Skip to content


General Traits

Link Notes
re:Work re:Work is a collection of practices, research, and ideas from Google and others to help you put people first
Pat Kua 5 Engineering Manager Archetypes 5 Engineering Manager archetypes commonly found in the industry:
  1. The Tech Lead EM
  2. The Team Lead EM
  3. The Delivery EM
  4. The Product EM
  5. The Lead of Leads EM
The 25 Micro-Habits of High-Impact Managers
  • Empower your team to act like an owner
  • Be vulnerable and self-aware
  • Turn into a trusted thought partner
  • Lead with empathy
  • Challenge folks with kindness
  • Celebrate and up-level the small moments
  • Keep an eye on long-term growth
Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule For someone on the maker's schedule, having a meeting is like throwing an exception. It doesn't merely cause you to switch from one task to another; it changes the mode in which you work
Evaluating Managers: 5 heuristics to measure managerial impact
  • Execution: Does your team consistently deliver promises or excuses?
    • Every quarter, ask external collaborators to rate your team’s execution on a scale of 1 – 10
    • Collect this sentiment from your manager, skip-level manager, peers, and partners in other roles (e.g., PM, design, support, etc.)
  • People management: Is your team a revolving door? Or a nursery where careers blossom?
  • Team development: Does your team have two years of experience or one year of experience repeated twice?
  • Strategic vision: Where do you see your team in a quarter, six months, and a year?
    • Amorphous targets that continuously flip-flop are a perfect recipe for demotivation, frustration, and distrust
  • Organizational Influence: When did your team last contribute to the larger organization?

How Tos

Link Notes
Manager's Playbook Heuristics for effective management
Gergely Orosz Teach by asking questions Twitter thread from Gergely Orosz
Managing Remotely
  • Measure transparently
  • Get peer feedback regularly
  • Break the isolation
  • Mentor explicitly and implicitly
  • Turn your face into words
A Manager’s Guide to Holding Your Team Accountable If you struggle with holding people to account, try this
Gergely Orosz Checklist for (New) Engineering Managers Areas first-time managers need to master to get up to speed
Numbers To Know For Managing (Software Teams) Anchors that can help orient a manager when a number of other variables are in flux
Gergely Orosz Staying Hands-On, as an Engineering Manager or a Tech Lead The importance of onboarding like a software engineer, activities to stay hands-on, and the reality of writing code

Managing Projects

Link Notes
Gergely Orosz A Checklist For First-Time Engineering Managers
  • Team building and teaching
  • Deliver results
  • Collaborate and connect
  • Vision
  • Professional growth
What do good Engineering Managers do? They taste the soup The default mode of an engineering manager's work should NOT be to dive deep into every possible (implementation) detail - it's just not feasible
Guiding critical projects without micromanaging Being outcomes-driven is the work getting done, with good quality, in reasonable time, without burning out the people involved
Managing unexpected work requests when your team is busy
  • Tactic 1: Ask where this request falls in the priority of everything your team is doing
  • Tactic 2: Explain the context of your work and ask why the new request is important
  • Tactic 3: Use the request as evidence to bolster support for other unscheduled projects

Managing People

Link Notes
What It's Like To Work With Me As Your Manager What I'm like, what it's like to work for me,what influenced me as a leader, and what I value
Will Larson Managing Staff-plus engineers Incomplete list of helpful things you can do to support Staff-plus engineers
1-1 Topics
Things your manager might not know Your manager doesn't (and can't!) know every single detail about what you do in your job, and being aware of what they might not know and giving them the information they need to do their job well makes everyone’s job a lot easier
How New Managers Fail Individual Contributors
  • Doing all the technical design work yourself
  • Doing all of the project management yourself
  • Neglecting to Give Feedback
  • Hoarding information
  • Focusing Too Much On Your Personal Output
Team Member
  1. Accountability (goals and actions)
    1. Last week
      1. For each of your stated actions from last week, did you get them done—yes or no?
        1. If no, what blocked you?
        2. What habit can you adopt so that you don’t encounter that obstacle again?
    2. Next week
      1. For each of your OKRs, what one action can you take to advance toward each of them?
  2. Coaching (issues and solutions)
    1. Show your OKRs in traffic-light fashion (green, yellow, red)
    2. Show your KPIs in traffic-light fashion
    3. If I were to dig into these updates, what would I discover in your department that is:
      1. Good?
      2. Not good?
    4. Please list any other issues that you see in the company, with peers, with the product, in your own life, etc.
  3. Transparency (feedback)
    1. What did you like that I did as manager?
    2. What do you wish that I would do differently as manager?
    3. Please think of the feedback that you are afraid to give me because you think that it will hurt my feelings. Please give me that feedback.
  1. Get feedback from your report
  2. Give feedback to your report
  3. Update the team member’s goals
  1. Ask for permission
  2. State the trigger behavior or event (fact)
  3. State how that trigger behavior makes you feel in terms of anger, sadness, and fear (feeling)
  4. State the thoughts, opinions, and judgments (story) you have around this situation
  5. Make a request of what you would like to see. Try to frame it as positive action (“Do x”) rather than a negative (“Don’t do y”)
  6. Ask if the person accepts the feedback and the request


Link Notes
This 90-Day Plan Turns Engineers into Remarkable Managers 90-day plan for developers who transition into management. In this exclusive article, he breaks down this plan to help engineering leaders set their priorities, gain their footing, and assess their own performance so they can grow fast and start empowering others
Will Larson Your first 90 days as CTO or VP Engineering Tactical best practices for starting as a Chief Technology Officer or VP of Engineering


Link Notes
Gergely Orosz Hiring Software Engineers What do good hiring processes look like and how do we build them?
Gergely Orosz Retaining Software Engineers and Engineering Managers As an engineering manager, what are things in my control that I can do to retain software engineers?
Gergely Orosz Job Ads to Hire Software Engineers: My Advice Advice on how to write a job posting that is more likely to get qualified applicants in the current, hot hiring market


Link Notes
4 Tips To Jump From Manager To Director What does it take to get to the Director level?
Engineering Manager to Director: what it takes? How to get ready for a director level as much as possible when you are in an engineering manager role
How to be a successful manager of managers
  • You need a way to measure how your leaders are leading, and you need to model leadership success yourself
  • Project-based framework:
    • The Delegated Project
    • The Leverage Project
    • The Impact Project
    • The Innovation Project