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Engineering Management for the Rest of Us by Sarah Drasner

The cover of Engineering Management for the Rest of Us by Sarah Drasner

I’ve read a few management books and this one stands out for being so hands-on. Sarah Drasner provides systems for your everyday work as an engineering manager and guides you through your different areas of responsibility in four parts:

  • Your team
  • Collaboration
  • Helping your team do their best work
  • Your work

She talks about 1:1s, giving feedback, navigating conflict, holding good meetings, happiness and drive, change management, prioritizing your time and much more.

One of the cornerstones of the book is the chapter about values. Values are defined as the “fundamental belief that guide us, motivate us and drive our action”. They can help to give us context so we can be see where people might be coming from. Aligned values can build trust in a team and misaligned values can lead to burnout.

This sentence at the end has me stop and re-read because it’s so on-point:

Your job is to be interruption-driven so your team can be focus-driven.

Highly recommended.