Management

Managers are responsible for results and retention1. There is a tendency to focus on the former, and this is often how they are judged in the short run. However, the former is not sustainably possible without the latter. A manager accomplishes both by growing and coordinating their team. The best managers are those known for their powers of persuasion, negotiation, good-will, and large reservoirs of trust2.

What do they do?

Managers hold people accountable that “everything that needs to get done, does get done” 3.

Ongoing

Growing their team

To grow the team, the manager must engage in effective technical recruiting. A reasonable alternative to hiring experienced developers is growing junior developers within your teams4.

Developing their team

Leveling up their teams skill sets and responsibility is a high-leverage activity for managers. Creating and maintaining and engineering career ladder allows the team to have clear pathways for progression. Managers help with the progression through feedback, mentorship, and coaching.

Organizing their team

Team composition, internal coordination, and cross-team coordination are the major ways they lead their team. Managers are the conduit of information between teams and throughout an organization and therefore inter-team communication is a fundamental part of their role. Charity Majors puts it as3

I sometimes imagine managers as the nervous system of the company body, carrying around messages from one limb to another to coordinate actions.

Responsible for the SDLC

Managing the business

One-on-Ones

Time Specific

Yearly roadmap planning

Annual Planning Management By Objectives (MBO)

  • Quarterly checkins

Performance Reviews

Performance Reviews

Management Skills

Time Management

  • Defending your calendar: block out time for “real” work so that you are not perpetually in meetings5.
  • Calendar Tips

Asking for things

Managing people besides your direct reports

Contractors

Resource for Learning Management

Management Training

Books

High Output Management Armonstrong’s Handbook for Human Resource Management Practice


References

1.
2.
DeMarco, T. Slack: Getting Past Burnout, Busywork, and the Myth of Total Efficiency. (Currency, New York; London, 2002).
3.
Majors, C. Questionable Advice: ``My boss says we don’t need any engineering managers. Is he right?’’. Charity.wtf Blog at https://charity.wtf/2024/01/05/questionable-advice-my-boss-says-we-dont-need-any-engineering-managers-is-he-right/ (2024).
4.
5.
Gamon, T. What I Learnt Becoming a Tech Lead Tom Gamon. at https://tomgamon.com/posts/things-i-have-learned-new-tech-lead/ (2021).