Helping a Good Developer Become a Legitimate Manager

Karthik Balakrishnan

President at Actual



When I worked at Coin one of my top priorities was to help my staff transition from engineers to managers. During this time I promoted a talented engineer to a manager's position. However, while he was qualified for the job, he lacked experience and did was not seen as a legitimate leader by his peers. During his first few months as a manager, he was useless.

Actions taken

He had to skill up, so we paired him with a skilled engineering manager. By doing so the new manager was able to turn to someone when he faced issues to get some help. After five to six months, the new manager was able to manage the team by himself.

Lessons learned

By pairing new managers with experienced ones, you can upskill them. We could tell the new manager was ready as the team acknowledged him as a legitimate manager, and he had made a mindset switch from a "dev who manages people" to "a manager knowing stuff about engineering".

Be notified about next articles from Karthik Balakrishnan

Karthik Balakrishnan

President at Actual

Leadership DevelopmentEngineering ManagementMentorship ProgramsTechnical ExpertiseCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentIndividual Contributor RolesStaff EngineerLeadership RolesEngineering Manager

Connect and Learn with the Best Eng Leaders

We will send you a weekly newsletter with new mentors, circles, peer groups, content, webinars,bounties and free events.


HomeCircles1-on-1 MentorshipBounties

© 2024 Plato. All rights reserved

LoginSign up