TLDR - This book is essential reading for new software engineering managers or anyone considering going down the management path.

Have you ever wondered what a software engineering manager does? As an engineer, you might have a rough idea. There are some 1 on 1s involved. Probably discussions about performance, career progression, feedback, workload, and so on. But, how do you actually do those things, and what else is involved? Become An Effective Software Engineering Manager answers all these questions. It does so in an engaging style that is packed with actionable advice.

The book is split into three parts:

  • Part 1 - Getting oriented. How to start out on the right foot.
  • Part 2 - Interfacing with humans. This covers all the essential day to day tasks of a manager such as 1 on 1s, communication, hiring and performance reviews.
  • Part 3 - The bigger picture. This covers a wide array of topics including career ladders, inclusion and diversity and thinking about the future.

Parts 1 and 2 are essential reading for new managers. Part 3 is worth at least scanning so you are aware of the contain and can refer back to it at a later date.

What I particularly like about this book is that is provides a great starting point for many difficult tasks. For example, there is a framework for doing performance reviews and a framework for encouraging staff to think about their future. It may not be your style, but I would prefer to start with a system that was worked for someone else and iterate. This book is going to live on my desk for some time. I plan to reference it a lot.