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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

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  2. 👋


    About you

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  3. 😱


    About me

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  4. 👴


    22 years in tech

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  5. 🤖 -> 👨💼


    Most recently

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  6. Why? No, seriously Dan, why?!

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  7. 🙃


    It’s not a simple answer

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  8. 👩🏫


    Being the change you want to see

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  9. 🧑🤝🧑


    Impact through people

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  10. 😰


    New challenges

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  11. 😰


    Scary new challenges

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  12. 🤿


    I dove into the deep end

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  13. 🛌


    What does an EM do?

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  14. ☝👇👈👉


    It depends on the company

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  15. 💆


    Team and individual health

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  16. 📈


    Career, growth, and performance

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  17. 🗺


    Strategy and execution

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  18. 🫣


    What’s been challenging?

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  19. 🧽


    You’re the sponge

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  20. 🏋


    Maintaining a healthy team is hard

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  21. 😵💫


    There is no management StackOverflow

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  22. 🐢


    Slow, uncertain results

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  23. 🤠


    What’s gone well?

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  24. 🤗


    It’s immensely rewarding

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  25. 🏃


    Rarely static, very dynamic

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  26. 💥


    Broader exposure and impact

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  27. 🤝


    Peer EM support

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  28. Questions to ask yourself

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  29. Help you make an informed call

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  30. 🏃


    Why am I looking for a change?

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  31. 🤔


    Is now the right time?

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  32. 🤗


    What do I enjoy?

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  33. 😶🌫


    Am I willing to give up coding?

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  34. 🫡


    Still interested?

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  35. How to get started

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  36. 👀


    Ask for EM-type work

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  37. 📓


    Build your management storybook

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  38. 🕰


    Your recent experience is an advantage!

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  39. 🤔


    Read management books

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  40. 📚


    Radical Candor


    by Kim Scott

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  41. 📚


    Making of a Manager


    by Julie Zhuo

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  42. 🤚


    Ask for help and feedback

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  43. 🫶


    Be kind to yourself

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  44. 🤣


    Email me

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  45. 🎀


    A few final words

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  46. 🙇


    Thank you

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