Being an effective software engineering manager requires a combination of technical expertise, leadership skills and a continuous commitment to personal and professional growth. To help you excel in this role, this blog article presents a curated list of valuable resources, including books, podcasts, blogs and courses that are ideal for new software engineering managers.
The Best Books for Engineering Managers
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change by Camille Fournier: This book provides practical advice on career progression, managing teams and making critical decisions in a technical environment.
Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler: This book equips managers with essential communication skills for navigating difficult conversations, resolving conflicts and building stronger relationships.
Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity by Kim Scott: This book emphasizes the importance of providing honest feedback while maintaining empathy and respect, enabling managers to build a culture of trust and collaboration.
High Output Management by Andrew S. Grove: This classic book by former Intel CEO Andrew Grove offers practical insights into effective management techniques and organizational productivity. It covers topics such as decision-making, team dynamics, goal setting and performance evaluation.
Inspired: How to Create Tech Products Customers Love by Marty Cagan: While not solely focused on management, this book provides valuable guidance for product managers and leaders in the tech industry. Marty Cagan shares his experience and best practices for creating successful and impactful tech products. It covers topics such as product vision, strategy, user-centered design and collaboration with engineering teams. “Inspired” offers valuable insights for managers looking to align product and engineering efforts.
Recommended reading: The Top 10 Books for Software Engineering Managers
Podcasts for Engineering Managers
Manager Tools: This podcast offers practical guidance on a wide range of management topics, including communication, coaching, hiring, and team development, helping managers enhance their leadership skills.
Effective Engineering Manager by Slava Imeshev and Adam Axelrod: This podcast covers various aspects of leadership such as goal setting, remote work and team management.
The Leadership Podcast: Hosted by Jim Vaselopulos and Jan Rutherford, this podcast explores leadership principles and strategies through interviews with notable leaders from various fields. The episodes delve into topics such as decision-making, resilience, team building and organizational culture.
Blogs and Websites for Engineering Managers
Rands in Repose: Authored by Michael Lopp, this blog explores leadership, management and organizational dynamics, offering valuable insights and actionable advice for software engineering managers.
First Round Review: This online publication provides in-depth articles and interviews with industry experts, offering a wealth of knowledge on leadership, team building and organizational strategies.
A List Apart: Although not solely focused on software engineering management, “A List Apart” is a reputable online publication that explores various aspects of web design, development and digital product management. The publication often features articles related to managing technical teams, collaborating with designers and leading successful software projects. It offers valuable insights and best practices for software engineering managers looking to navigate the intersection of design and development.
Engineering Management Courses
Practical Team Management for Software Engineers by Michael Krasowski: This course will help you match your software engineering focus with business goals, improve your team structure and internal processes. The course is fully online and takes just under 7 hours to complete. You can get access for $45/m using the Pluralsight skills platform.
Software Engineering Management by IEEE: This 6-hour course provides a foundation in software engineering management and covers everything from project planning to implementation and measurement. If you’re an existing IEEE member the course will cost you $125 instead of the regular $150.
Tools for Engineering Managers
CodeClimate: CodeClimate is a code analysis platform that provides insights and metrics on code quality, maintainability and security. You can use CodeClimate to assess the health of your codebase, identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions to optimize code quality.
CircleCI: CircleCI is a continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) platform that automates build, test and deployment processes. You can use CircleCI to set up project pipelines, configure automated testing and deploy code to various environments. It helps streamline the development workflow and ensures the reliability and stability of the software.
Roadmunk: Roadmunk is a product roadmap and planning tool that allows you to create and visualize project roadmaps. It enables managers to outline project goals, prioritize features and communicate the development plan to stakeholders. Roadmunk helps align teams, track progress and ensure the successful execution of software projects.
Bugsnag: Bugsnag is an error monitoring and crash reporting tool that helps software engineering managers identify and debug software issues in real-time. It captures and aggregates error data, provides detailed reports and integrates with popular development tools. Bugsnag enables you to proactively identify and address software bugs and stability issues, leading to improved product quality.
To thrive as a software engineering manager, it is crucial to stay informed and continually refine your skills. The resources mentioned in this article offer valuable insights, practical advice and opportunities for growth. By investing time in learning and applying this knowledge, you can enhance your leadership abilities, foster a positive work environment and drive success for your team and organization.