In other profession the hobby (what you do in private life) and the work are not the same. In IT most people enjoy their job - they like computer programming.
I had a lunch with a long time friend. We talked about career and what we achieved. He is lead software developer with a big international outsourcing company, and I am IT manager in a big international automaker.
He said he is developer because he likes it.
I said I am manager because I like to do it right. And because I learned about management, coordination and communication much more then sometimes those who lead projects.
To be a developer or a manager is completely up to your choice. The salary of a good lead developer is similar to a manager. In some firms the mid or low-level managers get actually less money then the developers they are managing. So it is not a money question.
Management and software development are two different non-interchangeable fields. Managers obviously not expert in software development, while a lead developer who is in charge for project execution is still far away from management science.
So if you like programming, if you enjoy the creativity of developing something new, then do it and enjoy. Getting paid for doing what you enjoy to do, that is wonderful!
My experience is that an IT professional who enjoys IT is much more motivated and reliable then others. He learns faster and he understands better. This person has an advantage equivalent of 3-4 years experience over those who learned IT just to make money.
When hiring IT professionals, look for the enjoyment when the person talks about his past projects, and the happiness when he explains his success story.
But be very careful! The danger is that you get a colleague who thinks software development is not a job but a self expression. He does it because he likes it, not because it is his profession. This type is very dangerous.
First, because this type never finishes work. Hobby programming never finishes, because after a while it becomes boring. Success is hard work, not enjoyment. For the success you have to sometimes do things you don't like, but they are necessary. If you lack this kind of hardiness then you will always fail.
Second, in software development you have to sometimes follow others' ideas instead of your own, and you have to work with others (teamwork!). For a hobby developer nothing exists outside his own world. He can only go on his own way.
So a professional-looking but too-hobby-developer can ruin your entire project and make not more progress then a beginner.
The other dangerous combination when you hire engineer for manager job. Or when the engineer creates his own company and hires a large team. Engineers (if they are good) enjoy doing engineering, not management. They don't like when their phone is ringing, when somebody needs advice on an obvious thing, when something needs to be organized, when somebody should coordinate communication. That means: the team will have effectively have no manager!
This might be worse then really not having anybody, because it wouldn't build up false expectation.
Of course there are exceptions. There are great engineers and inventors who started their own company and learned that they have to master management if they want to be successful. So they learned a new job - Life Long Learning is good.