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Salut, pentru mine a fost destul de interesant the Manager's Path.
E un fel de handbook on how to manage IT people (big tech și toate alea) pe care nu trebuie sa îl parcurgi din scoarța în scoarță sa te învețe ceva.
Practic e suficient sa citești capitolele care se aplică la rolul tău curent, deoarece cartea începe de la rolul de individual contributor într-o companie de tech, trece prin team lead, tech lead etc, pana la nivelul de CEO. Pentru fiecare pas din cariera încearcă sa îți dea diverse sfaturi utile și ce așteptări au oamenii de la tine pentru rolul respectiv.
Nu e foarte lungă lectura, as zice ca e un punct bun de început. Ofc trebuie totul citit cu o doza de scepticism și probabil unele lucruri nu se aplica chiar asa dacă lucrezi într-un shop de tip consulting în România. Spor!
I think The Manager's Path does a really good job of describing the differences between the levels. It's actually a pretty big leap to Director/VP as you give up your last hope of staying hands on (you stay "technical", but not hands on). I've made the transition in and out of manager of manager roles twice, and can say that manager of managers is most definitely not for everyone. Obviously people management is not for everyone, period, but as a front line manager of a team you are still close enough to the code and the act of building through code that it doesn't matter too much that you're not the one at the keyboard writing it. When you are a manager of managers, it all changes.
> I am not the best engineer on my team
And you'll never have to be, because the best people for engineering management are not the best engineers. They're the best people persons.
In most companies, it's just talking with your manager to let them know you're interested in hopping over to the M track. Usually it'll be informal early on with + on interviews, or mentoring, and eventually you'll get reports. Make sure it's a clearly defined yearly goal with your manager, though. It usually is a switch around mid/senior level where instead of going to Senior SWE, you become a Manager, Engineering. HOWEVER, caveat, focus on engineering as much as possible until you get that official switch. Reason being is your performance as an SWE will be aimed at ENGINEERING goals until you become a manager.
You don't just magically get pulled into management anymore at most companies (I hope...) because a lot of companies have found out that great engineers don't necessarily make great managers.
What do you need to learn? Probably this book would help Manager's Path.
There are a lot of resources online that will help you out. I’d recommend reading The Managers Path. https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897
The first few chapters will help teach you to go from an IC to tech lead.
I got a BS and MS in Mech Engr. If you’re considering getting into engineering management, I’d recommend The Managers Path as a good starting point. Also you might like my book because it focuses on leadership growth. Thanks!
Not a tech manager yet but I am reading The manager's path is an excellent book on this topic!
Haven't read it myself yet, but heard it recommended a lot.
> What should I focus on learning in order to land a new Engineering Manager job?
Recommended reading, because this is a dense topic:
> The QA manager (my boss) basically has no idea how to lead engineers because she has never been one
Great engineering managers need not have once been engineers (great or otherwise) themselves. That's a point made in all 4 of those books I'm pretty sure.
> I'm really good at leading teams
That's good -- leading is an important part of effective management. It is not the only part of effective management.
> Engineering Manager jobs seem to vary wildly in the scope of the job
You are absolutely correct. Your job, fundamentally, is to give the team you're managing what it needs to accomplish their goals. Maybe you set those goals, maybe the team does, maybe the stakeholders do. Every single team you manage will be comprised of completely unique individuals and, often, unique stakeholders.
Depends on what you want! reflect for a bit and figure out your priorities.
Sounds like business is interesting, but that the tech stuff is still interesting? I would HIGHLY recommend you read
This book really helped me make the jump from IC to manager: The Manager’s Path. There’s also a lot of great content on YouTube, my favorite is from the Lead Developer conference. Some of the talks by Pat Kya, Lara Hogan and Poornima Vijayshanker speak directly to your journey.
The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier
Marami ng great advices especially from u/narva28 and u/SlickChic07.
So i’ll just add a few things:
To add to what others said, also come prepared with anecdotes of how you influenced other people. If you don't know already, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format in your anecdotes.
Here are also some resources that will help you get started on the people managing track:
Mmm ... One of these 3 if you're an engineering manager, responsible for managing people. I'd give a different answer for a project/program/product management role:
Managing Humans is my favorite by far. Lopp's blog is good:
> he seems to
This could be 100% in your head.
> his reply was that he does not need to like me and business is business
Mmm ... probably not just in your head ;)
> What would you do in my position?
What do I do when I have a conflict with someone's leadership style?
There's like ... dozens of books you can read on the topic of technical leadership and people management. If you don't feel like you have the skills to sniff out a shit leader during a job interview, I'd start with some light reading:
The Manager's Path
> What do you all recommend I do?
My own experience with moving from IC to manager was ~6 months of really terrible depression, which I attribute to the loss of consistent dopamine hits in the form of "it compiles, it runs, hooray onto the next one". My "wins" moved from carefully packaged sprints into projects/programs that spanned months if not years.
