Category: Short thoughts

  • More thoughts about management.

    I wrote this as my answer to an application question for a remote company a few years back. It’s a bit outdated, but I thought I’d share it anyway. In a broad sense, to me management is about people and the things that stop them from achieving what’s important at an individual, team and company…

  • Ensuring new tech leads get a chance to succeed

    When assigning technical leads, take care to put them in a situation where they will succeed easily, especially if this is their first time with a tech lead role. The tech lead role is one of the most challenging roles to go into because you live in a sort of limbo where you are still…

  • Engineering Management feels slow sometimes.

    The rewards come slowly compared to individual contributor work, but they tend to be more interesting to me because I can see the impact of my work on people and projects in a more global way. It can be someone finally getting that promotion they have been working hard to get, features shipping with a…

  • Pragmatic engineering management.

    I tend to approach engineering management decisions as I do software development: small adjustments most of the time, big refactors only when the potential long term rewards are worth the risks and there’s no other viable solution. Like in software engineering, the context in which we make decisions matters. The strategies that make sense in…

  • Engineering Management is like Debugging

    Engineering management is a lot like debugging and bug-fixing at times. Sometimes you don’t know much about a failure except that it happened. Sometimes the solution is clear but risky in some way, and sometimes you just know what needs to be done and wonder why you didn’t do it earlier. More often than not,…