the name here) and this is what I could see on the walls :
This one says “pssst… become a project leader”. As you can see on the right side, the guy wears a nice tie and his girlfriend looks gorgeous.
This one is better. On the left side is the developer’s girlfriend and on the right side the manager’s one (“become project manager“). I suppose I don’t have to explain this one.
This one says “Your are the one. You have already made your choice. Become a project leader”. That reminds you the Matrix of course. So the developer takes the blue pill and the manager the red pill.
I hope these ads haven’t been made by the teachers themselves but by the students. One way or the other, this is what your are taught at university. So when you are 22/24 years old and you start your first job, you definitely want to pull the nice girls and try to avoid coding as much as you can. 2 years of developing is enough, and when you turn 24/26, you want to manage projects… and fail miserably but you have the money and the gorgeous cheek.
As I said, this is not the only reason why projects fail, but it’s one of them. IT industry is one of the few where experience is not rewarded. An experienced lawyer is, an experience accountant also, but a developer should not be more than 30. This is clearly wrong and ads like these ones do not help in solving this cultural problem.
And what about you ? Would you prefer to become a project manager and have a nice girlfriend ?