“Engineering Manager” as an Anti-Pattern

Your managers need to be flying the planes, not sitting on the deck. (US Navy / Wikimedia Commons)

The (un?)natural evolution

You’ve got your successful software business and your core cadre of hard-hitting devs. Thing is, you want to do a lot more, so your company is hiring like nuts. Pretty soon you’ve got a direct reporting problem.

Life as a sub-boss

Broadly speaking, a software engineering manager has three responsibilities:

How it’s done when lives are on the line

An interesting point of comparison comes from the world of naval aviation.

You can’t make time … but you can buy it

A Navy air group commander is surrounded by support personnel, such that any task which does not require the commander’s individual expertise is delegated. But what can we delegate from the task list of a software engineering manager?

Re-focus your engineering leadership on fixing engineering problems

Hire technical project managers. I like to call them “Schedule Managers” . More posts to come on this role.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Add Lightness | Better Testing, Better Software

Add Lightness | Better Testing, Better Software

26 Followers

A software dev in test thinking against the grain. “To go faster, simplify, then add lightness.” ~Colin Chapman #cleancode #minaswan #innovate