Individual contributor job is good or bad?

Individual contributor is person or team member

Let us suppose there is one hypothetical cloud project.  And team composition is more of java development and support activities roles. They have some requirement as pl/sql developer and architecture role.

The person who hired as pl/sql developer is individual contributor.

Some of the characteristics are

  • Individual who contributes to work on his own, not a part of the team
  • He will be coordinating or helping in a team.
  • Some times he may be from horizontal of the organization, with “no” direct reporting mechanism
  • Some roles can be executed without team
  • Solution architecture person or someone who can execute with out any  help from others
  • Or person who don’t have team reporting
  • In  individual contributors may have mangers, but he or she not part of review meeting s or team meetings
  • As a developer or tester or quality or  manager, he is lone ranger.
  • As a individual manager,  he will have team to perform which directly reporting. He can have dotted reporting matrix architecture.
  • This is challenging as no team is directly reporting.  He or she might have dotted teams. Dotted team do not report to individual contributors.

Individual contributors first or later?

  • Historically people think this role is first and then he or she will be inducted into team
  • But this is neither a beginning or end of the career
  • Some people prefer this role, some manager’s want/create this roles
  • Some times this role transition to be part of the team.  Sometimes team roles transition to individual role

Why is “Individual contributor” role is toughest job to do

  • No one reports to you
  • Your are not part of any team
  • Your capabilities are required to complete the job
  • You may be business analyst or sme (subject matter expert) or the independent part, you are tasked to complete
  • You should be all rounder.
  • You are more of task master and sometimes tricky if you don’t have particular domain experience
  • You may not respected,  if you don’t have team

Why it is better to be individual contributors?

  • No need to attend all team meetings
  • No appraisal for team, as you don’t have team
  • No need to cover or explains any  mistakes of any team.
  • You have piece of mind, once your work is done; this person’s task is done


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