If coder == "nature" then leader = "nurture"
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Ever meet a new developer or data scientist who just loves managing people? If so, you've truly met a unicorn.
It's that whole left-right brain dichotomy. It's not to say that those who are highly skilled at coding are not capable of right-brain functions, they just don't derive the same satisfaction from using them as they do from using their left-brain skills. This means that expecting a new data scientist or developer to quickly pick up the reins of leadership is very likely setting them up for failure.
Think about it: they just learned an awesome new skill (coding algorithms) and they want nothing more than to use it to make cool tools. They want to be productive, and they know they can be if they're given the chance to implement their new skill.
You want them to be productive too. You also may need both coders and leaders, like, yesterday. Asking your coders to lead will not make them productive at either task, because they'll be too busy leading to code well, and they'll be too distracted by their love of coding to lead. Don't get me wrong, your coders should someday graduate to become leaders, but today is not the day.
In order to be successful, you do need someone to lead your data operation. Someone who knows the work, but who has made that transition from coder to leader. Someone who still knows coding, still likes to tinker and can maybe even create a proof of concept, but someone who also craves human interaction. Someone who loves to teach, because that person will need to teach their team, the workforce, and leadership about data operations on a regular basis. Someone who can communicate with executives, can think strategically, and wants to see your data organization grow. And, you must have this person in place before you bring in your new data scientists.
If you need help finding and hiring data operations leaders, reach out to Cybele Data Advisory.