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Helping Engineers On Their Career Path

Massimiliano Pippi

Agent and Integrations Team Lead at Datadog

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Problem

"As an engineering manager, I held a one-on-one with one of my team members. He had been working at Datadog for a longer time than me and had been disappointed when I was promoted before him, as he felt he wasn't receiving recognition for his work. If you are willing to step up and be seen, it can be relatively simple to get promoted. However, some engineers, who work really hard but never say a word, can get overlooked for their louder or more visible colleagues."

Actions taken

"As a manager, it's your role to go back to your team member to encourage them to step up to get a raise or a promotion. I was really happy that my team member had finally opened up to me about wanting to see his work recognized, because I could start developing an official plan for his career path. We worked through the requirements to become a senior software engineer and it became quite clear that he should be in this role. However, one the requirements for being a senior software engineer was that they had taken leadership over something and he had never really done this. I had a huge task that was about to start. I love taking on these tasks, as they are challenging and fun, and provide visibility. However, it felt right to give the project to this engineer. I gave him all of the tools I use, and told him to tell me if he needed more resources. He took responsibility for the entire project, and while it was late in being delivered, this was not his fault - the task was huge, so we had to put aside some other projects to deliver the main one. After we closed and scored the OKR's for Q1, I asked him to write a follow-up paragraph on that project so that he would get visibility. While it hasn't happened yet, his resume should now be enough to get the engineer promoted to a senior software engineer level."

Lessons learned

"It's a manager's role to help his team move up to the next level in their career. The team doesn't work for you, you should work for the team. I could have taken the project, as I would have enjoyed it, but by working for my team member, I was able to help give them a step up."


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Massimiliano Pippi

Agent and Integrations Team Lead at Datadog


Leadership & StrategyEngineering LeadershipLeadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyDecision MakingCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementTeam & Project Management

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