Engineering Management: The Pendulum Or The Ladder

Last night I was out with a dear friend who has been an engineering manager for a year now, and by two drinks in I was rattling off a long list things I always say to newer engineering managers. Th…

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Hasnain says:

This was a good perspective on engineering leadership and people management.

The author talks about a bunch of things, including the transition(s) from senior engineer -> tech lead -> manager; the pitfalls of being a tech lead + line manager; avoiding bit-rot as a pure manager, and making the transition from line manager to manager of managers (and beyond).

The novel perspective I've seen here that is rare from most other articles/sources is that it talks a lot about the downsides/negatives of being a manager, which are often left unsaid.

The article is not all negative, though - it gives a lot of useful advice on how to improve one's management skills.

Choice quotes below.

On becoming a manager:

"Hopefully you have already gathered that management is a career change, not a promotion, and you’re aware that nobody is very good at it when they first start."

On becoming a manager of managers:

"Sure, there are compensating rewards. Money, power, impact. But I’m pointing out the negatives because most people don’t stop to consider them when they start saying they want to try managing managers. As almost every manager says after becoming a manager.

As though the mere existence of a ladder compels us all to climb."

Posted on 2019-01-05T07:34:56+0000