Engineering management is hard. Mostly because programmers who turn managers start to treat people like code, and this not so good article on TechCrunch will tell you that is good, but it isn’t. Code is predictable. People are not.
Some key lessons so far
1.) You cannot lead a cavalry if you think you look funny on a horse: Self confidence is key
2.) Respect and leadership are privileges earned hard but lost quickly – Don’t lose it if you can help it, burn out the fire’s as quickly, if you cant.
3.) Ability to manage conflicts is key- data driven is the only way
4.) Every engineer on your team needs to constantly know what to do next
5.) You HAVE TO BE UPDATED On technology/code/processes and continue to be CODING – cant stress this enough, or you are the guy the developer’s say “Hey manager, we are about to finish this module and pull a late night, can you order some pizza’s for us” to.
6.) As tough as it might be, you cannot lower the hire bar – Absolutely zero tolerance, because bad hires come bite you back in the rear.
7.) You can employ carrot or stick method in certain situations – but caveat emptor
Thats what I have so far. Ill be updating this and have some sort of a value list as I experience more of engineering management.
I’ve enjoyed reading this piece and this piece on Engineering management, there are a lot of very valuable key lessons to take from them, so I suggest you read up on those if you are in this black art of engineering management