What is Principal Engineer role?

A principal engineer usually means one of the most experienced individual contributors in the organisation. It’s an ultimate step in the engineer career ladder that gives great recognition for folks in that role but also the highest expectations for their performance. Being principal engineer is not an easy task and...

Changing a manager as Engineering Manager

I changed managers recently. The reorganisation in my org slightly changed the north star vision for my group and also changed which engineering director is my manager. I totally underestimated how much energy it will cost and decided to write down the observations and lessons to be better prepared next...

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Top 10 books for every software engineering manager

When I moved into the management world from being a software engineer, I quickly realised two huge surprises that I wasn’t expecting. First, the length of the feedback cycle is measured in months instead of minutes. I can’t run the code against my tests and check if my management decisions...

Tips on managing team with long running pressure or incident

A few months ago, I was involved in one of the longest-running incidents we ever had at Intercom. Even though I wasn’t involved in managing or leading the work to mitigate the incident, I was people manager for a few folks from the core team and learned a few lessons...

From reactive to proactive Engineering Manager

Peter Drucker said in Effective Executive that manager’s time belongs to everyone. As Engineering Manager, you always prioritise enabling your team to be more productive. You act as a glue, filling the gaps that you see when others can’t see them yet. And that’s good - that’s what your...