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3 keys to software engineering “management”

By John Lafleur 1 minute read

TL;DR: “Growing someone involves giving them tasks and challenges that push them just a little out of their comfort zone.” Very interesting article on Software Engineering ‘Management’

Lead and grow developers, don’t “manage” them.

  • Being a boss is making someone walk a plank. Being a leader is getting everyone to go swimming. In both cases people get wet, but only in the second case are they enjoying it.
  • Growing someone involves giving them tasks and challenges that push them just a little out of their comfort zone.


Align Careers and the Company

Some companies have an obvious career path. It’s worth talking to your team to see if their goals and the company path line up. If so that’s great and it’s easy for the both of you. If there isn’t an obvious fit, then either they will eventually leave or something will have to be created for them.

Create a Supportive Culture

  • To truly lead, you have to internalize a truth: no matter what, it’s your fault. Everything your team does wrong, it’s your fault. When they do things right, it’s on them (and on you), but if they are having issues it’s your fault.
  • Taking pro-active ownership of risks, failures, and problems is the type of behavior you want to model for them.
  • Once you’ve modeled this behavior yourself, hold other people to it as well. How do you do this? Grow them!



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