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

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  3,523 ratings  ·  323 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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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
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 it 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
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!
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
Amar Pai
I still don’t get what a CTO does
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
Sebastian Gebski
Don't get discouraged by introductory tech lead chapters - these seem like written a bit "without inspiration". In fact, there are at least few better books for people who just start leading tech teams - e.g. Pat Kua's "Talking with tech leads". But Fournier's book gets significantly better once it reaches relatively less explored areas - managing technical managers, managing several teams, differentiating among various higher level technical management roles, becoming CTO.

Recommended read if yo
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Jacques Bezuidenhout
I listened to the audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed the whole book.

This book didn't bring ground breaking / earth shattering new information to the table. But it highlighted all those little nuggets of areas you would have to deal with in various stages of your career. I kept on thinking "Exactly, I've dealt with that". She hits the nail on the head most of the time.
Other times she highlights important areas that you've forgotten/neglected and clearly states why it is important.

Reading some revie
...more
Ieva Gr
Was it easy to read: Sort of. The language is not complicated at all. But each chapter is intended for a person in a certain position. So chapters that are still very far away in my career were quite difficult to get through. I think it is best to be read as author suggested – just the chapters that are currently of value for you.

What I liked about it: How practical and hands on the book is. It really gives context about culture and situations in other companies + explanations and advice how to
...more
Arun Sasidharan
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tech, leadership
When I started working in the tech industry nearly 10 years ago, I had the philosophy that "engineers don't need to be managed". Several orgs and teams later, I can really appreciate the value of a great mentor/manager. This book goes through several topics like roles, culture, career ladder, management etc of engineering teams. I'm sure lots of it were just general good advice for any sort of management. The book also doesn't shy away from pointing out the pitfalls if you following the advice b ...more
Marco
Dec 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: career, own, google-books
Well structured, explaining the different levels of being a (tech) manager.
Downside: some repetitions. Not really new stuff, but a good read.
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
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).
Bugzmanov
Dec 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
I've tried to like this book, but couldn't. It took me more than a year to read it to the end.

It's a comprehensive walk-through typical tech carrier ladder, but up to chapter about "managing managers" it just lacks any insights and reads like common sense. Might be a good read for those who are in early stages of their career.

It gets little bit more interesting during the last 3 chapters ("managing managers", "big league" and the one about building culture).
But I believe I got significant more
...more
Michael Koltsov
I don't have much to say about this book as it's mostly a compilation of ideas I've either heard or used during my career.

This book can be definitely replaced with a few blog posts. The examples that it gives are rather nonillustrative, I've never heard about most of the companies that the author uses as role models.

Regardless of what I just said the book was nice and easy to read and I really appreciate author's efforts to write it.

I can recommend it as a book you can start and finish during on
...more
Maria
Jun 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-books, business
How can you tell if you really enjoyed a book after finishing it?
I guess ordering a physical copy when you already had the ebook is a sign.

It took me quite a while to finish this book, as I would stop every time that I didn't relate with the role described. Then, I would pick it up when I felt that I had matured in my role and I could better understand the concepts.

I believe it's a very insightful book, and that everyone can gain by reading it. Even if you don't want to be a manager, it can te
...more
Bjoern Rochel
Jun 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, eng-mgmt
Contains a very good description about the different roles and responsibilities on the typical engineering career later (from engineer to CTO). The best I've read so far actually. Also useful (albeit brief) advice and tips for getting started in each particular role.

Sometimes felt a bit to deep in US/Silicon Valley culture and their understanding of leadership to me.
Martijn
This is the sort of book I wished I had read several years ago, before I started managing people and teams. It has many practical suggestions and its technical focus makes it very relatable.
I did miss a focus on diversity though. Though the author is careful to switch pronouns, there was barely any mention of the importance and challenges of managing cultural diverse teams and I worry a few of her comments on company culture could be misconstrued as saying these aren't a good idea.
Tyler
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good, especially the first part of the book. If I hadn’t worked at Facebook, I’d probably have rated it four or five stars, but so much of this I’ve already learned. And what I was hoping to get out of the book, which was the sections about senior management, she didn’t really cover the layers of positions in upper management at large companies (because she’s writing about smaller companies and she doesn’t have the experience). It went from managing managers straight to CTO. Also, some pa ...more
Thiago
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the book every tech person should read. It shows all the expectations from the ordinary tech lead to the high level CTO. Even if you don't aspire to follow the management track, it shows valuable information regarding mentoring, 1:1, engineering process, and all sorts of things a high level individual contributor eventually will need to embrace
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
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
Regis Hattori
Very short and easy to read. It is very useful even if you are not a manager and are not willing to become one. Even the chapters about managers of managers have some insights about the roles I have and had as tech lead and software developer. So, I recommend reading the whole book, even the chapters that do not describe the role you have. Besides that, this book helped me a lot to better evaluate my leaders. For example, what can I expect from them and how to argue when they are failing.
Haley
this is a really incredible book. it's one of the first ones I picked up as I was transitioning from a tech lead to an engineering manager and it was helpful not only for navigating my own role but for understanding the needs and communication patterns of everyone I work with from new engineers to directors and above.

this is not only a book for managers imo, it's a book for anyone who wants to better understand how to work with folks at all levels of an engineering organization
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.
Mathias Meyer
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!
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).
Antonio Bertucci
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: professional
An excellent handbook to understand the traits and expectations of each step in the path from tech lead to senior manager role.
Reading through it helped me validating my understanding of what it takes to grow into a manager position and gauge my personal experience against the scenarios and the anecdotes shared in the book. The last part of the book was particularly useful to me to clarify what senior level management is about, and gave me more context about high level dynamics and how to foster
...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.

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News & Interviews

In these strange days of quarantine and isolation, books can be a mode of transport. We may have to stay home and stay still, but through t...
37 likes · 25 comments
“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.” 3 likes
“For example, if overwork is due to (in)stability of the production systems, it’s your job as the manager to slow down the product roadmap in order to focus on stability for a while. Make clear measures of alerts, downtime, and incidents, and strive to reduce them. My advice is to dedicate 20% of your time in every planning session to system sustainability work (“sustainability” instead of the more common “technical debt”).” 2 likes
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