Back to resources

Understanding the Difference Between Working as a Technician and Working as a Manager

Career Path
New Manager

21 June, 2021

Vishal Verma
Vishal Verma

Engineering Manager at Netflix

Vishal Verma, Engineering Manager at Netflix, explains the leap of faith that transitioning into a leadership position can be as an engineer.

Problem

Since switching to management, I’ve come to realize how different leading others is compared to my more technically-minded role before. The traditional view is that you do good work, and, when you reach a senior level position, you step into those shoes in order to better serve others.

Now, having done so myself, I can’t help but to think that this approach is wrong. It’s an entirely different job. If you don’t have training in management, it tends to not work out well.

Actions taken

I now devote a lot of energy into improving in this area, trying not to rest on my laurels day-to-day. You need to understand people and their motivations, what brings a group together and why some people decide to take on a certain line of work. What is each individual looking to get out of their position?

Bringing a team together yourself in order to achieve a goal is a skill all on its own. There is a technical know-how about it to be acquired. My own personal style tends to be more mission-focused. If you have a clearly-defined mission, like-minded people will latch on easily. It then becomes much easier to motivate them forward. Obviously, the world is not always so simple. We may think that we understand a mission, but the goal exists on many different levels.

Lessons learned

  • It’s never about getting people together and telling them what to do. At my company, we really do stress the importance of changing the world positively. If you’re able to describe some way of doing this clearly, it inspires the people working with you.
  • When you lead in this way, people take on responsibilities that often go unsaid. Being there every day just to tell people what to do is a leadership style that does not scale. If your intentions are clear and good, your team will fall into place naturally. They will do the right thing and use their best judgement.

Discover Plato

Scale your coaching effort for your engineering and product teams
Develop yourself to become a stronger engineering / product leader


Related stories

A Day in the Life of a Product Lead in FinTech – A Series

31 January

Discover the daily struggles, challenges, and moments of delight encountered when delivering banking products around the world. I will share my story candidly and honestly, without filter as much as I am allowed, and offer insights into my approach while providing retrospectives of the results.

Strategy
Embracing Failures
Cultural Differences
Career Path
Loussaief Fayssal

Loussaief Fayssal

Director of CX at FLF PRODUCT DESIGN

Ten quotes from Adam Grant relevant while dealing with layoff

27 January

Layoffs are tough. Dealing with situation we go through different emotions. First is disbelief, followed by anger, leading to frustration and finally accepting the news. Following quotes seemed relevant to review and again a perspective as we pass through hard times

Career Path
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

I was passed for Promotion. What now ?

26 January

Passing for promotion happens to everyone in their career lifespan. If someone does not had to go through the situation, consider them they are unique and blessed. Managing disappointment and handling situations in professional setting when things don’t pan out, is an important life skill.

Changing A Company
Handling Promotion
Feelings Aside
Feedback
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Fairness
Career Path
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

15 Tips to improve profile discovery on LI

20 January

Recently, I have read the book ‘Linked’ from Omar Garriott and Jeremy Schifeling on audible. The audio book is 7 hours long. If you dont’ have time or need a brief summary, read on

Hiring
Changing Company
Career Path
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan

The art of Happiness

20 January

Happiness is a choice. Our upbringing and the surroundings have made it conditional. The first step is to get over the hump is self-awareness. Self-awareness is a journey by itself. The ability to identify what we can control, and we can’t is important.

Personal Growth
Career Path
Health / Stress / Burn-Out
Praveen Cheruvu

Praveen Cheruvu

Senior Software Engineering Manager at Anaplan