Making the Transition from Software Engineer to Software Engineering Manager

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Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Moving up the ladder to a management role in a Software engineering Organization could be a daunting challenge for so many engineers. However, learning how to prepare the right way saves you a lot of hassles. There are several reasons why developers might want to opt for managerial roles, but one thing such persons should bear in mind is that they need to navigate appropriately between making decisions to move the team forward and doing their actual jobs.

Characteristics of an Effective Manager

  1. Distinct managerial skill set to drive the team forward
  2. Ability to effectively delegate and allocate resources
  3. Ability to carry the whole team along on different projects

What’s the line between managers and individual contributors?

While transitioning from individual contributor to manager, you should know that the job description has slightly changed from just writing codes to empowering your team to get it done instead. This is why you must learn to acquire new skills and deploy the ones you already have appropriately. As a manager, you get to do progress evaluation at every point in time, spend more time managing schedules, sending emails, and even making sure that all the team members are in sync to ensure excellent results are gotten per project.

The art of communication is also essential as a manager as you get to communicate with various people and heads of different departments. This means you have to learn to adjust your tone to suit your audience per time. As a manager, you are also saddled with the responsibility of establishing cadence for your team. This framework is vital for setting routines, meetings, and their frequency and proffering solutions to unexpected challenges. Another distinguishing factor between an individual contributor and a manager is the metrics used to evaluate progress. While an individual contributor sticks only to using quantitative metrics as a measure of performance, a manager has to measure overall performance both quantitatively and qualitatively.

How to spend your time as a Manager

With the numerous tasks you are faced with daily, time management remains inevitable. So, here’s a quick breakdown of how to effectively manage your time;

  1. Managing– This includes conducting team meetings and mentoring sessions (shouldn’t take more than 30% of your time)
  2. Monitoring– Involves the assessment of the team’s performance (15% of your time)
  3. Hiring– Involves interviews for potential candidates and general recruitment process (15% of your time).
  4. Planning and communication (25% of your time)
  5. Development (15% of your time)

Prepare to make a move

  1. Take on more leadership roles in your current team and for any current projects.
  2. Play more active roles in the recruitment process for new intakes; yearn to participate in interview processes.
  3. Position yourself to be included in meetings featuring various stakeholders and departmental heads. Watch them make suggestions and fashion out decisions on different projects.

You should know that taking on a managerial job is much more than what you contribute as an individual in the team. Now, every team member looks up to you to make vital decisions, and you sure wouldn’t want to lead your team astray or let them down.