Engineering Manager Readme
Being a Team Lead requires more than tech skills: you interact daily with people and it is quite challenging building stronger relationships and improving employees onboarding. The following document is my People Lead Readme (sometimes known as Manager Readme), where I talk about me and I share my expectations on people and on the product.
This document is an extended introduction to what I value and believe in as a team leader and software developer. It is also a quick introduction about myself and how I work.
- This document doesn’t replace getting to know each other through 1:1s and day-to-day chats. As I said before, it is an introduction.
- This document applies only to me, and in no way should be considered to apply to any other team lead or manager at Thinkific – even though we think in similar ways sometimes.
- If you feel like I am not acting like I describe here, please let me know.
- If you are curious why this document exists in the first place: there is a newsletter called SoftwareLeadWeekly (recommended) and managers share their own readme’s there. After seeing several documents, I decided to write my own.
As a team leader, I work for you and my other direct reports, by:
- Providing context so you and others can be successful, connecting the dots between the company needs and what the individual needs (career growth);
- Mentoring individual contributors in technologies or business logic that I am familiar with.
Don’t feel like you are stealing my time when you want to talk. Helping you is definitely my job (and one of my top priorities)
1:1s are your dedicated time and place to ask me anything and everything. It is your time. If you having nothing to ask, you can use this time for guidance, context, venting, feedback or anything you want to discuss.
I have a few suggestions on how to have a good 1:1:
- Take notes about what do you want to talk along the month. It is difficult remembering everything that happened in one month. I may have things to cover but your topics are the priority.
- If you don’t know what to talk, I recommend reading How to Prepare for a One-on-One Meeting as an Employee. There is no reason for being shy since what we discuss is private.
- Urgent topics must not wait for a 1:1. Send a message and let’s talk.
- I am available in the office generally between 9 AM and 5 PM. You will know via the Work From Home calendar if I am working from home (usually on Thursdays). We have an open WFH policy and if you are at home please let us know.
- I value being on time. We are flexible about when/where you work but attending to events like Town Halls and Stand-ups is not optional. You should be present – unless you have a legitimate reason.
- I tend to speak a bit louder and it sounds aggressive sometimes. It is not my intention and when you feel I crossed the line, let me know.
- I work with headphones because it helps me to concentrate and I like to listen to the radio/music/podcasts. Sending me a message is probably better than calling my name / tapping my shoulders.
- By the way, sending a message with a brief context of what you want to discuss helps me a lot. I help/work with different people/projects/codebases and as many information you give me in advance as easy is for me to provide what you need.
- I may not have all the answers that you need. Sometimes I need to dig the codebase or go for a walk to give you a better answer.
- Depending on how do you know a particular area or technology, I really expect that you tell me what is your plan, instead of waiting for me to offer a way for you.
- I prefer to receive feedback that is actionable and in private.
I wrote my first lines of HTML when I was 12. For a few years, I coded for fun until finding a way to do it full time. I moved to Vancouver / Canada in 2015. A few random facts:
- I have a reactive Shih-Tzu called Bento.
- I have a small collection of Macs / iDevices, including a Macintosh Plus from 1987.