EM should code or not?

Posted on Sun 16 April 2023 in Leadership

An EM's job description and expectations vary from company to company.

Should an EM know how to code?

Offcourse Yes!

As part of the job description and day to day work - should an EM be expected to code?

I would say No, because there is so much an EM will have to do and cannot find the time to commit lines of code.

While it is very important for an EM to be technical, writing code as part of the day job however may not be feasible.

I have written a post about Debugging the EM role.

As an EM, my day is usually filled with meetings. Here's a post about my EM Habits.

I do block my calendars for focus time and get work done. But meetings involve

  • 1:1s with the team
  • Growing the team
  • Business, stakeholder management and expectations alignment
  • Setting up the team for success

This post is inspired by this https://www.scarletink.com/why-engineering-managers-dont-need-to-code/.

Every engineering team needs an educated and practical leader to negotiate with various stakeholders. That person needs to earn trust with multiple teams.

It is hard to do that job while coding.

Engineering teams don't need an expert engineer to solve disagreements. They need their leader to listen, and help them find common ground.