My Manager’s README

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

Inspired by Edgar’s fantastic post and other Engineering Managers, I’m following the same principle to outline my views for existing and new team contributors.

Effective onboarding is crucial to our industry. New joiners come with a fresh mind, and, in the first few days of a new job, things can go really fast and people can get lost easily. Providing an easy and digestible way for them to know you as their manager, to know your leadership style(s), values, communication channels, and, more importantly, your expectations with them, is key for successful onboarding.

My Manager’s README #

¡Hola! I’m Carlos, and I want to welcome you to our team.

As your manager, I look forward to knowing you more through conversations and interactions. To give you a head start in knowing me, I’d like to share my management style, philosophy, expectations, and some facts about me.

This is a living document, which will change. Please let me know if you have any feedback on how to make this more useful to you and the team.

Clarifications #

Leadership Styles #

I’m an affiliative and servant. I serve you, not the other way around. I’m always available to assist.

I’ll foster a communicative environment, where we openly share ideas, trusting and respecting each other, working as a team (not as a family), and revolving around solutions and not consensus.

Process and Values #

People build software, not the other way around. As such, I prefer to adjust processes to meet the needs and goals of our people. This frees us to do our best work for the organization.

At the end of the day, this is what I value:

Transparency And Openness #

I’ll work to be as open as possible about what’s going on with the team, department, and the company. You can ask me anything. The vast majority of the time I’ll answer. Very infrequently, I won’t be able to. But I’m committed to never lie to you.

Any Feedback Is Good Feedback #

More than any other factor, candid and compassionate feedback is central to a cohesive high-functioning team.

I prefer to receive direct and early feedback. I’m committed to providing you clear and timely feedback, as per your request, and I’d love it if you did the same for me.

There are three dimensions required for people to continue to give you feedback:

Let me know if I don’t do well on any of these three dimensions.

Our 1:1s Are About You #

These meetings are for you and the agenda is what you make it:

We don’t need to talk about project status in this meeting unless you want to. I’ll ask questions and provide feedback along the way, but this is your time.

The length, frequency, and medium are also up to you, but my hope is that we’ll have at least 30 minutes. This is only a minimum though, and not a maximum.

Work/Life Balance #

I strongly value work/life balance in my own life and yours. I don’t expect to communicate with you outside of the usual hours. I try not to respond to e-mails or Slack during off-hours and under no circumstances expect it from you (unless it’s an emergency).

Your Philosophies #

I’ve written a lot here about my philosophies but a fair amount of my job is adapting to your needs and philosophies, and I look forward to talking to you about them.


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