Our pick of must-read articles for engineering leaders this month.
Whether you’re about to start a new Staff+ role, or you’re still figuring out whether the individual contributor or managerial track are right for you, here are five career-boosting articles you need to read from August on LeadDev.
1. Amy Unger, How to set yourself up for success in your new Staff+ role
You’ve made it to the staff plus level, now what? In this article, Amy Unger shares seven ways to prepare for your first day on the job, from building context around why the role was open and why you were hired, to taking ownership of that problem. Follow Amy’s advice and you’ll be delivering maximum value from day one.
2. Sarah Drasner, How to streamline your processes as an engineering manager
Managing a busy team can feel like a race against the clock. But, as Sarah Drasner explains, many of your weekly tasks are repetitive, and therefore reproducible. By setting up these processes with care – such as using standardized meeting templates, writing handbooks, and managing team calendars – you can start optimizing your time so you can spend it where it counts: with your people.
3. Jason Lengstorf, Engineering manager or individual contributor: Which path is right for you?
Choosing between the individual contributor or managerial career track can be a big, difficult decision for software engineers. How can you be sure that a certain type of work will be fulfilling in the long term? Here, Jason Lengstorf shares practical exercises to help you make the right call, from keeping an activity journal to track how certain tasks make you feel, to plotting your current work on a career fulfillment matrix.
4. James Stanier, How to successfully onboard remote engineering staff in four weeks
When James Stanier accepted a new fully remote engineering role at Shopify, he was prepared for a challenging onboarding experience, so he was pleasantly surprised to discover that he had nothing to worry about. In this article, he walks us through the details of the company’s four-week remote onboarding process, and shares tips for building a similar process of your own.
5. Gina Trapani, Three proven strategies for presenting to busy people (like your boss!)
I’m sure many of you have presented an idea to senior leaders and sensed they weren’t giving you their full attention. Here, Gina Trapani, CEO of Postlight, explains why these folks are showing up to meetings distracted, and offers practical advice for communicating up the chain. Her secret to holding the attention of senior decision makers? Set the stage and drive towards clear takeaways, brevity is always better, and focus on the why.