Managers as tech leads - Deepstash
Managers as tech leads

Managers as tech leads

The best tech leads in the world are always the ones who have done time in management.

A tech lead is a manager  … but

  • Their first priority is achieving the task at hand
  • They know how to communicate and manage other people
  • They know how to get shit done
  • They connect the dots between business objectives and technical objectives, and break down big objectives

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MORE IDEAS FROM THEARTICLE

Frontline Managers

The best frontline eng managers in the world are the ones that are never more than 2-3 years removed from hands-on work, full time down in the trenches. The best individual contributors are the ones who have done time in management.

And the best technical leaders in the world are often the ones who do both. Back and forth. Like a pendulum.

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Being an IC is like reverse-engineering how a company works with very little information. A lot of things seem ridiculous, or pointless or inefficient from the perspective of a leaf node.

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Management is not a promotion, management is a change of profession . And you will be bad at it for a long time after you start doing it. If you don’t think you’re bad at it, you aren’t doing your job.

Managing because it feeds your ego is a terrific way to be sure that your engineers get to report to someone miserable and resentful, someone who should really be writing code.

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RELATED IDEAS

We’ve been doubling the amount of people in our product engineering over the past few years, and you just can’t do the same things you used to do.

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  • Business and product strategy. As a principal engineer, it’s important to understand the overall strategy for your group and what you can do to support the goals it’s trying to achieve.
  • Team needs. Although you’re not part of a specific team, you’ll find yourself working with many teams across the business to achieve your goals. To prioritize effectively, identify the needs of the teams you work with most closely. 
  • Engineering org needs. Are there problems within the org that you could help with? Look out for initiatives that particularly interest you or that could help you develop some of your growth areas.
  • Personal goals. Consider your personal goals. Identify your strengths, goals you haven’t yet achieved, and areas you might need to improve, and incorporate feedback you’ve received from your manager and peers. 

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Making decisions in a bubble = 🤬

In the process of building our apps I received a private Slack message:

Why was the data dashboard built using React if our front-end stack is based on Ember? — a not very happy front-end engineer

  • 💀 I didn’t know we had added a new tool to our stack. 😳
  • 💀 Other team members who should’ve known about it, didn’t know either.
  • 💀 Someone made an important decision on behalf of our entire team, but the team wasn’t included in it.
  • 💀 No one, including myself, appreciated the surprise.

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