3 Reasons Why You May Not Want to be a Manager

Seb (1) [1600x1200]“Everyone wants to be a manager, but not everyone should be one. Many people are unhappy after becoming managers or simply do not fit the job. They would be happier if they chose a Tech Expert career path instead of management.”

– Sebastien Auligny
Gameloft Group Studio Manager for Southeast Asia

The worldwide game business is exploding. Last year revenue was $100 billion.

One of the biggest names in gaming is French company Gameloft.

With over 1,600 people in Vietnam, Gameloft has offices in HCM, Da Nang and Ha Noi. Users download over 1 million Gameloft games every day from over 100 countries.

I sat down with Gameloft’s big boss, Sebastian Auligny, to talk gaming, management and tech careers.

What does Gameloft do?

We create, adapt, deploy and manage video games used around the world. Our work includes games for films like Spiderman and Despicable Me.

Our games run on everything — phones, tablets, connected TVs and even smart watches.

It’s challenging work. There is a huge variation in the capabilities of the devices, from low-end older phones to the latest smartphones. Some can handle 1 gigabyte programs, others only 128 kilobytes.

Inside HAN 2 [1024x768]

What skills are important to work at Gameloft?

We develop mostly on JavaiOSAndroid and Windows Phone platforms. Technical expertise in these areas is a must for Gameloft programmers.

Beyond tech skills, we look for people who:

  • Like games and play games
  • Have an eye for international quality standard
  • Are flexible and willing to learn

What do you mean by “flexible?”

The people who succeed in our business are flexible enough to change and adapt to new technologies in real time. This is important because technology is changing faster every day.

In a few years games have gone from 2D to 3D. They run on powerful smartphones now instead of 128k of memory. Business models are changing too, with Apple Store and Google Play.

When we met earlier you mentioned that not everyone should be a manager. Why not?

Everyone wants to be a manager, but not everyone should be one. Many tech people are unhappy after becoming managers or simply do not fit the job.

I’ve found 3 big reasons for this:

1) Becoming a manager means missing out on a lot of great positions and career paths. 

Managers generally are not suitable for many high-level career paths that are filled better by Tech Experts.

For example, Gameloft has Tech Expert positions and career paths in areas such as game features, game data analysis, 3D programming, etc. Most managers don’t have time to develop the skills needed for these jobs.

2) Many tech people don’t enjoy management’s focus on people instead of on technology.

As a manger, your focus is more on people instead of technology. The challenge and daily work are very different.

It’s not fun to give someone a bad performance review or manage conflict between people on your team. Many tech people don’t enjoy it.

3) Managers have to spend a lot of time on things like customer details, budgeting, reporting and meetings.

For many people, the business side is not as enjoyable as working with other programmers coding a game or pushing a platform to its technical limits.

In the end it’s all a matter of what you really love doing and are skilled for.

But instead of thinking of a manager position as the only career step available, you might be happier choosing a Tech Expert career path instead.

Studio (2) [1600x1200]

What is a “Tech Expert” career path?

“Tech Expert” means someone who has developed specific technical skills at a high level. These skills are in huge demand in many IT companies.

We have many areas where people can become Tech Experts at Gameloft – platform, tools (responsible for developing engines, technical game features, etc), online (in charge of analyzing game data), 3D programming, etc.

For example, one of our Java developers became a “Game Monetization” Tech Expert after 3 years. He became really good at understanding user behavior and what game changes would result in better play and higher revenue for the game. His role is now global, working with teams around the world.

Does Gameloft have opportunities for people who want to become managers too?

Of course! We have many opportunities.

We like to promote from inside. Our current General Manager of our Da Nang studio joined us as a Java programmer 6 years ago.

If you’re interested in management, just make sure you understand the 3 reasons why you may *not* want to become a manager first. Make sure it’s right for you.

Why should the “Ít nhưng mà chất” talented developers who use ITviec consider joining Gameloft to develop their careers?

A few years at Gameloft will teach you how to develop and release international-standard quality products, win technology challenges, work with teams around the world and become a top technical experts or manager. These skills will grow your IT career.

We have also made Gameloft a fun place to work. You will feel like a family and your second home when you join us.

Thanks Sebastien!

Thanks Chris!

Gameloft is hiring! View their jobs here.