One of the best books on this is "The Manager's Path" by Camille Fournier.
Just starting my 30s, the whole engineering thing is very nice and dandy however
- I have realized how much more effectiveness there is in assigning work to others and helping them follow through,
- Starting to feel the sde job fatigue. Writing code and managing stakeholders anyways while keeping systems running is kinda exhausting, especially on multiple projects.
- Want more money/status/influence on product, and over a career it's likely to come from being a manager,
I realize this is not an overnight change but those who have done eng -> mgr, share insights please!
- Facebook 🚗meepI went from IC to technical/team lead to managing the same team and then on from there.
One of the best books on this is "The Manager's Path" by Camille Fournier.
- Management and engineering are very different but sort of similar. You will go from programming computers to people. Computers are more predictable than people.
- Amazon mxstarBe a manager because you love coaching and helping other grow in career and strategy for company. Lot of time will be spent on those and prioritization as well as hiring. Don't do because of other reasons as that will make u unsatisfied and possibly a bad manager and there are tons already. Cheers!
- Moody's nightSunAbsolutely echo this. While few managers become managers because they like to coach and help others develope their careers.
Selfish managers who only care about getting their own tail covered may seem to deliver work in the short run, but damage the organization in the long run.
Hope the managers' manager can identify those who have a balance in delivering work and developing people's careers.
Btw, how do people think of High Output Management by Andy Grove?
- Magic Leap ohnorandomThere is management and there is a leadership. Ideally managers are also leaders, but their underlying job is the ensure what needs to be done gets done when it needs to be done. Leadership is the quality of having and projecting a vision, inspiring others to work towards that's vision, and maintaining the motivation of that team.
- If you're asking, you're not ready yet. Take some more time until it is a natural transition. Managers who don't have the acumen and 'go by the book' can ruin careers and lives. Bad ones don't listen to feedback. Think about this.
- Microsoft yQKE82Books are great and can help you a little but honestly with experience. If you want to become manager then you need to swim with the sharks. You need to get a manager opportunity and learn as you grow. You need to be willing to take feedback and improve. And be frankly honest with your team. This is a first time for me being a manager, if you have any feedback for me, happy to listen. I may not do everything right but hopefully with feedback and iterations you can improve and become best version of your self and best version of a manger.Feb 121
- Adobe j1raWhile on books, one that I would recommend - even if one I read well after becoming a manager - is What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
- Microsoft DuAl111) you will make less money as a level 1 manager than many of your directs.
2) it’s about your team and not you. Don’t try to be a player/coach. It doesn’t work.
3) When you get to a point where you are happier for a promotion for one of your direct reports than when you get promoted,you will be someone who people want to work for.
4) great managers remove blockers and clear a path for their team. If teammates are complaining about a process that isn’t productive, fix it at the root source even if you have to ruffle leadership feathers.
- You must be able to step outside of your own personality style to lead effectively. The Golden Rule is wrong most of the time. Treat people as they want to be treated..not necessarily how you want to be treated. Study Ken Blanchard's Situational Leadership theory to understand how and when to apply "directing" vs "coaching". You must be able to do both. Understand that you will be the servant to your team.
- SpaceX / EngplokjimnbDon't expect more money. For most fields managers make more, but as IC can make fucktons in this tech bubble, management is more of a lateral move.
- To all people who are discouraging OP from becoming manager - you all are dumb !!
Like it or not - managers would always make more money than ICs generally. Getting promoted to E8 is 1000 times tougher than getting to D position. D’s make 1 mill+ an year. Most of the D’s or M2 at FB I know these days are coming from Tier 2-Tier 3 companies. With experience, everyone can do Manager’s job(a lot of mediocre ICs has become Ms) , but same is not true for E7-E8 role.
- It's a shame that mediocre ICs can become managers. It reflects poorly on the higher ranked managers. Bad managers ruin careers and lives, and also impact the company in the long run. The millions they make are a fang anomaly, and while individuals may want the millions, it should not be the reason that the industry should encourage people becoming managers.
- For some reason - the guys who made it being a manager (hook or by crook), discourages everyone else to try their route. THIS IS THE HARD TRUTH- Only way to make a lot of money in our industry is to move into management. If you are not good at it, work harder and get better. Even incompetent one’s get to jump companies every 2 years before their bullshit gets called out.
