for theRest of Us

Sarah Drasner, the author of Engineering Management for the Rest of Us book
A book by

by Sarah Drasner

Book mockup of Engineering Management for the Rest of Us

A lot of Engineering Managers and leaders studied for years and years to become the best Engineer they possibly could be… and then they were promoted.

It can be very tough for those of us who didn’t go into Engineering with the distinct concept that we would become managers, but still want to do our best to support our teams.

This book isn’t for the “born leaders”.This book is for the rest of us.

I wrote this book because there’s so much no one told me about management that I wished I would have known. There’s a lot to be purposeful about that many of us learn on the job, and worse: learn on people. This book provides some organization for collaborating with networks of people, working together towards a common purpose.

I wrote the book I wished I had when I was getting started.
Book mockup of Engineering Management for the Rest of Us

There seem to be millions of articles and “how to”s on programming and only a handful of resources on Engineering Management- why? It’s very tough to talk about something that involves people processes. People are non-deterministic. Working relationships are nuanced, communication is linked with individual values, motivations, power dynamics, and skills. People also have a range of experiences and emotions that are not consistent day-to-day.

Yet we all need to figure out how to work together.

Hopefully, in the happiest, most productive sense.

It’s imperative that we as managers learn as much as we can and work on ourselves, so that our teams may enjoy a healthy working life and strong relationships. It’s not just important, it’s crucial that we iterate on our own skills as managers so that we can properly support everyone around us: individuals, peers, leadership, and the business.

I’m sharing what I’ve learned- not so that you follow my concepts exactly, but rather so that you can be thoughtful about your own leadership and needs. The book goes from the macro to the micro- with topics ranging everywhere from “feedback” to “scoping down PRs”.

Though the book is meant to address people in management, individual contributors are welcome to read the book as well- perhaps you need to manage up and need some tools to help guide the conversation, perhaps you just want a peek at other concerns within the business- everyone is invited to the conversation.

A Book by Sarah Drasner

Sarah Drasner has more than 10 years of experience in Engineering Management at all levels, from Lead to VP at Netlify, Microsoft and Trulia/Zillow Group. She’s an award-winning speaker, author of SVG Animations from O’Reilly, Vue core team emeritus, and co-organizer of ConcatenateConf.

With a foreword by
Angie Jones
Angie Jones

Chapter Guide

01 Your Team

  • One-on-ones are critical
  • The Importance of Career Laddering
  • Mistakes I've Made as an Engineering Manager
  • The Value of Values
  • Trust and Vulnerability
  • Happiness and Drive
  • Feedback
  • Your Team is Not "Them"
  • How to Scope Down PRs

02 Collaboration

  • Prioritizing Your Teams Work
  • Splitting Time Between Product and Engineering Efforts
  • Good Meetings
  • Managing Conflicts
  • Speed of Execution
  • Cross-Team and Open Source Etiquette

03 Your Work

  • Prioritizing Your Own Work
  • Scheduling
  • Filling your Cup

A lot of the material has been open-sourced, here is a list of some of them. You’re welcome to read the content there as well. The book has been edited and compiled as a cohesive whole, and includes a few chapters not publicly available.

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