Read this book: the manager’s path, and find a mentor. Coupled with advices above should help you get started.
Hey there, I used to be in a similar position a year ago. I guess you're in a startup, as in bigger companies, you'd be accompanied with necessary mentorship.
The role of the engineering manager differs from one company to another. While in some companies, engineering managers are expected to code, in some others, they are forbidden to do so. Usually, it's the latter.
Let's start with upsides:
- Your role is to focus on the people, cool. It's good to know the expectations of the role. This doesn't mean that you won't be involved on a technical level, or project management level though.
- Managing a team that didn't had engineering manager before is tough. er has a capacity of managing around 10 people, no more. This means that someone already knows something about engineering management and team sizes.
If your team is working on a single project, even better.
- You are asking for help. This is crucial!
- You transitioned from technical role to managerial role. This might be good or bad for you. You still don't know, but you will in a year or two.
- Being engineering manager in startup, without experience is challenging. You need external help.
- Managing a team that didn't have engineering manager before is tough.
Exactly for this purpose, I wrote this post: From software developer to engineering manager. It explains the very must things you'd have to organize initially before you start solving other challenges.
- Join to https://ctocraft.com and ask for a coach. Ask your company to cover the cost of a coach. I have two.
- Follow Gergely Orosz (https://www.pragmaticengineer.com) and on Twitter https://twitter.com/GergelyOrosz. He is constantly writing about engineering management topics. Lot's of hard material,templates etc. I even managed to speak with him and ask his mentorship as well.
- Read: The Managers Path is a classic and a good start. You can continue with Become an effective engineering manager and 97 things every engineering manager should know.
Do you know where you're heading with your career? I have said to myself that I won't code for two years and then I'll reflect my results as engineering manager. It's not too late to go back to the tech lead position for example. What's more, you can be a better tech lead if you spend a couple of years in an engineering manager role. This can easily become an engineering pendulum which I highly recommend reading as well.
In the end: I tend to connect with as many people in similar roles to share the knowledge and network. I suggest the same :)
I think The Manager's Path is a good catch-all for many of your concerns/questions.
Ich habe letztens gesehen, dass das folgende Buch empfohlen wurde. Ich habe selbst angefangen es zu lesen und finde es gut.
The Manager‘s Path
So to be clear, is it project management or people management you're after? They're 2 distinctly different tracks. I wouldn't say more PjMs fall into the category of "business leadership" -- as a PjM all you can usually do is influence. You don't often get to call shots directly.
I'd suggest starting with The Manager's Path. It directly addresses the "are you reeaaallllyyy sure this is what you want to do" bits as well as the "ok, you've clearly lost your mind, here's how you can set yourself up for a move into people management" bits. Once you've read it, The Making of a Manager is a good natural follow-on that provides a couple different models for how one finds themselves in a people management role.
> I’ll have 11 years of experience as a Senior… (should be staff or hiring).
"I've worked many years" does not automatically mean "I should be staff/manager".
If you want that to be a goal of your particular career growth, great. But savvy organizations do not simply hand out leadership roles to those who stick around.
Understand that you are switching careers and jobs. Most of your skillset as a developer will be about as useful as watching Netflix documentaries. You will need an entirely new set of skills in your day-to-day job; a set of skills that you may have been using as a senior developer or you may have never had to use them at all.
I can't stress this enough - this is a new career that will have little to do with what you were expected to do right now and your goals and metrics against which you're measured will change drastically. More importantly, you will have to be the guy that demands your team to work on sub-optimal technical solutions and force developers to work on things they don't want to. You'll spend time on countless of meetings and you'll be forced to write reports on why your developers suck and why/how they should be fired (or rewarded).
Read https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897 and then consider if that's really the job you want.
I enjoyed https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897, might be helpful to you.
Worst case scenerio you are horrible and get fired, and then find another job. Dont worry about it buddy, u gon be fine.
Started my career in 1999. Bunch of IC jobs for years and then joined a startup in 2007 as the first ops hire. Then started building a team there, eventually got a manager title, after a few years made director, and while I think I was good at it, I really missed doing the work, and I found it very stressful to have direct power over people's careers. I only ever fired one person but I don't want to do it again, you know?
Went back to an SRE role in 2017, and have subsequently been promoted to staff engineer, which has really hit the sweet spot: I have a "seat at the table" and a lot of influence, I get to choose the hard problems I work on, mentor people, basically do all of the glue work I enjoyed doing as a manager without having people reporting to me. I think I'd be a lot less good at it if I hadn't spent some time in management, though, because I'm used to things like budgets and I can speak manager when I need to.
