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Submission + - What's it like for a developer to go into sales?

An anonymous reader writes: I've worked for a single, very large technology company since graduating from college in '89. My degree is in Computer Science, and I wrote everything from embedded machine code for big iron to applications with Smalltalk. I'm still in development, but since'99 my programming tasks have been replaced by project management, some customer-facing work (technical-ish presentations, demonstrations, training, etc), helping our marketing people position my team's work, and other things that programmers generally don't like to do.

I find that I enjoy the broad, technical perspective that comes from working in the field, and I'm thinking about moving out of development and into technical sales. Moreover, I've interviewed several techies in my company who are now in sales and all tell them they love it. Several have reported that a techie can make more money in sales. But I have several reservations: I am an introvert and a full day of face-time can really sap my energy, many sales people I've worked with are "sharks" (which I simply cannot be), and I don't like the idea of putting part of my salary at-risk.

Are you a former developer who went into sales? If so, what were your experiences like from a professional and personal perspective? What advise would you give to a developer considering a new career in sales?

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354