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From IC to EM: A guide to stepping into the weird, wild world of management

Dan Kim
September 30, 2022
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From IC to EM: A guide to stepping into the weird, wild world of management

So you’re thinking about becoming an engineering manager, eh? Awesome, let’s go!

I considered this exact same decision about a year ago, and ultimately ended up taking the leap. I’ll walk you through how I made the call to switch to being an EM after many years as an IC, how it started (what I thought I knew), how it’s going (all the things I didn’t know), and the not-so-obvious differences between being an IC and an EM. Basically, I’m here to give you a real world, very fresh perspective on what the transition has been like.

Ultimately, I hope this talk will help you make a decision on what’s right *for you*, and if you do decide to head down the EM path, how to get started.

Dan Kim

September 30, 2022
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Transcript

  1. @dankim | [email protected] From IC to EM A guide to

    stepping into the weird, wild world of management
  2. 👋 About you

  3. 😱 About me

  4. 👴 22 years in tech

  5. 🤖 -> 👨💼 Most recently

  6. ❓ Why?

  7. ❓ Why? No, seriously Dan, why?!

  8. 🙃 It’s not a simple answer

  9. 👩🏫 Being the change you want to see

  10. 🧑🤝🧑 Impact through people

  11. 😰 New challenges

  12. 😰 Scary new challenges

  13. 🤿 I dove into the deep end

  14. 🛌 What does an EM do?

  15. ☝👇👈👉 It depends on the company

  16. 💆 Team and individual health

  17. 📈 Career, growth, and performance

  18. 🗺 Strategy and execution

  19. 🔄 Retro

  20. 🫣 What’s been challenging?

  21. 🧽 You’re the sponge

  22. 🏋 Maintaining a healthy team is hard

  23. 😵💫 There is no management StackOverflow

  24. 🐢 Slow, uncertain results

  25. 🤠 What’s gone well?

  26. 🤗 It’s immensely rewarding

  27. 🏃 Rarely static, very dynamic

  28. 💥 Broader exposure and impact

  29. 🤝 Peer EM support

  30. ❔ Questions to ask yourself

  31. ☎ Help you make an informed call

  32. 🏃 Why am I looking for a change?

  33. 🤔 Is now the right time?

  34. 🤗 What do I enjoy?

  35. 😶🌫 Am I willing to give up coding?

  36. 🫡 Still interested?

  37. ✅ How to get started

  38. 👀 Ask for EM-type work

  39. 📓 Build your management storybook

  40. 🕰 Your recent experience is an advantage!

  41. 🤔 Read management books

  42. 📚 Radical Candor by Kim Scott

  43. 📚 Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo

  44. 🤚 Ask for help and feedback

  45. 🫶 Be kind to yourself

  46. 🤣 Email me

  47. 🎀 A few final words

  48. 🙇 Thank you