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The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,530 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Managing people is difficult wherever you work. But in the tech industry, where management is also a technical discipline, the learning curve can be brutal-especially when there are few tools, texts, and frameworks to help you. In this practical guide, author Camille Fournier (tech lead turned CTO) takes you through each stage in the journey from engineer to technical mana ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Shroff / O'Reilly
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4.36  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,530 ratings  ·  150 reviews


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Yevgeniy Brikman
This book does a good job of walking you through the typical career path of a software engineer, from individual contributor all the way up to senior executive. It's a great read for all programmers and not just managers. In fact, if you're still early in your career, you'll find this book especially valuable, as it's a great outline of what to expect later in your career, and some of the things you can do to accelerate your growth.

A few of my favorite insights from the book:

* As you move from
...more
Rod Begbie
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having grown from being an engineer to manager to startup founder, this is probably the best book I’ve read on the topic of technical leadership and management, and one I wish I’d had available to me a decade ago! All those hard lessons I got from screwing up and learning from my mistakes could have been skipped if Camille’s book had existed then!

Though that dreaded word “manager” is in the title, it is not purely valuable to those who have a strong desire to engage in people management. Part of
...more
Vicki
May 07, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I'm somewhere between individual contributor and management in my career right now (mentoring and, at times, technical lead,) so this book was of interest to me.

I hate to say that this book was disappointing because I enjoy following the author on Twitter and have enjoyed lots of her clear, well-written blog posts about management and technical strategy, particularly ones like "how do individual contributors get stuck".

I think this book essentially tried to stretch those blog posts into an en
...more
Leonardo Andreucci
The best book about management in software development I have ever read! A must read for managers and highly recommended even for individual contributors. It has helped me enormously!
Amar Pai
I still don’t get what a CTO does
Rômulo Oliveira
I recommend this book to anyone involved with software engineering management, from individual contributors - willing or not to a managing career move - to senior managers.

It gives a clear view and show countless real life situtations, from first level to CTO, with a perspective of who had experiencied all of it.

Whether or not you are looking for a management career, we as software engineers are going to live most (if not all) of the situtations described in each chapter, directly or indirectly.
...more
Vinayak Hegde
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech-programming
Extremely well written book that takes you through the career progression of a software engineer to managing a small team to VP Engineering and CTO. It talks about the roles and responsibilities of each stage of the technical as well as the techno-managerial career.

The book illustrates the various situations that you will face when you navigate your career through a product startup. Several situations and their solutions resonated with me as I have faced them myself. This is a book written by so
...more
Stephanie
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first "career" book and it was better than I expected. This is great even for non-managers if you happen to land a copy of this because of the chapters devoted to being a great IC and Tech Lead. It has concise advice supplemented by stories about different stages of an engineer's career for those on the manager track all the way up to the top.

Sidenote: I didn't finish as I stopped where it was relevant to my career, but still am considering this finished (for now).
Simon Eskildsen
Good book on the software engineering relevant parts of leadership. The author is well-read in management and leadership and seeks to supplement the existing works with a book more focused on the parts unique to software engineering. I think she does a good job pointing out the differences and similarities, but I wasn't blown away. I wish there wouldn't been more focus on managing projects, communicating with stakeholders, and prioritizing at the project-level. If you manage people and you're in ...more
Douglas Zuniga
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is one of those must read books not only for those persuing a career in management but for those who day to day have to "deal" with a manager. Topics from what makes a good manager to what can a team member expect from that role.
G. Hussain
Aug 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a book I give to all engineers and agitators who want people to do better and might see management as needing improvement - by them becoming managers (or at least having a managerial attitude).
Arkajit Dey
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book 6 stars, I would. I rarely buy books, but I bought this one and am glad I did. The book is structured very well, following the career path of a technical employee from being an individual engineer all the way to the upper levels of senior technical management. I found it useful in understanding what the the management job is like at various stages of a typical career and what makes a good manager at each level — the answer, as you might expect, varies and changes with e ...more
Maurício Linhares
Camille's book on tech management is spot on, starts pointing out the basics of management, how tech management differs from management in other fields and the many levels you can find yourself (tech lead, manager, engineering manager, VP and CTO) and stuff you should worry about at all these levels.

