alexey prohorenko's words

 «  Engineering management, my take on it

For the past few years I've been pretty much solely employed in engineering management roles, and I did have quite few interviews with variety of companies looking for EM's. That experience allowed me to see what actually companies (in general) are thinking about this position, those responsibilities and duties. You know, it's pretty random. Different companies, different varieties, different needs and requirements. Generally they all sound same, but in reality they are different.
And I think I developed pretty solid "issue" with the whole concept of engineering management. Why engineers are not called that? Don't they manage their projects? Don't they manage their time? their needs, and daily routine? Don't they help and "manage" their peers, more junior dudes? But it is what called management, right? At least some part of it. But aren't those the same skills which we think good engineer should have in his (or her) possesion?
I think EM is a useless term. I think the whole "management" thing is stupid and very old school. I think every engineer has to code in the first place, has to architect and has to make sure he is trying his best for better results. Period.
We do need to have different types of engineers, though. Well, "type" might not be the best word, but bear with me here. I think we have somebody to be subject matter expert, team lead and tech lead. Can be same person. Can be few different people. Can be anything, whatever works.
So, what I would expect from any good engineering manager is actually the same what I expect from tech lead or tech oversighter. Think about it as a position which just leans more in R&D than anything else. This person has to spend more time thinking about what and how. He has to evalute future tech, buzzwords and question current tech. Worry about things on the higher level, and probably implement them himself! He is the one who can make an educated guess about the direction, about the future of the tech in his team. Educate others, discuss, criticize and be criticized a lot. But!... He needs to code, architect and prototype on the daily basis. Forget "management". Screw "management". He needs to be as hands-on as everybody else. He is just not on the critical path, but he is programmer, mother fucker!
Do you think I am wrong? right? Tweet to me @alexeypro or just email me. Looking forward it. Bring it on.

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