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Software Developer to Project Managers: Skill Growth Requirement

Published on Wed 5, 2020
Software Developer to Project Managers: Skill Growth Requirement


From a top view, the skills required to become a successful Software developer is very different from the skills needed to become a successful Project Manager. However, it is worth noticing that almost every software developer’s career journey passes through a point where he or she has to take care of IT projects. In this article, we will pay attention to the skills necessary for every software developer to transition from the role of software developer to project managers.

While the role of a project manager is diverse, a typical IT project manager should be able to

  • * Identify methods to manage the project’s primary risks
  • * Help stakeholders and sponsors in identifying the success goals and release criteria
  • * Be aware of various risks and identify and develop a process to monitor and handle new risks
  • * Coordinate and monitor team efforts

This means that, over time, software developers will have to incorporate new skills and work towards getting ready for managerial roles.


Critical Skills for Project Managers

1. Planning and Estimation

A large part of project management is related to planning and scheduling various tasks in the project. Planning and scheduling endeavors help in organizing the whole project and make it easier for the PM to divide it into smaller parts and monitor these parts. Planning and scheduling skills also help in better utilization of resources, and reduction in dependencies between tasks.

Estimation is another critical skill that one has to develop. While a project manager will have several indicators, he or she will have to estimate on completion dates, which will trigger several actions from teams across the organization. However, delivery dates are notorious for being missed, and a realistic estimation becomes the need of the hour.


2. Communication

Communication skills are essential for software developers, and they are critical for project managers. A software developer has to communicate with many parts of the company like product management team, account management team, etc. However, as a project manager, one is responsible for maintaining clear routs of communication across the project team and through the project duration. The communication spectrum becomes much broader for project managers and is an area that needs special attention.


3. Problem Solving

This is another example of skills that a developer will possess but will have to enhance over time. While developers already have problem-solving instincts, they are limited to individual tasks. A project manager, on the other hand, has to tackle problems on a much broader scale. They are also responsible for inducing the same discipline in their project team through process constructs so that the team can address issues at their level. All of these make problem-solving a skill that needs to be continuously improved.


4. Documentation

Writing technical or process documents is often an essential task. Project managers are often expected to document the whole process or part of the process, and these documents serve as a base for future projects. Documentation need not be in the traditional form, and there can be separate staff and technical writers to do the job. Even so, the PM is responsible for the whole process and should hold expertise in creating project-related documents.  


5. Risk Management

This is one of the essential skills for a project manager, and most of the skills mentioned above contribute towards risk management at the end. Risk is omnipotent, and it is of utmost importance that PMs should be able to identify critical risks from the inceptions of the projects. Project managers should also be capable of capturing new threats that arise during project execution.


A software developer will already hold the technical skills required to lead IT projects. However, with the skills mentioned above, a software developer can start his or her career in the project management spectrum. It is also essential to know that the above-mentioned skills are not limited to one domain and are crucial for managing projects in almost all functions and industries.

This goes without saying that project management is a vast domain, and there are a lot of other soft and hard skills that one needs to develop before they become capable of managing projects. If you are transitioning to the project management domain, and want formal training in the spectrum, you can take up Certification Planner’s CAPM certification course. The course will introduce you to the project management activities, best practices, principles, and knowledge areas.

Project Management skills help in almost all functional domains, and there is no downside to building these skills. The current market trends suggest that developers who have technical skills along with project management skills are in high demand. If you are planning to build your skill sets, do connect with our skill development experts at or explore our skill development catalog at Happy learning!

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