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Transitioning from Technical Roles to Leadership

Deekshita Amaravadi

Engineering Leader at Justworks

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Transitioning from Technical Roles to Leadership

In this article, we will explore the challenges and opportunities of transitioning from a technical role to an engineering leadership position. We will draw insights from a conversation between two top-tier engineers, discussing their experiences and perspectives on this transition.

The Importance of Embracing Change

One of the engineers reflects on the recent changes in their organization, noting the ambiguity and uncertainty that comes with it. They emphasize the need to adapt and embrace change, stating, "Change is good. Anything is better than the position we were in before where our team was used as a hammer for any nail that popped up."

Navigating the Transition

The engineers discuss the challenges of transitioning from a technical role to a leadership position. They acknowledge the need to let go of old identities and embrace new opportunities. One engineer shares their experience of moving from a technical role to a data analytics position, stating, "It's interesting to get back into it. Not as a data analyst, but in a leadership capacity. It's an opportunity to partially reinvent myself."

Seeking Mentorship and Growth

The engineers discuss the importance of mentorship and personal growth in their careers. One engineer expresses their desire to become a better mentor and help a software engineer on their team grow into a senior role. They seek guidance on how to navigate this mentorship process and how to approach their manager about it.

Overcoming Fear and Taking Initiative

The engineers acknowledge the fear and hesitation that can come with taking on new responsibilities and seeking growth opportunities. They encourage each other to overcome these fears and take initiative. One engineer shares their experience of being hesitant to bring up their interest in a new role, only to later realize that they missed an opportunity. They emphasize the importance of being direct and clear with managers about career goals and aspirations.

Next Steps

The engineers plan to continue their discussion in the next session, focusing on mentorship and how to effectively guide and support the growth of a software engineer. They also consider the possibility of a role play scenario to further explore this topic.

In conclusion, transitioning from a technical role to a leadership position requires embracing change, seeking mentorship, and taking initiative. It is important to overcome fear and communicate openly with managers about career goals and aspirations. By doing so, engineers can navigate this transition successfully and continue to grow in their careers.


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Deekshita Amaravadi

Engineering Leader at Justworks


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