I think management is more stressful because everything you do is indirect -- you set a policy or give someone feedback or promote someone or whatever and then you wait and see if it worked. You're accountable for your team's results but those aren't your results. But I assume some people like that kind of stress more than the "on-call and in an incident" kind of stress (which is the kind I do well under), in the same way that some people really like doing sales and I do not like doing sales.
Depending on the company and the industry, good senior+ engineers can make more than first-level line managers (and that's roughly equivalent on a lot of career ladders).
Some reading that you might find helpful:
>do you like your role?
Oh hell yes, I've had a lot of fun becoming an engineering manager. You get to help your team out all the time. That's your number one priority: the team. You get to help them out and provide guidance in their careers which is pretty fulfilling imo. It's true you probably won't be coding as much, but there's a lot of things that you will take on that will be way more worthwhile. It might look like:
- wrangling down requirements
- ensuring code quality
- defending your team from scope creep
- implementing processes so the team runs smoothly when you're not available
- mentoring/fostering career growth
- helping with the hiring process
- on-boarding new teammates, etc.
>What are things you wish you knew?
- Firing people sucks, you need to cut the toxic teammates out fast before they spread toxicity to others
- It's more than okay to step back and let your team do their thing.... You'll get the urge to dive in and help code from time to time, but the team needs you as a leader, not as an IC anymore
- You'll need to reconfigure how you feel productive. As an IC, nothing feels better than pumping out solid PRs and fixing all the bugs. Writing a ton of code is great and all, but as a manager, that stuff isn't there for you so much, so you need to be able to shift your focus from your own productivity to the team's. When you start feeling great about the improvements in your team (maybe they are getting the hang of sizing stories right, maybe that new process for reviews is going well), you are on the right path! Your team's wins will lift you up.
> Do you think you could switch back to being an IC, if you needed to?
Yes, and you'll be an even better IC if/when you do. I've moved from IC to manager a few times in my career, and I'm about to go back to being an IC. Oddly enough, I'm joining a team where my manager just so happens to be someone who I managed a year or so ago. Switching back is a little tough, but honestly after having the management experience, you'll end up being a better team lead anyway. You'll have insight into how your boss works. Someone who has managed is always great to manage. They know what's coming, what's expected, and will help you out when needed.
I'd recommend reading https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897 and https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1607742608/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Camille Fournier speaks to this in https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897.
> How many years does it generally take for a person to go from junior dev to management?
This is a hard thing to generalize, because every company hires leaders differently. Within any company, if there's a specific direction you'd like to take your career, that should be a recurring topic in your 1-1s with your manager. Unless the company's management culture is total garbage, professional development is firmly within the wheelhouse of the person you report to.
Recommended reading: The Manager's Path and The Making of a Manager. Both give good summaries of a few different options for how one typically finds themselves in a management role.
Read this book :)
I really like this book: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897
> or whatever the equivalent of principal is for managers
That doesn't really exist, but generally there's one or many director/vp/c-suite level "manager of managers".
> However, for the most part, the company I’m joining does not have some sort of specific management “orientation” or in house training program for IC’s who want to do that
Some companies have "management training programs" yeah. Most that I've encountered don't. Not that I'm an expert on the topic but the job is different in very meaningful ways for practically every person and every team. People are fleshy imperfect things that all like to operate in their own specific ways :)
Practically any management book will cover some basics of coaching and developing people, keeping people interested/engaged/energized, etc. There are some basic "how to keep people motivated and engaged" things you can and should be doing, but books can cover that stuff.
> any tips to help me transition into a management role
To quote Mike Lopp "you're not gonna be good at that job for 3 years".
I just did good work as an IC, expressed an interest when my previous manager gave his notice, and had accumulated plenty good-will and political capital within the organization by being a loud-mouth about certain strategic projects. Do good work, and be opinionated. But not too opinionated. Have valuable/relevant/defensible opinions, don't just share an opinion for the sake of it.
A pretty critical part of managing people is fielding questions like "I'm at A, how can I get to B". Maybe B is more money, maybe it's a transition between technical and non-technical roles, maybe it's advancement or a lateral move into a different team. I can't guarantee every manager you work with will be good at assisting with those transitions, but it's firmly in that person's wheelhouse as a problem to solve. Make it known that you'd like to go from A to B and revisit the conversation a few times per year.
On the general topic of "transitioning from IC to manager", I found these books helpful:
The Managers Path might be worth a look.
I would question if this was a promotion or a role change though :) Make sure you understand the expectations and success criteria for your new role
Since this is the best answer here, I'd like to add - in terms of ability, if you plan on becoming anything higher than a team lead, there is definitely some knowledge you have to learn.
And if you're like me, and down want to waste years on the pretty inefficient grind that's yet another degree - you still have to invest a few hundreds of hours into some of those fine books (those are just 5 examples), not to mention reading relevant articles by relevant people, and being able to separate the fluff from the actual good advice.