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A lot of Engineering Managers and leaders studied for years and years to become the best Engineer they possibly could be... and then they were promoted.
It can be very tough for those of us who didn't go into Engineering with the distinct concept that we would become managers, but still want to do our best to support our teams.
I wrote this book because there's so much no one told me about management that I wished I would have known. There's a lot to be purposeful about that many of us learn on the job, and worse: learn on people. This book provides some organization for collaborating with networks of people, working together towards a common purpose.
There seem to be millions of articles and "how to"s on programming and only a handful of resources on Engineering Management- why? It's very tough to talk about something that involves people processes. People are non-deterministic. Working relationships are nuanced, communication is linked with individual values, motivations, power dynamics, and skills. People also have a range of experiences and emotions that are not consistent day-to-day.
Hopefully, in the happiest, most productive sense.
It's imperative that we as managers learn as much as we can and work on ourselves, so that our teams may enjoy a healthy working life and strong relationships. It's not just important, it's crucial that we iterate on our own skills as managers so that we can properly support everyone around us: individuals, peers, leadership, and the business.
I'm sharing what I've learned- not so that you follow my concepts exactly, but rather so that you can be thoughtful about your own leadership and needs. The book goes from the macro to the micro- with topics ranging everywhere from "feedback" to "scoping down PRs".
Though the book is meant to address people in management, individual contributors are welcome to read the book as well- perhaps you need to manage up and need some tools to help guide the conversation, perhaps you just want a peek at other concerns within the business- everyone is invited to the conversation.
Sarah Drasner is Director of Engineering, Core Developer Web at Google, where she runs web infrastructure, including but not limited to open source projects like Angular, Karma, and Sass. Sarah is formerly VP at Netlify, Vue core team emeritus, and an O'Reilly author. Sarah also co-organized ConcatenateConf with Christian Nwamba, a conference for Nigerian and Kenyan developers.