I just had my first totally fun day at work in months. Why? Most people were on vacation, I did absolutely no managing, instead I spent the day cobbling together a MySQL/PHP/shell script application to automate validation of our integration tests (which almost works).
The trouble with programming is that it is a deep and narrow occupation, while managing is shallow and broad. The context switch when programming is super-expensive; when you’re doing manager-type stuff, it happens all the time, but it’s ok, because you’re never that deep in anything.
I really like doing both, but can’t figure out to do them together.