Soft Skills Offer a Smooth Transition from IC to Management

Vijay Kothandaraman

Head of Engineering at VMware Inc.



I was streamlined into the manager position without proper mentorship when i transitioned from IC to Manager. Since i knew the team and the product really well, I wasn't feeling challenged enough as a manager, or that I had the right tools to take pride in this role.

Actions take

I decided to work for a new company, as a manager, in order to discover what skill sets were truly needed to bring to the table and likewise, what was still necessary for me to learn.

Lessons learned

  • As an IC you are evaluated on what you do as an engineer, most of which is under your control. When you move to management however, it is no longer about you. It becomes more about bringing the team together and enabling them by getting the best out of each individual. This is not a technical skill you can bring with you, but rather a soft skill you will have to learn to survive management.
  • Getting the best out of each engineer is an art or skill set that you need to develop. Receiving mentorship early on will help the transition.
  • Management is all about people, with the main goal being that the sum of all parts should be greater than the individual.
  • Get the trust of your engineers. Learn to be sounded by the people who are smarter than you, receiving them, rather than feeling intimidated.
  • Discover the strengths and weaknesses of each individual on your team. Use their strengths to build the team and the company.

Be notified about next articles from Vijay Kothandaraman

Vijay Kothandaraman

Head of Engineering at VMware Inc.

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementMentorship ProgramsPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthSkill Development

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