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What has been learned from engineers during the process of becoming an engineering manager?

ReadTwo thousand two hundred and twenty-five

Original text:Things, I, VE, learned, transitioning, from, engineer,, to, engineering, manager
Author: Gergely Orosz
Translator: Teixeira10

In this article, the author tells his own experiences about what he learned from the engineer into the engineering manager, and the change in his job, his ideas and his way of doing things.
The following is the translation:

Mentors are important - especially within the company

When I started my first job, I was sure I had found work related to software engineering. This is because the first half of the completion of the master's program, and in this regard completed a number of relatively successful small projects. But when it comes to real life projects, my skills are as good as my graduation. So, from the initial stage to the higher level of work, I need many years of effort. Looking back, it was also clear how mentors helped me grow faster in my career - I met many mentors along the way.

Now I started a new job, I wasn't joking, because I have some advanced technology experience, read some books about management, and know how to encoding, I have a lot of engineering management thoughts. But from experience, mentors are really different, and I also want to make sure that mentors don't make mistakes.

This is the first time I've been looking for mentors. Because the engineering management is different from the management of the company, and I work in a large company, I hope to find a mentor inside the company. However, I do not have a clear idea of how it works. So to ask the management team for help, they respond to the fact that mentors are people I admire and learn a lot from them and have the ability to guide a student.

So far, there is an internal mentor, he is outside my management team, but the feeling is very helpful, because the teacher and what I did is not the same, so it can put forward suggestions from the perspective of independence. As mentors are within the company, they also give me a lot of insights and ideas about what I do. Although it is difficult to see the role of mentors in the short term, they have given me a lot of confidence and can give people whom I trust to give me regular feedback on a regular basis.

Understand the most important priorities of the new role

I've got a solid understanding of the role of former employees. What about engineering managers? Do they also do 1:1 performance evaluations? Do they need coaching or coaching other members of the team? Are they still writing code? Are they responsible for managing the team, or are they responsible for making directions or strategies? These are just a few of my questions.

I thought a lot and talked to my manager, mentor, and other managers about how they see their roles. I don't think there will be a consistent answer, and expect to be different from company to company. However, I used to learn competition priorities in a company that's different from individual competition - it's like that:

As an engineering manager, you need to put the company first, the team second, and your team third.

I would say, put yourself in fourth place. When I as a general staff, have been accustomed to such a situation: first to do my own work, and then to help the team, only after doing this, I will seek to do some things to help the team to further. I don't need to think too much about what's good for the company - I usually think that everything I do is business.

As an engineering manager, if I mess up the order, then there may be no need to have a great team in any way. There may also be bad results, that is, a group of able people, they go their own way, rather than create a whole value.

Decide on a time and task management strategy

When I first started working, I asked other managers for advice on how to start my first day's work. They told me something practical:

Work out your time management strategy.

I didn't think too much before. As an ordinary engineer, I wouldn't worry too much about time management: because I would refuse meetings that didn't need to go and try to stay on schedule for most of the time. Of course, I don't have many meetings, either.

However, as a manager, I have a lot more meetings than before. In addition, in fact, I have arranged a lot of meetings - the most important meetings are 1:1s meetings, team meetings, and key stakeholder meetings. I'm really conscious of doing these things and deciding when to set aside time. Of course, I also want to take into account that these meetings disrupt my team's time, so make sure these interruptions are minimized.

The same is true of task management. As an engineer, I can do all the work almost every week. As a manager, there are more things to note: two things, what others need to do, or what I need to invest. It's not easy for me to keep all these in mind - so I began to write it down.

I'm still trying the best effects of time and task management. However, I do think more consciously about my schedule and other people's schedules. For tasks, I've started experimenting with simple GTD policies that have been better than my initial approach.

Set short-term goals

As an engineering manager, one of my responsibilities is to help engineers develop professional goals, so I spend a lot of time understanding the priorities and goals of team members.

First of all, I asked them to do a self-assessment and compare themselves with the next level of leadership. Internally, we have a clear level of work and expectations, and that's easy to do. I also talk to them about where they want to grow, what they like and dislike in their work, and where they can achieve their long-term goals, beyond their current roles or companies.

At the 1:1 meeting, I felt their short and long term ambitions, and then let them put some goals in the right place. One important thing I told them was how to plan their career development - they should put forward their goals and carry them out. As a manager, it is my duty to help and support - but they still have to do it themselves.

I have experienced this process with everyone in the team. But the only one who forgot to do it was myself. My manager reminded me that I should also put forward short-term and long-term goals.

So I put my goals together and then worked with my managers and mentors to refine these goals, sort them by priority, and simplify them into something easier to implement. Write down these goals and regularly help me focus on doing important things and ignoring those that are not on my list.

Finally - take some time to read, practice, learn and reflect

One of my suggestions came from FirstRound"The 90, day, plan, article". It's like this:

If you decide to transition from engineer to technical manager, you will begin to receive education in the first month

I think you can use "first year and beyond" instead of "first month"". Compared with the beginning of software engineering: I just keep learning from other people's code, books, conferences, and I've been making progress. Similarly, I have already started recommending books and have started reading some of them and signing up for themLeadership Developers ConferenceAnd decided to reflect on my experience in these blogs.

Learning is only part of the proposal. The other part is to try something meaningful in a given situation, then to think about what is valid and what is not. So far, the transition to the engineering manager has been a very humbling, fun and exciting journey. Looking forward to more learning and sharing these experiences.

(side note: This is when the manager after writing this article, a few years ago, Charles sharesLearnings, from, six, months, as, a, first-time, engineering, manager. If you like this article, I suggest you read the article too. )

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