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Making the Switch to Engineering Management

Making the Switch to Engineering Management

Making the Switch to Engineering Management by Justin Carmony

The first part of an engineer's career is pretty straight-forward: learning the skills and technology to code. Then, one day after being a senior developer for a few years, you find you need to make a decision: do you want to become a manager? Are you ready to make the switch to management? Do you even want to? What would it be like? How do you know if you're ready? How do you prepare? Ahhhhh!

Take a deep breath: it's okay. It is possible to make a switch to engineering management and still have a fulfilling job. We'll discuss the basics of being an engineering manager, what it's like to make the switch, and how to prepare for it. We'll discuss techniques you can use to be successful, as well as common pitfalls you can run into. So whether you're an engineer looking to prepare for the possibility in the future, or a seasoned manager looking for some ways to improve (since we all can improve), come learn from Justin's experience helping mentor engineers for leadership and management roles.

Speaker Bio

Justin Carmony has been programming professionally in PHP since 2005. He lives in Layton, Utah where he currently is the Sr. Director of Engineering for Deseret Digital Media, a local media company that runs some of largest regional new websites in the country. He is currently focused on big data, data science, and mentoring engineers. He is a long-time member of the Utah PHP Usergroup and Utah Open Source community.


Justin Carmony

June 21, 2018

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  1. Making the Switch to Engineering Management Justin Carmony - Utah

    PHP Usergroup - June 2018
  2. Goal: Give You Things to Think About & Possible Next

  3. Y.M.M.V! (Your Mileage May Vary) Based on my personal experiences

  4. More Conversation, Less Presentation

  5. Who am I? Sr. Director of Engineering, Deseret Digital Media

    - Analytics - Advertising Platforms - KSL.com News - Publishing Technologies Member of the Utah Open Source Community Been breaking & making web stuff for 15+ years
  6. Poll Engineers? Team Leads? Managers? Manager of Managers?

  7. Story

  8. What is a manager?

  9. Two Primary Types Individual Contributor • Success is measured by

    the results of your individual contributors • Primary focus is still technical / code Manager • Success is measured by the results of your team • Primary focus are people / outcomes
  10. Aspects of Being a Manager* * - in no particular

  11. Aspect: A Mental Shift

  12. Senior Engineer to Junior Manager

  13. You’re Going To Make Mistakes

  14. Thinking People First, Not Code

  15. Example: “We’re having stability problems”

  16. Individual Contributor Manager

  17. If you’re “doing well” but your team isn’t YOU ARE

  18. Mental Shift: Your are responsible for 100% of the code,

    which you will write 5% of.
  19. Aspect: Mentoring (aka growth)

  20. You Cannot Scale You must grow people to do more!

  21. Taking time, on a regular basis, to think about someone’s

    growth versus logistics
  22. Carmony Mentoring Style • Kick off one-on-one, discuss goals, career

    aspirations, etc • Meet every 4-6 weeks for 1 hour • Discuss a topic • Create items to work on • Follow up on the items next meeting • Rinse & Repeat
  23. None
  24. Spencer’s Story

  25. Aspect: 1-on-1s (aka Logistics)

  26. 1-on-1’s • Two things I cover: ◦ Logistics ◦ Moral

    / How People Are Doing • Logistics ◦ “Where are we at on this project?” ◦ “How are you feeling about it?” ◦ “Any impediments” ◦ Note: not a full blown status report, just checking in • Moral ◦ “How are you feeling?” ◦ “Anything I can do to help you out?”
  27. Adapt your 1-on-1 style to each direct report

  28. Aspect: Course Corrections

  29. None
  30. Aspect: Stakeholders

  31. Managing Expectations

  32. Being a Shield (aka going to meetings)

  33. None
  34. You get disrupted so your team doesn’t!

  35. Become your Stakeholder’s best avenue to solve problems

  36. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

  37. Aspect: Be a Defender!

  38. Not so “Secret Weapon”: The Manager’s Path

  39. Resources

  40. Additional Resources • Camille Fournier’s Blog - http://www.elidedbranches.com/ • Lara

    Hogan’s Blog - https://larahogan.me/blog/ • Michael Loop’s Blog - http://randsinrepose.com/
  41. Questions?