Software documentation in growing companies

Maintaining functional and correct architecture documentation for your product is basically an unsolved problem. There are companies where this is critical and rooted in compliance regulations - like aviation - and they do it right, but at a high cost. Architecture documentation is quickly outdated, and in fast-growing companies, the...

Learnings from Nonviolent Communication

I just finished reading Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg. From the very beginning, I had this feeling that I should have read it a few years ago. I am so impressed by its simplicity in comparison to the value it brings that I decided to write a few minutes...

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I post every 2-3 weeks and always with lessons related to software engineering managers. I won't use your email in any other way!

7 lessons on being Group Engineering Manager

Everyone knows this common mantra - when you start being an Engineering Manager, you are a junior and need to learn everything from scratch. I believe that’s very similar when you start managing managers - either by being Group Engineering Manager or Director of Engineering. You bring years of experience...

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...

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...

Best relationship between product and engineering manager

If you are the Engineering Manager in the team and have Product Manager partner to pair with, you should consider yourself lucky! That’s the best situation you can be in if you are leading the team. Your partnership can have one of three results on your team: create a...

5 tips on running better 1:1s

One on one meetings (1:1s) are the most important meeting you can have with your direct reports. It’s really hard to do a good job in just one blog post describing how to run 1:1s. They are just a tool towards a goal much greater than just a meeting -...