Rod Begbie's Reviews > The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change

The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier
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it was amazing
bookshelves: management, nonfiction

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 what I appreciate most about the structure is that the first chapter (which is available as a free PDF download from O’Reilly’s website) is valuable advice for individual contributors to build a better relationship with their managers.

From there, the book steps chapter-by-chapter through the increasing scopes of team ownership you can have: How to be a mentor. How to be a Tech Lead. How to manage a few people… a team… multiple teams… teams of managers of teams. Then finally “the big leagues” of VP/CTO land.

I think the book could be valuable to a wide array of folks:

Existing Engineering Managers — READ IT NOW! READ IT! YOU HAVE NO EXCUSES! Block off time on your calendar if need-be! It gives advice both strategic and tactical.

Engineers who think they might want to be an EM some day — This is the fastest way to see what the career path can look like, and get a sense for whether these are the types of problems you can see yourself being satisfied to think about some day.

Engineers who might want to start a start-up some day — Being a founder isn’t just about the technology. If you’re in any way successful, you’ll have to start to build a team and think about people problems. This will give you a framework for when you’re the boss!

Engineers who are in (or growing towards) Tech Lead roles — The first few chapters will help you understand the way your responsibilities have changed (from being responsible for your own code, to being responsible for the impact of multiple engineers) and give strategies for managing time and expectations. If you keep reading, you can also make educated decisions about if you might want to switch to engineering management in the future.

Every other engineer — Read that free first chapter so you can have better relations with your manager!
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
March 21, 2017 – Shelved
April 11, 2017 – Shelved as: management
April 11, 2017 – Shelved as: nonfiction

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