- You cannot... should not... become a team captain if you don't have the chops. There's nothing about discouraging anyone. If you have experience working with poor managers, or the wrong person becoming the captain of your favorite sports team, you'd know. Higher compensation should be the result, not the reason, for becoming a manager. While "hook or crook" methods may be the reality or "hard truth," it's tremendously irresponsible to support them.
- Your biggest challenge is hiring, retaining and motivating engeneers, who get pitched about two times a day on LinkedIn.
Imagine you hired someone and rely on them to do the job. Evening before their start day, you get the email letting you know they got another offer.
Even more, people are ghosting jobs. They simply don't show up or stop showing up. Yet you still need to deliver. Plus your reputation gets hit if you lose people.
Once one guy is gone, he will pull a couple more the best ones.
You will need to know how to navigate promotions, get salary raises and all of this. Say you failed to get a promotion for a high performer. Next he does leetcode for 3 month instead of doing the job and leaves. Say you got him promotion, another guy gets jealous and leaves.
- Microsoft newyorkhkyHave managed for about 20 years. When I first moved to lead a team, I had little management experience. Read books, HR policy manuals, etc. and pretty sure I sucked.
Took me a few years to understand partnering with your employees, having their backs, working hard to get them more money/rewards (and not giving a shit if they made more than me but knowing it was better for the team if they did), managing/leading to clarity and structure, prioritizing people’s WLB and family, being transparent and honest (sometimes in very tough ways) and just generally caring were all key. A book will tell you the what; it’ll never show you the how (or prepare you for people’s reactions, games and politics).
I would never trade my time as a manager and leader. It has taught me a ton. I’m a better engineer and person because of it.
- You’re not remotely ready to be a manager. Your reasoning is all wrong. You list wanting more status and money, when good managers prioritize the success of their team members. It ain’t about you, fucko. And it’s not that you couldn’t transition to a management role, it’s that you’d be a shitty one.
- Expedia tap2I made the transition awhile ago, and often wonder if it was the right choice. I really enjoy the strategy involved in leading an org, seeing the bigger picture and coaching others, however, I miss the sense of accomplishment in doing something myself, and find leading has a lot more variables, meaning something often needs fixing whereas IC work is more focused and under your control. Once you lead for too long, depending on how close you stay to the technical side of things, it can be hard to go back. I wouldn’t go to leadership for status or because you think it will be easier (In my experience it’s been harder because people are complex and unpredictable and not something you can control), but only if you are passionate about developing and advocating for others.
- Apple ShareCouple of things to consider...
1) in olden days becoming manager was the only path for career progression. These days you have mgmt (1,,2,3, Director, sr, vp) and Ic( levels that have salary pretty much matching mgmt- except May be vp)
2) software/hardware is binary but peoples are not. There is a whole range of personalities you run into mgmt career and if you are not thick skin or in a bad env then it will really affect you (mentally)
3) It might seem mgrs have lot of power but in reality they are very limited. At the end of the day you have to work around Hr policies and policies from top.
4) mgmt in not easy: hiring, motivating, retaining, firing, managing up, down, across : all that along with continuing to deliver can be tough
5) having said all that: one should definitely give it a try. Just keep your coding skills upto date so you can switch back anytime. Also be prepared to switch back and don’t see that as a failure. You will be happy that you tried and it may even turn our that you were meant to be a good manager
- TribalScale sfUN21Something not being said here is that once you transition to manager, you will make mistakes. Is just part of the learning experience. Learning from those mistakes will help you grow.
Be a manager because you want to help others grow and you really care about building a great culture. Remember that being manager you will be the last to get the praise but the first to get blamed.
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- Two Sigma oreo yumAgree with points 1-5. Disagree strongly on point 0. Most management books are bad, but the good ones are helpful to learn from. Engineering managers tend to not be great at managing, and books are a valuable way to be educated on things that your manager won’t be able to teach you. You have to experiment with the ideas from them as well so you get more experience.
- New nfsmoreFor starters your motivations aren't exactly placed for what's considered in the industry as "the right reasons".
From what you wrote, it sounds like you are trying to escape from your current role, laze around and make more money in the process.
For starters, managers don't get higher pay than IC unless they climbed higher in the level, but than you need to start comparing the managers salary to a principal developer.
