Lyncredible Navigating the tech stack of engineering and management

Reflecting on my IC path, Part III

A little over two years into my Uber ride, I moved downstairs to join Stripe in January 2018. There I got to work with some of the most rigorous thinkers I have met, and embraced the largest shift in my professional career. In the third post, I share my learnings in reaching the next stage, and describe my considerations in making the engineering management transition.

Reflecting on my IC path, Part II

I left Microsoft to join Uber in October 2015. Applying the lessons from my Microsoft stint, I experienced accelerated growth at Uber’s Seattle office with the help of some amazing leaders and managers. In the second post, I continue to reflect on my journey there, and I am immensely grateful to everyone who guided me along the way.

Reflecting on my IC path, Part I

As an Engineering Manager, a big part of my job is to help engineers on my team pursue growth in their careers. Will Larson started to share stories of reaching Staff Engineers. I find the stories there impressively helpful in thinking about senior engineer roles and individual contributor roles in general. I would also like to reflect on my own IC path in case that is useful. In the first post, I am going to reflect on some early misbeliefs I had on leveling.

Do not get overwhelmed

Much has been said about why the novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, is so dangerous. It is now believed to be 10x more deadly than influenza, in terms of both hospitalization rate and mortality rate. But that is only part of the story. COVID-19 can quickly overwhelm the healthcare system, hence causing severe second-order effects. Tech debts can do the same harm to engineering teams. I have long been pondering the ways to avoid getting overwhelmed by tech debts. I do not have a playbook yet, but I have learned some promising ideas to share.

Start with measurement

The legendary Andy Grove wrote, in High Output Management, that good indicators are key to management. It has since been popularized by the OKR framework as is depicted in Measure What Matters by John Doerr. As I practice the metrics skill on and off work, I continue to be amazed at how effective a tool it is. With the pandemic ravaging the world, I find myself relearning the importance of starting with measurement.

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