Lyncredible Navigating the tech stack of engineering management

Replacing standups

After transitioning to an Engineering Manager, the first change I made was to replace our daily standup meeting with weekly sprint checkin meeting. To set the record straight, I do not hate standup meetings. I even pitched our team to have standups a year prior while I was still an engineer. Nevertheless, I am oblivious to standups. Meetings, in my opinion, are a means to an end. So I set out on an incredible journey to make sense of standups and to do away with them.

Speedy meetings

I am an introvert. As much as I enjoy talking to and learning from people, it only takes a couple of back-to-back meetings to completely drain my mental energy. My first few weeks were hectic. I was exhausted all the time. I showed up late to every meeting, and skipping bathroom runs didn’t help. Thanks to my then manager Brian Delahunty, I was able to leverage speedy meetings to save my sanity.

Project Buddy

I am a loyal reader of Will Larson’s writings, and this article titled Work the policy, not the exceptions is one of my favorites. Despite reading it multiple times and asking the author in person, I was always on the fence of understanding it. To begin with, I fumbled on the title itself. I seriously questioned my English education: isn’t the verb work intransitive? It took me an actual, iterative policy design, dubbed Project Buddy, to feel like I finally scratched the surface of its meaning.

Navigating the tech stack of engineering management

As a new engineering manager, I struggled to have high bandwidth conversations with skilled managers. They speak extremely succinctly with high information density. I understood every single word they spoke, yet I was not able to make sense of their phrases, let alone sentences or ideas. I fanatically took notes which hardly resonated with me, only for imposter syndrome to kick in.