This has been on my mind lately, and I thought it'd make a nice discussion topic for this group.
When I first came to the Drupal community back in 2005, I was just out of school, and a full-on web developer geek. My days consisted of PHP, SQL, (X)HTML, CSS, and JS, plus a smattering of other languages like C# and Java. I wrote modules and themes. I wrote technical documentation. I wrote core patches.
Fast-forward 5.5 years to now. I've given away all of my old contributed projects to other maintainers. I've been promoted to essentially a "project manager" for the most sprawling, complicated project we as a community have: Drupal core. I review other peoples' core patches, rather than writing my own. I spend a lot of time keeping a pulse on what goes on in the Drupal community, and use that to help contributors to coordinate and combine efforts. I stop core developers from killing each other (usually). And in my "day job," instead of writing code and building out sites, I'm generally either flying around the world teaching people about Drupal, or I'm supervising our developers on staff and spending my days in Unfuddle, Skype, and Mail.app. It's a rare treat when I get to open up vim, and when I do, it usually takes me a bit of time to get into the flow of coding, where it used to come easily and naturally. :\
I don't mean to imply that this new work isn't rewarding or important; it is. In fact, herding cats actually has a uniquely challenging strategic factor not unlike a 15-dimensional chess game or something that does a lot to satisfy my innately geeky cravings. But it's definitely... different. And I don't think it's something 2005 webchick ever pictured herself doing, and in fact she might have run screaming from Drupal then had she known this is how it would all turn out. :D
Has anyone else found themselves having gone through (or going through) this transition, of basically being slowly promoted out of the very technology that brought you into the field in the first place? How do you stay in touch with your "roots", or do you just give up one day and resign yourself to being a manager? And finally, how do you reconcile being an "out and proud" woman in tech with the cold, hard facts of circumstances gradually leading you further and further away from your IDE?