New job, who dis?! - Engineering Manager edition

January 23, 2020

Last year my manager quit. I was offered his position and since December or so, I am an engineering manager.

It is strange to move from a well-defined role into such a hazily-defined one.

A few things have changed. I don’t code anymore at work and the relationship to my team has changed. Especially to those who now report to me.

I want to be the best possible manager to them that I can be, so I am busy learning.

My friend Henning Glatter-Götz recommended the Managing Up podcast to me. I have listened to a bunch of episodes so far and it has been very helpful already.

If you are an engineering manager or are interested in becoming one, I highly recommend you check out Managing Up.

So far, my favorite episodes are:

Episode 5: One on Ones: The Basics

I loved hearing about how they approach their one-on-ones and about their different techniques on how to ask questions. It was also really great to learn how commonplace one-on-ones are in engineering organizations. One thing that surprised me was that it seems to be common to have weekly one-on-one meetings. We do it bi-weekly at LogMeIn. I think that it’s a good frequency if the one-on-ones are not skipped.

Episode 26: Creating Self-Managing Teams

This episode really exposed the experience the co-hosts of the show have. They are very open about mistakes they have made in the past and discuss how you might achieve “managing yourself out of a job”. This is a phrase that I have been thinking about a lot myself and I feel that should definitely be an engineering managers goal.