From what I have seen, people tend to go from software engineering to product management. Not too often I see someone take the opposite route? Why did you decide to become a software engineer? Did you feel rusty at all after being a product manager for a few years?
A few things:
- I like getting in the zone, i.e. focusing on one thing for long periods of time.- I enjoy having the ability to point to something at the end of the day and say "I made that with these hands!".- I'm an introvert and the social aspects of PMing, though enjoyable, made it hard to have enough energy to socialize after work. As an engineer I'm able to recharge during the day and socialize at night.- I want to work on the team I'm on (Earth Engine) and right now we need more engineers, not PMs.- I like being able to work from home / other Google offices with having it be a big deal. (As a PM you may need to be in the office for meetings.)- I want to have a stronger technical skill set to prepare me for the rest of my career.
Perhaps more important than all these head-centered reasons, I'm drawn to engineering in a heart-felt way... I just feel like it's the right thing for me to be doing right now.