login


Google Sign inLinkedIn Sign in

Don't have an account? 

Bootcamp Graduate to Engineering Manager

Leadership
Diversity
Handling Promotion
Career Path
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Hiring

9 April, 2018

Jack Danger talks about the positives of hiring an Engineering Manager with junior development skills but with previous experience in management from non-tech related companies.

Problem

I was working with a team as a contractor because they were short on leadership. The team had grown to a size where they really needed an engineering manager. They didn't have anybody available who had been an Engineering Manager before, and they were struggling to find anybody externally.

Actions taken

The company found someone who was a relatively junior developer, who had just nine months of developing experience. She had previously worked as a manager at other companies, such as a cafe. In addition, she had coached a soccer team for a number of years. When she was hired, she was considered to be very junior. However, it became apparent that she was, in fact, the best leader in her division, and that she may suit an Engineering Manager role. They put her in the role and told her that she was in charge of crafting the team and didn't give her any history around how tech companies usually form teams. Her managerial experience from non-tech related fields was actually her strength. She always made sure there was a strong team identity, the team was protected from negative external things happening in the company, and she was extremely rigorous at producing great documentation on both the systems and the team's processes. She made sure everybody had a position and a clear role. By ensuring everyone had a clear sense of the role they played in the team, she was able to make people feel like they had a purpose. She also asked everybody in the team to spend one day a week, until they were done, creating tutorials for every piece of software they used. This information was used for onboarding, and it allowed her team to offer the dream onboarding experience to new hires.

Lessons learned

The promotion of this woman to a managerial role was a huge success - in part because she was ignorant of the conventional practices tech firms follow. The tech team she led had a lot of fun and shipped incredibly efficiently. There are skills in leadership that can be learned about from outside of a technology field. I now look to hire coding bootcamp grads who have previous leadership experience, as those are the people I want to promote and move into management positions.


Related stories

Helping Engineers Transition from an IC to a Manager Role
2 July

Namrata Ganatra, CTO at Lambda School, delves into all aspects of helping engineers transition from an IC to a manager role.

Personal growth
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Namrata Ganatra

Namrata Ganatra

CTO at Lambda School

Recruitment and Interview Rotas: the Engineers’ Way
30 June

Jeff Foster, Head of Product Engineering, explains how engineers at his organization self-managed their taking part in the interviewing process.

Hiring
Collaboration
Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster

Head of Product Engineering at Redgate

A New Job as a VP of Engineering: A Lesson in Trust and Collaboration
30 June

Pierre Bergamin, VP of Engineering at Assignar, recalls his own transition to a leadership role in a new company and how he made everything smoother by embracing trust, delegating work and encouraging collaboration.

New Manager of Manager
Changing company
Leadership
Pierre Bergamin

Pierre Bergamin

VP of Engineering at Assignar

Deciding on a New Manager: What Really Matters
30 June

Jose Pettoruti, Director of Engineering at CurrencyCloud, explains what he considers when deciding on a new manager.

Hiring
Jose Pettoruti

Jose Pettoruti

Director of Engineering at CurrencyCloud

How to Identify Root Cause of an Application Failure
30 June

Murali Bala, Director, Software Engineering at Capital One, outlines how he applied a root cause analysis to fix a recurring outage of their website.

Dev Processes
Leadership
Productivity
Murali Bala

Murali Bala

Director, Software Engineering at Capital One

You're a great engineer.
Become a great engineering leader.

Plato (platohq.com) is the world's biggest mentorship platform for engineering managers & product managers. We've curated a community of mentors who are the tech industry's best engineering & product leaders from companies like Facebook, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Gusto, and more.