What is the EM aka Engineering Manager role?

Posted on Thu 15 September 2022 in Leadership

The following can be summarized as getting things done and the supporting activities that enable a high performing team environment:

  • Business Impact - Clear business metrics and working towards ambitious goals
  • Team Health - Team members are engaged and complement each other in achieving common goals autonomously
  • Productivity - MVP mindset, continuous improvements of team ways of working
  • Systems Health - Defining and delivering towards clear metrics and SLOs
  • Stakeholder Happiness - Managing dependencies and expectations, building trust with all stakeholders and delivering on commitments.

Product, tech and strategy:

  • Excellent execution
  • Product partnership
  • Impact outside your team
  • Influence the roadmap
  • Be comfortable with uncertainty
  • Grow a successor
  • Deliver business impact

Core skills for engineering leadership:

  • Developing teams
    • People leadership
    • Building culture
    • Hiring and staffing
    • Tackling difficult conversations
    • Remedying underperformance
  • Personal development
    • Managing up and influencing
    • Managing across peers
    • Managing below
  • Technical
    • Tech acumen
    • Ability to deliver
    • Business impact

As a manager and leader, you’ll coach and develop the team, providing regular feedback, and helping each individual to learn, grow and develop their career.

You’ll work closely with product managers, design, and engineers to influence product direction, always keeping quality and the experience of developers top-of-mind with a relentless focus on excellence in user experience.

You’ll help shape an environment of psychological safety which values experimentation and continuous learning.

You’ll influence and provide feedback on the organizational culture and processes, always looking for opportunities to improve in a continuous pursuit for excellence.

How to evaluate Engineering Managers?

  • Execution: Does the team delivery consistently?
  • Team development: Team growth, scope, problems and challenges solved
    • People management: Attrition, retention, promotions
    • Strategic vision for team growth
    • Organisational influence: hiring, interviews, hackdays, foss fridays