Staying Technical

We used to see them all the time, before we knew the signs and started to avoid them. Engineers who had moved into management, turned architect, been CTOs and VPs for so long they didn’t know how to program any more. Long-time technical managers. Directors of engineering. And then, of course, at some point you […]

The Cardinal Sin

There are lots of ways to fail. There are plenty of ways to annoy and frustrate your coworkers. And I’m not saying that these are small change, but there’s one sin that’s usually pretty easy to spot and almost always an indication of future failure. And yet, we sometimes let these people onto our teams […]

Kihon, Kata, and Kumite

In a recent post, I spent a couple of paragraphs describing how you might help a new manager learn how to manage people, and came up with a combination of incredibly banal advice (“buy donuts!”) and vague and unhelpful handwaving (“people are different”). This bothered me, so I wanted to sit down and attack the […]

Managing managers

For the past couple of years, I’ve split my time between managing individual contributors and technical managers. This is my first time doing the latter, and while I can’t claim deep experience, I’ve learned a lot, and thought I’d put down my personal, highly idiosyncratic, in-no-way universal take on the subject. Think of it as […]