As an engineer, you’re probably working on climbing the career ladder. Have you considered the path you're currently taking and whether it's actually the one you'd like to pursue? In this article, VP of Developer Experience at Netlify, Jason Lengstorf lays out the pros and cons of each path.

Engineering manager or individual contributor: Which path is right for you?

Before transitioning to management, make sure this is the right path for you and your career.


Before we dive into this important topic, let's first unpack what an engineering manager role typically entails and the reasons to (or not to) make the leap.

Reasons to step into a leadership role (and the reasons not to)

Technology leader Pat Kua is here to guide you through your first steps into leadership.

What is an Engineering Manager? Making the step up from lead engineer

This fulfilling role takes you a step beyond a lead engineer. Here's how to best showcase your skills to land it.

Three skills to develop before becoming an engineering leader

Now you know that you want to become a manager, it's important to cultivate a mix of technical, people, and business skills to get on the progression path.

Six ways to become a better manager

Addy Osmani explains how engineering managers rise by lifting others up and helping them succeed.

How to scale as a new engineering leader

In this talk from LeadDev Austin in 2019, Poornima Vijayashanker shares a framework for scaling yourself and building a self-sufficient team.

The Manager’s Path: Camille Fournier in conversation

Watch our interview with Camille Fournier, author of the popular book The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change.

Career development for engineering managers

Charity Majors provides insight into continuing your career development as a manager.

Charity Majors speaking at LeadDev Berlin 2022

Learnings from my first 90 days as an engineering manager

Your first few months as a new manager are vital. Here, Yenny Cheung unpacks her biggest lessons from the first 90 days as a new manager.

Five things I wish I knew before becoming an engineering manager

Bruno Show picks the most important things to know before stepping into a management position.

Borrowing lines from great leaders around you

Lara Hogan is here to help you take note of leaders’ unique approaches and phrases in meetings.

LeadingEng - Lara Hogan

Everything you need to know transitioning from IC to manager

Don't underestimate how much your life is about to change. Robin Gupta explains why it's better to be prepared before making this transition.

Four mistakes I made as a new manager

As a young software engineer, AbdulFattah Popoola assumed managers spent every minute of their days running meetings and tracking projects. He was wrong.

Further reading

That should get you started on the path towards engineering management, but here’s some further reading to help you get there.

3 habits to thrive in your first engineering leadership role, by Pat Kua.
Advice for the reluctant new manager, by Camille Fournier.
The invisible song of engineering leadership, by Nick Means.
Should engineering managers be technical?, by Charity Majors.
You’re not just a manager, you’re also a boss, by Amy Newell.
The 8 flavours of engineering management, by Yenny Cheung.
Management isn’t a promotion, by Chloe Cota and Sabeen Syed.
What to expect going from IC to engineering manager, by Milly Rowett.
Becoming an engineering manager: autonomy equals responsibility, by José Caldeira.