Often you need to manage people with higher salaries than you.
In any case salary becomes a number in your bank account very quickly and all you are left with the role itself - so it better be because you like it.
Secondly, you don't just get to tell people what to do while drinking Margaritas on the beach. You really need to work with people, coach them, get their buy-in to do their work or any initiatives, learn how to build relationships (even if you can't stand them), deal with underperformers etc...
More than that, you need to build effective relationships with your peers in order to really make an impact. In some organizations there's also a lot of politics involved.
I would recommend for to stick to development for now and try to ask your manager in your 1:1 what are the challenges to be a manager.
- can u give up your self respect, your own thoughts, individuality, creativity and start bootlicking? do things that u dont agree to and become low stilled clerk? if yes .. then ..
- Rsad books by John C. Maxwell like The Five Levels of Leadership, 7 Habits by Steven R. Covey, Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, Universal laws of Success and Achievement by Brian Tracy, Leadership and Self Deception, Good To Great by Jim Collins, and any books by or about leaders you admire
- Twitter STMf58I'll highly recommend is being concise, confident and decisive. When it's a win, it's team, when it's a loss it's yours and you cover your team. Trust them with appropriate communication and transparency and they will trust you. Develope an active listening mindset and be empathetic. Know when it's appropriate to interact one on one vs in a group setting. You work with the team and for the team and not the other way round.
- I am conflicted on this.
Management is suppose to manage and not be involved in coding and deep design
However the interviews you do focus strongly on coding and system design. There is some focus on management , but it’s not as big as coding and system design.
With this in play , if you are in management for around 10 years , how can one pass the management interview for a company like google ?
- Microsoft lYkF72https://read.amazon.com/kp/kshare?asin=B06XP3GJ7F&id=OS2QBnPoSZOZ2iXShZpoZQ&reshareId=3N6GBY5Y87TJFJXZH3Q1&reshareChannel=system
This is a good intro to leadership for the software engineer.
A lot of the points I think are discussed but for me there’s a few things that you have to nail to be successful at the craft.
1) be approachable
2) have the balls to push back if something seems dumb
3) build a sound plan and communicate the plan to everyone
4) don’t be the know it all alpha geek, let your teammates shine
5) when the team succeeds you succeed. The best measure of how good a leader you are is if your team is willing to work with you again, not how well your boss likes you (although that is also important but that’s more about delivering than leadership)
I’ve led teams at Microsoft and in startups. Pm me if you want to chat :)
- Amazon / MgmtvWnY56moreI’d also recommend finding a mentor or two. Someone who doesn’t think like you do, challenges your conclusions. Management can be learned. Leadership is harder. Personally I find servant leadership most rewarding and productive.
- Read here on servant leadership: https://www.skipprichard.com/9-qualities-of-the-servant-leader/
- Google / EngReally?🤨moreToo many people think being a manager is about the next progression in your career. These people wouldn’t do this if companies accurately paired poor managers. A manager who isn’t there for their team is worth less than them as an ic. Usually by half. I respect that google doesn’t give pay raises to managers because it removes this incentive.
- Making way more TC now as IC than I ever did as manager previously. I went the other direction for reasons similar to what the OP said: he wants to “assign work to others” and “follow through”, avoid “job fatigue”, get “more money/status/influence”.
At Splunk I’m way more able to do those things as an IC than I would as a manager at my pay level. You really need to get to Sr Director or VP level to improve upon that, and there’s no comparison between those titles at startups vs publicly-traded companies like Splunk.
So if you’re serious about management track, and you’re doing it for money/influence, don’t mess around with ladder-climbing from middle management (at my company at least, the higher positions are recruited from outside and rarely offered to middle-managers as promotions or transfers).
Go to business school to jump the line. Hope you like management better than I did; for me it was nonstop stress and little actual autonomy.
- It “will do” if you don’t mind risking washing out at the senior levels. I don’t know if you’re in Bay Area but out here the TC levels for 10-year experience engineers are $350K to $600K. Not BSing, that’s fairly widely reported. To make more than that in management, and to hang onto the job (it’s a lot harder to consistently make your numbers/goals as a manager for 3+ years than as an IC), you’re going to need to aim for the executive C-level positions.
