The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

Author: Camille Fournier
4.5
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About This Book

Managing people is difficult wherever you work. But in the tech industry, where management is also a technical discipline, the learning curve can be brutal--especially when there are few tools, texts, and frameworks to help you. In this practical guide, author Camille Fournier (tech lead turned CTO) takes you through each stage in the journey from engineer to technical manager.

From mentoring interns to working with senior staff, you'll get actionable advice for approaching various obstacles in your path. This book is ideal whether you're a new manager, a mentor, or a more experienced leader looking for fresh advice. Pick up this book and learn how to become a better manager and leader in your organization.

 

  • Begin by exploring what you expect from a manager
  • Understand what it takes to be a good mentor, and a good tech lead
  • Learn how to manage individual members while remaining focused on the entire team
  • Understand how to manage yourself and avoid common pitfalls that challenge many leaders
  • Manage multiple teams and learn how to manage managers
  • Learn how to build and bootstrap a unifying culture in teams

Comments

by jetpackswasyes   2019-07-21

Only the sociopaths like it. It's more about seizing control of your own destiny. You've got the right attitude to succeed. Best advice is to treat your staff like you wish your own managers had treated you at their stage in their career. I know you've already got a ton of book recommendations but if I can make one more, I found it extremely helpful: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897

by reactive_dog_sad   2019-07-21

https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897

I would question if this was a promotion or a role change though :) Make sure you understand the expectations and success criteria for your new role

by reactive_dog_sad   2019-07-21

https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Growth/dp/1491973897

https://www.amazon.com/Managing-Humans-Humorous-Software-Engineering/dp/1430243147

by BenOfTomorrow   2019-07-21

Read The Manager’s Path. It will answer your question more thoroughly, and is a great resource in general on career development for a junior engineer, even if you don’t want to be a manager.

by onesiphorus   2019-07-21

You've done something amazing here. Don't doubt yourself. Don't compare yourself to somebody else. We don't all have the same experience and education. Own your expertise and learn to be comfortable admitting that there are other things you don't know. That's how you grow and learn.

Regarding what to do next...it depends. I usually advise people that there are 3 paths you can take as you grow in your career and these routes are more team (people) vs technology focused.

  1. Management. Management is more team focused. How to help your team be effective. It's helpful to be technical, but you don't have to be the most technical person on your team because that's not your job anymore. Heck, I don't want to be the most technical person on the team if I can avoid it. This path usually leads through director to VP of engineering roles at places where those are more focused on team rather than technology.
  2. Technical leader. This usually starts as some form of technical lead or principal engineering role, and rather than leading to a manager role, it leads to more of an architecture role. Sometimes the CTO is often the chief architect of the company, so that (and in my ideal, his is what it is) you have CTO and VP of Engineering as parter roles, one focused on the technology, one focused on the team.
  3. Individual contributor. It's okay to stay as an individual contributor if that's what you are good and and that's what makes you happy. Not everybody has to aspire to a formal leadership role.

Depending on the size of the company, most of us have to do a little bit of all of these. At my last job, I started out as an individual contributor and then became a pure manager. Right now I'm a CTO who does a bit of everything because my team is small and fairly junior.

All this to say, if what you really are enjoying is the leadership, product, and team-based side of things you should absolutely not despair that you met this other very technical VP.

If you haven't read it, check out Camille Fournier's The Manager's Path.

Also, it's okay to go back and forth between being in leadership and being an individual contributor. Moving back to front-line development is not going to lock you in forever.

by healydorf   2019-07-21

My top 2:

The Manager's Path

Accelerate

by e-_pusher   2019-07-12
I have found The Manager's Path useful about this. She goes into good detail about what it means to be a manager vs a tech lead, for example.

https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

by wpietri   2018-11-25
I knew that the trend for Manager READMEs bothered me, but this really helped me to nail down why. When I'm wearing a manager hat, I see it as my job to serve the people who work for me. But READMEs are a one-way communication medium. They send the message, "It's your job to pay attention to me, the manager. You must learn and conform to my quirks." I think that's exactly the wrong message for a new employee.

This post is written by the author of The Manager's Path, which I also recommend: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

by anotheryou   2018-09-05
- Read this (and even if it's just for a peace of mind to feel prepared): https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

- make sure this is something you want

by cottonseed   2018-02-19
For management: Manager's Path by Camille Fournier: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...
by cottonseed   2018-01-29
Chapter 9: Boostrapping Culture of The Manager's Path [0] discusses this directly. You might also be interested in the earlier chapters on building and leading teams.

[0] https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

by cottonseed   2017-09-04
Camille Fournier's The Manager's Path: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...
by throwmeaway32   2017-09-04
yes do it, setup 30mins per person every 2 weeks, in the meeting invite describe this is a time for discussion, feedback (for you to them and them to you), for things like career progression and also for them to ask questions they might not feel comfortable asking in a more public setting including things about product, company etc. Try to keep the time as consistent as possible and show that these are a priority for you (so don't forget, cancel them etc).

They can be tough conversations, but rewarding on both sides.

If you are leading a team of devs at the very least read these 2 books:-

https://www.amazon.ca/Managing-Humans-Humorous-Software-Engi...

https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

by yoloswagins   2017-08-20
Managing engineers is a new career, that is separate from being an Engineer. Many engineering skills don't transfer to management, even when you think they do.

As a manager, one of the most important things you can do is schedule regular 1 on 1's with the people who report to you. Both "The Manager's Path"[1] and "Behind Closed Doors"[2] stresses this.

In about 4 months, it'll be helpful to review PG's essay, Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule[3] Right now, you'll be coding most of your time, but you'll soon have more and more meetings. MSMS names the feeling of frustration around meetings, and describes how to handle so many meetings.

[1] https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...

[2] https://www.amazon.com/Behind-Closed-Doors-Management-Progra...

[3] http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html

by helper   2017-08-19
Maybe read "The Manager's Path" by Camille Fournier[0]. It focuses a lot on the transition from being an engineer to going into management.

[0]: https://www.amazon.com/Managers-Path-Leaders-Navigating-Grow...