She covers day to day work, stuff you will most likely face, problems along the road, ways to perform self evaluation, collect feedback, find blind spots (yeah, you'll figure out people don't tell yo
...more
Sebastian Perez Saaibi
Camille takes you through an exercise in empathy, clarification and understanding of what technical management entails. As a former technical co-founder and a current manager, this book has been instrumental in understanding the expectations and challenges at each level of seniority on the tech growth ladder. I'm excited about contributing to this content with my own journey. Thanks Camille!
Mindaugas Mozūras
A great book on navigating a career path from Individual Contributor to Manager. Doesn't go into depth on any topic, but provides a good overview. I'm adding to the list of recommendations for new tech leads. The full list:

- The Pragmatic Programmer
- The Effective Engineer

- Peopleware
- The Manager's Path

- High Output Management
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team

- The Elements of Style
- Crucial Conversations
Lei
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read! Easy to get into and full of pragmatic advice and relatable challenges. I loved the actionable and immediate nature of the things Camille talked about. I found myself highlighting passages and jotting down notes throughout and even picked up a few practices I've already rolled into my day-to-day.
Tsvetomir
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s a nice book which walks you throug the career ladder of a sofware development company. The book includes a lot of practical advices for people just starting a job on specific position. I think it’s also useful for people who run their own companies and look for inspiration about building a company culture.

I enjoyed reading it and found some pieces of good advice.
Michael
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
A fantastic take on the world of tech management and progression within. I found myself completely empathising with the parts I've personally experienced and nodding along at common mistakes that I've made or experienced. Would recommend to any software engineer.
Andrew Anderson
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: management
The best management book for someone in software that I have read to date. The author walks through the various levels of leadership and illustrates how they build on each other, sharing useful anecdotes and helpful advice the entire way through.

Clear, concise, and not at all self-aggrandizing (which tends to be an issue in management books).
Olena Sovyn
Sep 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quite opinionated book, but still contains a lot of great insights. Definitely worth reading
Jeffrey
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic book. I learned a ton and have been putting lessons into practice. There's plenty of fodder for future roles to have me coming back.
Eric Mannes
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Useful even though I'm neither a manager nor primarily a software engineer.
Mathias Meyer
Feb 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mngmnt, ldrshp
I've given this book five stars before and will do it again reading it a second time around. This time I have more practical use in a new role for what Camille is writing about. This book is the "High Output Management" for engineering managers, that's how high I'm rating this one!
Owen
Mar 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Useful advice through the steps of an engineering manager's development

I've tried many times to read books of advice for managers, and this is the first I've read that reflected my own experience as well as feeling concrete enough to be useful, rather than filled with management platitudes.

I love the fact that the author explicitly focuses on TECHNICAL management and the challenges inherent to leading groups of engineers. I also enjoyed the framing as a progression, with relevant advice for each
...more
Julie
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, professional
This book was really useful to me as someone more interested in the technical leadership track than the people management track. The early chapters covered content useful to the track I'm interested in. The later chapters helped improve my understanding of how various levels of leadership work at tech companies and the various benefits/struggles/tradeoffs/etc., which are useful for better understanding and empathizing with both my immediate manager and people farther up the reporting chain.

I re
...more
Xavier Shay
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Didn't get a heap personally out of it (not surprising, have read A LOT in this area), but good summary and I've already started a) quoting sections to people, and b) recommending to new managers. Much better, more focused, and relevant for new eng manager than something like High Output Management.

Wanasit Tanakitrungruang
I don't know if this book could be the "Programming Pearl" for engineering management. The practicality of the lessons in this book remains to be seen with time.

However, reading this book as a new manager did make me think of reading "Programming Pearl" when I started being a programmer.
Eduardo
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: take-advice
I began to see a lot of recommendations about this book, even before it went live.
I'm on the manager's path and decided to read it after getting a bunch of good references.

I rarely give a 5 stars to a book but this one definitely deserves them.
I think its very well structured with a clear and defined path through the experience of the writer.
Starting from the beginnings of a managerial carrier out of a software engineer to the rise of a CTO.
Full of, to my view, great pieces of advice, references
...more
John
Sep 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Camille Fournier's book The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change is a wonderful guide to understanding the different roles and processes in engineering leadership. If you're in an engineering organization and have wondered about the distribution of responsibility, how and why different people do different things, and how to set up or change your organization: Read it. Some people may want to read this book because it delves into questions such as "what is a tech ...more
Michał Płachta
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book has a lot of content that is categorized in well-thought manner. It is targeted at engineers who want to pursuit management path - from mentors to CTOs. You definitely need to have some experience in the lower management to appreciate advice in the book, especially later chapters. It’s eye opening to see what kind of problems senior managers are struggling with. Author does decent job in delivering the problem descriptions and potential solutions, but more story-based approach would mak ...more
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For the 19thC gynaecologist, see Camille Fournier.

Camille Fournier is the former chief technology officer of Rent The Runway and former vice president of technology at Goldman Sachs.

“As you go through various stages of your career, you’ll start to realize how much uncertainty there is in the world. It’s a pretty universal truth that once you get the job you thought you wanted, the enjoyment eventually fades and you find yourself looking for something else. You think you want to work for that cool startup, and you get there only to find it’s a mess. You think you want to be a manager, only to discover that the job is hard and not rewarding in the ways you expected. In all of this uncertainty, the only person you can rely on to pull through it is yourself.” 2 likes
“Humans, by and large, feel good when they set small goals and meet them regularly.” 0 likes
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