With smaller teams doing more for less, removing yourself from the code strikes me as a bad career move. Even in a monstrous company laded with policy, process, and politics, you can't forget how to develop software. And how to develop software is changing. Now. Right under your feet, this very second.
How in the world are you going to scale if you're slowly forgetting how software is made?
I'm happy you're about to confuse your team by swimming in the developer pool. The simple fact is that well-defined roles in software development are fading.
Everybody is talking to everybody else and they're learning from each other's mistakes ... and there's no reason that a manager shouldn't be participating in this massive global cross-pollination....
Besides, you want to be a part of a team of interchangeable parts. Not only does this make your team more nimble, it presents each person with the opportunity to see the product and the company from a vastly different perspective.
From the Book Managing Humans: Biting and Humorous Tales of a Software Engineering Manager, Apress, 2007, pages 49-50, ISBN 159059844X
Copyright © 2007 by Michael Lopp