Does managing make you a terrible person?

Roku ________
Feb 11 23 Comments

In most cases I find engineers are great people and friendly, maybe introverted but still friendly. On the other hand most managers tend to be fake friendly and less of what I would call a good person. Is this cause by the roll, or does the roll attract that type or something else?

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TOP 23 Comments
  • Square Uu5dkG
    it’s because being a manager requires you to talk to people. so you learn how to grin through a conversation with someone who has no interest in talking to you- like an introverted engineer who would rather be coding
    Feb 110
  • Roku ________
    OP
    I follow this simple priority set.
    1. Take care of your people
    2. Take care of yourself
    3. Take care of your job
    If you can't do 3 without doing 1 don't manage. Not sure why it's so hard
    Feb 115
    • Oracle kerty
      Become a manager and then you will know. The thing that you so nicely put at #1 on your list is extremely hard to ensure. People want different things - some want good projects, some want extra time off to spend with family, some want promotions before they are ready, etc. but inevitably everyone wants high TC. A manager at pretty much any place has extremely limited powers and with Leetcode just around the corner, it is impossible to keep people motivated. The other day I had a direct under one of my managers come up to me and say: "I have been offered 20k more/yr at Amazon, and I want to leave. I'll stay if Oracle pays me 50k/yr more". This person was hired from Google, was given a higher title, a fat paycheck (think ~450k), and some of the most interesting projects on my team. And in 13 months, he is looking to switch jobs. How do I take care of him again?
      Feb 11
    • Roku ________
      OP
      You don't have to, taking care of people isn't handing out money. Hopefully you utilized his skills to solve the problems you don't trust with bad coders
      Feb 11
    • Indeed dradular
      kerty, if you can't field someone looking for a counter offer after more than a year, you might not be ready to manage top performers.
      Feb 11
    • Oracle kerty
      @dradular: I can handle him. My point is that a manager has to deal with this shit all the time. Engineers often underestimate the thickness of the skin needed to handle such scenarios.
      Feb 11
    • Amazon qwer1234at
      Isn't part of the management process also letting go and creating fallback? If 1 person leaves, you should be able to come up with a failsafe 6 months before that or even a year or more in advance, right? If a senior or principal leaves, you should figure out how to operate without them or keep them. Some people need to leave and shit happens like family.
      Feb 11
  • Oracle not_larry
    Generalizing: Being a manager involves lying. So they have cover it up with fake friendliness. Smart people see through this very fast. Engineers can be brutally honest which is likable in itself.
    Feb 114
    • Roku ________
      OP
      When must a manager lie to his people?
      Feb 11
    • Oracle not_larry
      Heard of lying by omission?
      Feb 11
    • Roku ________
      OP
      I meant a situation not types of lying.
      Feb 11
    • Oracle not_larry
      Once you know the type, situations are self evident.
      Feb 11
  • Microsoft *cW2x91p
    Management in tech becomes a political shitshow requiring you to become a douchebag to survive.
    Feb 110
  • eBay / Engkhhgf
    Manager needs to have completely different skill-sets compared to an engineer and unfortunately, being a good engineer is the prerequisite for being a manager. Very few people have both the skill-sets, and hence we are stuck with mediocre managers who don't know how to manage!
    Feb 111
    • Roku ________
      OP
      I don't think this is what I have seen the major problems I have see is managers that are non technical and ask for miracles or fluff what their teams accomplishments or deciding bad technical decisions. Like can't code yet micromanaging app doesn't.
      Feb 11
  • Apple / Eng
    iHateFruit

    AppleEng

    PRE
    Apple
    iHateFruitmore
    My manager at Apple is incompetent and a major dick
    Feb 110
  • MathWorks uyG5et
    I feel like fake smile is of least concern in what makes a manager terrible...
    Feb 110
  • Microsoft FBisEvil
    No, but working at Facebook does.
    Feb 110
  • New / Eng
    「GRE/NADE」

    NewEng

    PRE
    Apple
    BIO
    You know I’d do anything for you.
    「GRE/NADE」more
    There’s a member of the tribe at my current company. He’s not technical and has shitty people skills, so I have no idea why he’s a director. Oh I know why, because one of the co-founders is a member of the tribe too! Funny how that works.
    Feb 111
    • Roku ________
      OP
      Damn forgot nepotism in the poll:/ I've seen this too.
      Feb 11
  • New
    nfs

    New

    PRE
    Booking.com
    nfsmore
    (good) Managers learn to see and adapt different communication styles and manage relationships in a different level than the common IC. They learn how to grow and deal with people problems and also grow to be a better person thanks to that. They learn to grow their empathy skills and EQ to help their reports by understanding what they are going through.
    So no, managing doesn't make you bad.

    But there's a perception and/or situations that causes managers to look like "bad managers":
    1. an inexperienced manager dealing with though situations.
    2. an underperformer that fails to recognize their issues and blame their manager (and everyone else). A good example is that sometimes you need to deliver feedback to someone who disrupt the team members who don't feel comfortable giving feedback.
    3. sometimes there's a top down decision that needs to be carried out and managers are paid to execute it. even if it's downsizing/firing people - there's literally no one else but the managers who are responsible to carry this out whether they like it or not.
    4. bad company culture creates bad habit (also happens to IC)
    Feb 110
  • New / MgmtVSwf01
    Being a manager has had me more emphathetic, I get to hear all sorts of things at 1on1 that I didn't inquiry about. Sick and dying relative, life debilitating illness, mental illness, Visa struggles, etc. Most people are silently carrying their burden, showing up everyday and trying to do their best.

    I however have slowed that on the small talk, if you say stupid shit around me, I might be forced to report you to HR especially if there are witnesses. I need to mark a clear separation between friendship and leadership so when I give instructions you don't end up taking it lightly.

    Can't really ping pong and bar hop like in the past. It's a balancing act and the optics can make some of us seem a bit colder than we actually are.
    Feb 110
  • Roku ________
    OP
    The best part about this poll is the two people sticking up for terrible managers are from Oracle 😂
    Feb 110

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