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.
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.
Making the Switch to
Justin Carmony - Utah PHP Usergroup - June 2018
Goal: Give You Things to Think About
& Possible Next Steps
(Your Mileage May Vary)
Based on my personal experiences
More Conversation, Less Presentation
Who am I?
Sr. Director of Engineering, Deseret Digital Media
- Advertising Platforms
- KSL.com News
- Publishing Technologies
Member of the Utah Open Source Community
Been breaking & making web stuff for 15+ years
Engineers? Team Leads? Managers? Manager of Managers?
What is a manager?
Two Primary Types
Success is measured by the results
of your individual contributors
Primary focus is still technical /
Success is measured by the results
of your team
Primary focus are people /
Aspects of Being a Manager*
* - in no particular order
Aspect: A Mental Shift
Senior Engineer to Junior Manager
You’re Going To Make Mistakes
Thinking People First,
Example: “We’re having stability problems”
If you’re “doing well” but your team isn’t
YOU ARE FAILING!
Your are responsible for 100% of the code,
which you will write 5% of.
You Cannot Scale
You must grow people to do more!
Taking time, on a regular basis, to think about
someone’s growth versus logistics
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
Two things I cover:
Moral / How People Are Doing
“Where are we at on this project?”
“How are you feeling about it?”
Note: not a full blown status report, just checking in
“How are you feeling?”
“Anything I can do to help you out?”
Adapt your 1-on-1 style to each direct report
Aspect: Course Corrections
Being a Shield
(aka going to meetings)
You get disrupted so your team doesn’t!
Become your Stakeholder’s best avenue
to solve problems
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Aspect: Be a Defender!
The Manager’s Path
Camille Fournier’s Blog - http://www.elidedbranches.com/
Lara Hogan’s Blog - https://larahogan.me/blog/
Michael Loop’s Blog - http://randsinrepose.com/