The question “how technically hands-on should I be as a team leader?” comes up frequently in my conversations with engineering leads. The short answer is: “definitely to some extent”, but for a more specific answer we need to consider context, your individual team makeup, and your goals as a leader.

I had a conversation recently with an Engineering Manager about the role of a leader’s backup, and what skills are required for success.

I’m defining backup in this context to mean: the primary point of contact for the team, in the absence of the manager. For example, the manager is…

Delivering constructive feedback is hard — it’s natural to worry about the other person’s feelings, damaging your relationship, awkward silences, or worse, the discussion escalating into conflict. For these reasons, many people hold off on having difficult conversations, and when they do eventually have them, the message often isn’t as…

Mark Wood

Engineering leader at Bloomberg. All opinions are my own.

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