I am wondering, how should a software developer's career be.

I have been developing software for more than fifteen years. I am working as a software architect and managing a team of twelve wonderful developers.

In all my training and professional life, I encouraged myself to solve problems, design and write code (to be an engineer). I always thought myself as a developer. I worked as a single developer, team member, architect and project manager. I had to choose between hardware and software, Systems engineer and software engineer, Microsoft and Unix, Application development and System Development, Web development and Windows development in time. Than specialized in selected area with keeping up with what's going on in other technologies.

My skills are on software engineering (Microsoft and web development) and I am good at it. But... Managing people, dealing with daily business problems and networking between departments are not my area (I want to put my headphones on and code for days without interruption). Now I am pushed to be a manager in my career. But manager's responsibilities and skills are different than engineers.

Can an engineer be a good manager? As a manager I won't be using my main skills, I have to learn a different/new skill-set. Have I wasted my time all these years?

So, I am wondering, how should a software engineer set his/her career.