The Role of a VP of Engineering

Personal growth
Meetings
Motivation
Succession Planning
Career Path
Productivity
Dev Processes
Coaching / Training / Mentorship

28 November, 2018

Bruno Miranda explains the role that the VP of engineering plays on the team.

Problem

There have been questions about the duties and responsibilities of a VP of Engineering. I did some research and talked to people smarter than me and came up with a non-comprehensive list of responsibilities that I believe the VP of Engineering needs to keep close to their heart.

Actions taken

VPs are typically measured by how well their team is doing and engineering is no exception to that rule. How productive a team depends greatly on how happy and motivated they are. A leader can't make a team productive by simply asking people to work harder. If you're going into a VPE role, your number one priority is to ensure everyone on your team has what they need to get the work done. It helps to listen to your team's needs as opposed to making changes right off the bat. This will ensure that you adequately optimize the process and produce high-quality deliverables. Most simple problems will be solved before you even hear about them, however, it is likely you will need to deal with the hairy ones. Never sweep those under the rug. It is also the VPEs job to channel the team's inherent values in a concise, digestible format. If your team is new and does not yet have values defined, you'll have to work with them to define them. The job requires you to be highly technical, able to architecture software solutions and build out infrastructure. With that being said, you must still code. If your team is larger than a dozen people, you'll probably want to avoid taking on very large features but keep both feet in. It is very important that you stay in touch with reality, write tests, write code, deploy services and fix bugs. You will need to stay up with those skills in order to help others solve complex technical problems without keeping a finely honed skill set. Your job as a VPE is to help others succeed. This is partially self-explanatory. One aspect that can not be forgotten is that the VPEs job is also to enable auxiliary departments within the research and development realm. The process of building software goes beyond writing code. A lot of collaboration happens between data, product, ops, and QA teams. Your job is to ensure communication is flowing smoothly in all directions. Having regular one-on-ones with all team members will help you collect enough insight to be able to help. It is also important to keep your team motivated and inspire others. Listening to and fostering other's ideas is the best way to motivate.

Lessons learned

Invest in people. The success of your team and products is closely tied to how happy, productive and motivated your team is. Investing time and attention to listen, provide resources and guidance to your team. This will have a huge impact on the success of the company. Source: https://blog.brunomiranda.com/the-role-of-a-vp-of-engineering-648a09a3ad56


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