woman with kid - coding or management?

Jan 20 20 Comments

Hello, I really need community help. Would you advice your sister or really good female friend (with kids) to be a swe in her 30s?

more context:
I am 30 y.o. woman with a baby, and planning to have another one in next few years.

I was software engineer for 2.5 years. Role was time-wise and mentally demanding. Then due to baby and family responsibility, I moved to marketing/support role. It's been 3 years in this role. Now I am thinking to move back in SWE role. My reasons are: it's exciting, better pay, better career path. But due to family commitment, I won't able to have long working hours. Husband suggesting to transition into managerial role(pm/tpm) stating these roles are more flexible and less demanding. On one side I am leetcoding and on other side I am doubting whether I should even apply for swe role.

Please share your thoughts/suggestions. Would you recommend me to apply for swe role or should I start looking into transitioning in pm/tpm kind of role? Thanks!


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TOP 20 Comments
  • Cohesity Ne&t($)
    Do what you enjoyed, not what you earned more.
    Jan 20 1
    • Amazon cHTO32
      Do what you enjoyed, not what's "flexible and less demanding".
      Jan 21
  • It really depends on company. I don't think PM roles are less demanding. They need to do a lot of meetings and presentations. That will take up a lot of your time. Also progress relies heavily on other people. Being a PM, you need to be time flexible. At least being a SWE you can control your own pace.
    Jan 20 0
  • Amazon Elton
    In my experience, PM and TPM are more demanding in hours. They report into leaders who expect them to be available at more hours of the day. There is no oncall rotation so they are always the ones on call for a director or VP. Face time is also more important for PMs. SDEs start late morning and leave at 5. They can work from home.
    Jan 21 0
  • Google gg22dd4
    PM and TPM are equally if not more demanding in some cases. Been a PM for many years, female in my 40s. Do what you like, don't go by $$
    Jan 21 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      A woman who’s raising a child is responsible for at least two people all the time.
      Jan 21
    • E*Trade / Finance cbEV72
      Good point
      Jan 21
  • Facebook / Data gfg101
    I have not found management, either people or product, to be less demanding than SWE work. I’ve seen a lot of SWEs phone it in, have very good work life balance, and consistently get “meets all” ratings. Why don’t you do SWE but just not try as hard?
    Jan 21 0
  • Intel !!swe
    Thank you so much all to provide valuable input. Appreciate it.
    Jan 21 0
  • Facebook po ly
    All the PMs I've worked with seem to work 1.5-2x the hours I do as a SWE. I'm an outlier, but doing fine as F as SWE <30h/week by focusing on my deliverables and having a hard cut off time to leave the office. No matter what you decide, good luck! It's hard to be successful as an outlier, and the trend in tech definitely seems to be working too much.
    Jan 21 0
  • Oracle z3p0
    If you're a good one, stay in an engineering role. You have leverage and you don't get squeezed in early management years (unavoidable) when you are bringing up young children. DM me if you want to understand this in finer detail.
    Jan 21 0
  • New / Eng fyou.js
    Everyone is different. You and I have entirely different approaches to software development. I can get all of my work done in only a few hours every day and spend the rest of my time doing research, looking at PRs, and monitoring slack. Extremely low stress, very good compensation & work life balance. Coming up on 2 YOE 110TC in low-medium cost of living area
    Jan 21 0


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