I don’t see how you get to C level without either starting and cashing out of a startup at the 9-figure valuation level, or doing a full-time MBA and spending your time befriending others who become C-level execs in the period right after graduating.
- Not in the Bay Area.
I am in the east coast.
Not done a startup, and haven’t done an MBA.
I see your point wrt full time MBA, and mingling with others that will be future big wigs.
I am currently in senior management , on track to move into director role.
As a late 30’s person - does it make sense for me to quit and do a full time mba?
- I was living in Boston and working in various management roles before moving to Bay Area. If you can get admitted to a top program (Wharton, Tuck, Harvard, Stern, Stanford etc): quit and go fulltime. It’s a no-brainer.
But odds of gaining admission are tough because of all the other applicants, and while they don’t like to admit it, anyone over 35 has to make an even more compelling application than the 20-something go-getters with Booz or Bain already on their resume.
One other point: with or without MBA, pursue the remainder of your career in the geographic location where the densest concentration of employment opportunities in your specialty is located. Boston was an Internet mecca for jobs (the telephone, radio-telegraph, Internet were all invented there) until iPhone and 2008 market shifts in the corporate and investing world. Now employment in my field is dominated solely by Bay Area companies.
Look at your job specialty and ask yourself if the city you’re in is where the most opportunities are. If not, move—no matter the apparent cost.Feb 130
- I would advice to have your people, who will be happy to work for you. Build the relationship before stepping into the role. Have support above and below.
- Amazon dmx32I think you just listed all the reasons why not to be a manager
Be a manager because you want to lead and inspire teams to grow, take up a level they never thought they could reach, unblock road blocks and help create vision they will follow and environment of trust and leading by example.
Are you a nature leader? Are you stepping up to help others around you? Are you focus on collaboration and working with the team to influence them without the title and developing ways to work smarter as a team? Just a few tips.
- New RtOT50I made the switch six years ago but for very different reasons, well except for the influence.
For me the switch was about having a larger impact on the organization and people. You must be able to find fulfillment in the success of others cause it's no longer about you. You serve the organization, but more importantly you serve your people. When there is a shitstorm you are the one to find and hold the umbrella. The role is very stressful and the pay very lateral. You will now own even more projects, will be even more fatigued, and will have to make gut wrenching decisions from time to time.
Your pay though is that you get to change lives. You get to impact culture, set strategy, champion your people, and orchestrate amazing opportunities for others. Personally, I really like engineering but I love leading teams.
- 1. Get promoted
2. Now you’re a manager!
Many people stop here and skip step 3., which is “study and apply the practices of good management.” It’s not always obvious or easy.
- I agree its the way forward, but i have also seen this puts a lot of pressure on people. If you do not deliver then you will be axed. I have seen quite a few partner level employees in Microsoft who had to "step down" with reasons like, looking for other opportunities but everyone knows what really happened. Also choosing the correct time in your life is very important, if you have young kids to take care of and your spouse is working as well then its going to be really difficult.
- Manage because you love people and want to help others. The pay is better as an IC.
- Microsoft VgWw33The management path is quite stressful. It completely changed my life... changed who I am, how I feel and my personal life. I started for the same reasons... SDE fatigue! In Microsoft if you are a Dev Lead the expectations are tremendously different than a Dev Manager. Both are people’s management careers though. In Microsoft being a Dev Manager is less stressful than being a Dev Lead. In certain Orgs there’s the expectation that you continue doing part of the role you were doing as an IC plus everything that comes with project planing, career development, prioritization, technical guidance and fire fighting... it sounds enticing - believe me it is super stressful and draining - and you know what? You don’t get a salary increase!
- Lockheed Martin / OtherSchz3moreI had been in team lead roles, mostly because managers would leave an SOMEONE in the group had to jump on that grenade. Then I segued out of them and just ran some little projects that needed doing, then finally it became clear I was going to be shoe horned into a manager job, so I preemptively searches for one in an area that was more interesting to me. I am now having more fun than I have had in years, though also working harder. Anything new is fun for a while we will see.
- New DvVM00#1 and #3 are part and parcel of climbing the engineering tech ladder. nothing to do with being manager. in fact at companies with functioning tech ladders managers don’t do those things at all.
#2 well that’s a different story.
just saying, you might want to reconsider given that 2/3 are satisfied by non managers