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From Employee to a Manager: Top 8 Skills of a Great Engineering Manager in 2022

The story was originally posted on Vectorly's blog.

Are you planning to make a transition from an employee to a manager or are you already there, but wondering what makes a good engineering manager?

First of all, you need to learn how to become a great engineering manager. Namely, learn what skills a good engineering manager should have and tackle the personal and professional challenges that the first-time manager faces.

In this article, you will find the top 8 engineering management skills to succeed in 2022.

Engineering manager skill set 2022 - checklist

In this part, you will find the answer to the question — what skills you need to be a software engineering manager, and take a skills test for this position.

Top 8 engineering management skills

When transitioning from a software engineer to an engineering manager, a specialist should know what skills a software engineering manager needs. Undoubtedly, one should have good hard skills, in order to be able to manage the work of other programmers and assess their work.

However, great software engineering management has a lot to do with people management and communication. So, developing soft skills is essential, too.

Vectorly has prepared the most complete and up-to-date list of skills a good engineering manager should have and divided them into 8 main skill groups.

Here are the top 8 engineering management skills in 2022:

  • People management
  • Technical skills
  • Communication skills
  • Project management
  • Knowledge management
  • Company skills
  • Team management
  • Personal skills

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Get the FULL engineering manager skill matrix for FREE on your email.

Now, let’s consider each group of skills in more detail.

  • People management. Engineering managers often face different tasks that require specialist competencies, such as hiring new team members, onboarding and motivating them, as well as holding regular assessments and 1-on-1 meetings.
  • Technical skills. This group includes hard skills. The manager must have a technical background, in order to control the quality of the code, give constructive feedback, and communicate with software developers in the same language. With no good hard skills, a software engineering manager will hardly get the job done.
  • Communication skills. This group implies the ability to negotiate and quickly resolve issues in a dialogue. It is useful for an engineering manager to understand the intentions and motivations of each team member. Empathy and high emotional intellect also play a key role in managing a tech team.
  • Project management. This group of skills is based on planning and control of execution. An engineering manager helps teams work together and deliver the product in time.
  • Knowledge management. This skill is associated with the organization and collecting of knowledge and transferring it within the development team. It also includes the ability to maintain technical documentation.
  • Company skills. The software development manager is responsible for the development team playing by the rules of the business. He or she should be perfectly aware of the company’s structure, its goals, and interests, as well as promoting the corporate culture.
  • Team management. An engineering manager must show himself or herself as a competent organizer, who can make sure the tech team is well-coordinated and autonomous. A manager should be able to build a competent team, organize their workflow, and maintain team spirit and transparency.
  • Personal skills. The trickiest challenges are the personal ones: he or she should improve their skills in time management, decision making, and goal setting, as well as learning how to set priorities, in order to be effective as a manager.

You can clearly see the top skills a good software engineering manager should have in this picture.

Image description

Get the FULL engineering manager skill matrix for FREE on your email.

Sources to improve software engineering management skills

How to improve the ability to negotiate, plan and delegate? The best way is to do it in practice. However, to get you on the right track in this issue, we offer a list of resources that will help you better understand the essence of useful soft skills for an engineering manager.

Top 15 Engineering Management books

  1. An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management
  2. Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs
  3. Harvard Business Review Manager's Handbook: The 17 Skills Leaders Need to Stand Out (HBR Handbooks)
  4. The Manager's Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
  5. The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master
  6. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software
  7. Smart and Gets Things Done: Joel Spolsky's Concise Guide to Finding the Best Technical Talent
  8. Agile Software Development, Principles, Patterns, and Practices
  9. Extreme Programming Explained
  10. Test Driven Development: By Example
  11. Mythical Man-Month
  12. Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams
  13. Death March
  14. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
  15. The First-Time Manager

Top Mentorship platforms for Engineering Managers

One of the best ways to develop skills is to find a mentor, who has relevant experience and can provide professional support. Vectorly’s gathered the most popular mentorship platforms where Engineering Managers can find a mentor.

Find a Mentor: 12 Popular Mentorship Platforms For Software Developers, Product Managers, Designers

Online courses

In this article, you will find online courses platforms for all tech roles including Engineering Management.

35 Online Platforms to Grow Software Developer Skills

TIP FOR FIRST TIME MANAGERS: For super effective management of a tech team, use best tools & practices - GET them on Vectorly’s site.

List of influencers writing on Engineering Management & Leadership in tech to follow

The story was originally posted on Vectorly's blog.

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