The Role of an Engineering Manager

It’s nice to be heard and asked how we’re doing, but that’s not always what engineers need from a manager. They need someone who can speak truth, challenge, and encourage them. Managers should understand the struggles of engineers and, hopefully, have been in their shoes before. They can help guide and point them in the right direction when they need guidance.

If engineers have to ask their manager to follow up with them on a goal and remind their manager of what they spoke about last time they met, then the manager is not doing their job.

Managers should foresee the next steps in the organization for their engineers and ask what they are doing to get there.

They should also ask what they are doing to help others less experienced climb up to where they are. When you lead, you grow. When you prepare for the next step in your organization, you do uncomfortable things that push you to your limits, then you grow. You need to look to those you can help as well as look up to those you want to be like.

We need managers that realize management isn’t merely about meeting with people, but what they do with that time to challenge those they are managing.

Set goals for yourself, think intentionally about where you want to be and how you want to accomplish these goals. Learn from others in the industry, pick the brains of those you want to be like in your org.

If you have a manager who challenges you, then great! It will be easier for you to accomplish your goals. If you have one that doesn’t, then tell them about your goals and hopefully they’ll help you along the way.

Either way, you’ll need to set goals and be intentional about your growth.