Plato Elevate Winter Summit has been announced (Dec 7th-8th)

🔥

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

Delegate successfully as a first time manager of Product Managers

24 November

Andrew Tsui, a Product Leader, works to build great teams that are independent, demonstrate mastery of their domain, and fully commit to their purpose.

Scaling Team
Building A Team
Delegate
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Psychological Safety
Cross-Functional Collaboration
New Manager
Andrew Tsui

Andrew Tsui

Director of Product at Startup

Building trust as a new Manager

23 November

Neelima Annam, Sr Director Information Technology at Outmatch, shares her insight into her growth path of evolving her management style to build trust.

Alignment
Personal Growth
Conflict Solving
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
New Manager
Neelima Annam

Neelima Annam

Sr. Director Information Technology at Outmatch HCM

How to Transition Into an Executive Role

9 November

Luis Villegas, Chief Technology Officer at Bungie, speaks on his experience working through the career ladder into an executive position.

Personal Growth
Delegate
Coaching / Training / Mentorship
Career Path
Luis Villegas

Luis Villegas

Chief Technology Officer at Bungie

Finding the Career Path for You

4 November

Joey Lei, Principal Product Manager at Kasten, shares how he reached the realization that he needed to pivot in his career path and changed course.

Managing Expectations
Personal Growth
Impact
Career Path
Joey Lei

Joey Lei

Principal Product Manager at Kasten

Gaining Experience to Transition Roles

4 November

Joey Lei, Principal Product Manager at Kasten, contributes his experience transitioning from an engineer to a Product Manager and gaining direct experience.

Alignment
Personal Growth
Delegate
Career Path
New Manager
Joey Lei

Joey Lei

Principal Product Manager at Kasten

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.