I have been thinking about this problem for quite a long time now. The problem may be more evident in Indian software companies. I am not sure if it exist in other countries also but for sure, it does exist in Indian IT scenario.
Many Indian IT are companies are on hiring spree for quite sometime because of off-shoring boom. Some of the companies have a target of hiring 25000 people in a year. That’s a lot! It leads to resource crunch. You may not find as many good people as you want.
Hiring such a number of people requires that many managers also. You also talk about career growth. And you find a link here. People need growth and companies also requires team leads/module leaders etc. So, developers grow as team lead. If you have worked for over 3-4 years, you may be a contender to become the team lead. In situations I just described, sometimes you’ll find a team lead even below that experience for a small software project.
Leading a team in itself is a different ball of game. I think some people don’t understand it and some people don’t want to understand it. You require different skill sets when you grow as a team-lead. Instead of working with heartless source-code, one has to start dealing with people now and that’s quite challenging. India, being a complex social structure poses many challenges to the new manager. Many of these developer turned manager are not prepared for these challenges and require grooming to handle human issues. From my own experience, I have seen, many of the times problems are not at all technical but yet another soft-issue related to leadership, team-spirit, micro-management, not knowing people enough etc. To finger point these newcomers for these problems is not at all fair. They require grooming. May be they require specialized training on soft-issues and some other ways to understand and handle these issues.
Please understand that problem will not go away if you think, with the span of time, people will understand on how to deal with such issues. They will handle issues but how – is all based on his/her life experiences. So some people are able to do it in right manner, however some people become nuisance for their subordinates.
In my view, it’s important to recognize this problem in Indian IT scenario and people should be groomed to become the right manager.