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The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change Paperback – May 2 2017
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Managing people is difficult wherever you work. But in the tech industry, where management is also a technical discipline, the learning curve can be brutal―especially when there are few tools, texts, and frameworks to help you. In this practical guide, author Camille Fournier (tech lead turned CTO) takes you through each stage in the journey from engineer to technical manager.
From mentoring interns to working with senior staff, you’ll get actionable advice for approaching various obstacles in your path. This book is ideal whether you’re a new manager, a mentor, or a more experienced leader looking for fresh advice. Pick up this book and learn how to become a better manager and leader in your organization.
- Begin by exploring what you expect from a manager
- Understand what it takes to be a good mentor, and a good tech lead
- Learn how to manage individual members while remaining focused on the entire team
- Understand how to manage yourself and avoid common pitfalls that challenge many leaders
- Manage multiple teams and learn how to manage managers
- Learn how to build and bootstrap a unifying culture in teams
From the Publisher
How to Read This Book
This book is separated into chapters that cover increasing levels of management complexity. The first chapter describes the basics of how to be managed, and what to expect from a manager. The next two chapters cover mentoring and being a tech lead, which are both critical steps on the management path. For the experienced manager, these chapters have some notes on how you might approach managing people in these roles. The following four chapters talk about people management, team management, management of multiple teams, and managing managers. The last chapter on the management path, Chapter 8, is all about senior leadership.
For the beginning manager, it may be enough to read the first three or four chapters for now and skim the rest, returning when you start to face those challenges. For the experienced manager, you may prefer to focus on the chapters around the level that you’re currently struggling with. Interspersed throughout are sections with three recurring themes:
Ask the CTO
These are brief interludes to discuss a specific issue that tends to come up at each of the various levels.
Good Manager, Bad Manager
These sections cover common dysfunctions of engineering managers, and provide some strategies for identifying these bad habits and overcoming them. Each section is placed in the chapter/level that is most likely to correspond to the dysfunction, but these dysfunctions are often seen at every level of experience.
Starting in Chapter 4, I take some time to discuss challenging situations that might come up. Again, while these are roughly placed with the level that is most appropriate, you may find useful information in them regardless of your current level.
Chapter 9 is a bit of a wildcard, aimed at those trying to set up, change, or improve the culture of their team. While it was written from a perspective of a startup leader, I think that much of it will apply to those coming into new companies or running teams that need an uplift in their culture and processes.
More than an inspirational leadership book for a general-purpose audience, I wanted to write something worthy of the O’Reilly imprint, something you can refer back to over time in the same way you might refer to Programming Perl. Think of this book as a reference manual for engineering managers, a book focused on practical tips that I hope will be useful to you throughout your management career.
About the Author
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (May 2 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 241 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1491973897
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491973899
- Item weight : 360 g
- Dimensions : 15.24 x 1.3 x 22.86 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #15,688 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #7 in PMP Exam
- #15 in Human Resources Textbooks
- #16 in Software Design & Engineering Textbooks
- Customer Reviews:
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It focuses very specifically on the challenges of combining technical focus with leadership and/ or management, and steps through roles from hands-on development, through mentoring, tech lead and various levels of engineering manager all the way up to CTO. Along the way, it gives a realistic and well-thought-out sense of what these roles are (and are not), how they differ from lower roles and from subtly different roles at a similar level, and how to succeed at them.
The most interesting thing I took from it though was that the understanding you can gain about the hierarchy of technical leadership roles is useful at all levels, including what we would call "individual contributor" roles (i.e. doing technical work with no direct reports). Engineers at a relatively early stage in their careers can benefit from the first few chapters, which cover what to expect from your own manager, how to start mentoring and how to consider whether long-term you are more interested in management or technical tracks. Equally, having done some low-level management over the last couple of years and now seeking to return to more of a senior technical/ architecture role, I still found the later chapters (about senior tech management roles) fascinating, because I know that even if I never take on those exact roles, understanding the responsibilities and thought processes of those who have them will make me much more effective in working with them and advancing my own ideas.
It is a map of non engineering career moves in an engineering career.
It moves through many stages, however uncomfortable, an engineer may find themselves in. How to seek out more responsibility, how to just quietly test the water, or jump head first into a more senior role.
Too many engineers seem to move in senior positions now that simply haven't put the time in to understand the nuances of business, of people, and of social interaction on all levels. Just because you're an amazing python programmer shouldn't be a promotion to looking after the team.
All management should make their engineers read this who aspire to lead, no matter if in projects or with people.