: New: Book Report: Startup Engineering Management

This book Startup Engineering Management is aimed at engineering managers at startup companies—but is pretty good for engineering managers at big companies, too. It has some info about everything I wanted to know about managing engineering teams—but I'm cheating (and perhaps biased) when I say that. I read an advance copy, so when I wanted to know about something, I asked "Hey, could you write something about _____ here?" The book is aimed at technical people. Part of what the book tells you is when it is/isn't appropriate to apply your tech chops to a management problem. E.g., if you're a director, you probably shouldn't tell a project's tech lead how to implement something. But if you're talking with a manager of some other team with a problem, it's darned useful if you understand what your team does well enough so that you can say "Hey, we can help you out with that." (If you're wrong, your team won't appreciate this helpful tendency. But if you're right and it saves the company, that's probably a good thing.) This book talks about hiring and firing. It talks about getting teams to work well together and how to deal with toxic folks. It talks about succession planning and developing your minions' abilities. It's short—you can read it in a couple of long bus rides. But it's packed with good advice. If you're a beginning manager, you probably want to drag it out from time to time to review and remind yourself of things you should be doing... or avoiding. If you're an experienced manager, you'll probably enjoy the anecdotes.

Tags: book business teams

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