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Tech Lead Journal

66 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#28 - Becoming an Effective Software Engineering Manager - James Stanier

“The output of a manager is the output of the manager’s team plus the output of the organization that they influence."

James Stanier is the SVP Engineering at Brandwatch and author of “Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager”. In this episode, we explored on how one can become an effective software engineering manager and how to build and run effective engineering teams. We started off by discussing why the tech industry is facing a skill crisis because of the inability of many managers to manage people effectively and the challenges faced by engineers when transitioning to become managers. We then dived deep into the best practices to become an effective manager, such as getting oriented, delegating effectively, letting go of control, and nurturing one-on-ones with your teams. James also pointed out the hardest things that engineering managers have to deal with, which are projects and humans. We then wrapped up with James’ tips on how to handle failures and move forward.

Listen out for:

  • Career Journey - [00:05:15]
  • Why Writing Engineering Manager Book - [00:09:08]
  • Skill Crisis in Tech Industry - [00:12:34]
  • Individual Contributor Track - [00:15:33]
  • Getting Oriented Tools - [00:17:45]
  • Effective Manager - [00:21:47]
  • Delegating Effectively - [00:27:06]
  • One-on-Ones - [00:32:10]
  • Projects and Humans Are Hard - [00:38:05]
  • On Project Management - [00:40:26]
  • Letting Go of Control - [00:42:24]
  • Balancing Time - [00:46:49]
  • Managing in Startup vs Enterprise - [00:48:29]
  • Handling Failures - [00:50:24]
  • 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [00:51:55]


James Stanier’s Bio
James Stanier is SVP Engineering at Brandwatch. He has built web scale real time data processing pipelines and teams of people: both are equally challenging. He has written about his experiences on his blog The Engineering Manager, and has turned it into a book called “Become An Effective Software Engineering Manager”.

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