Read early edition on O’Reilly or preorder on Amazon.
In 2019, I worked with Stripe Press to publish my first book, An Elegant Puzzle,
which captured many of the lessons I’d learned as an engineering manager in fast growing Silicon Valley companies.
In 2021, I decided to learn the entire process of publishing myself, self publishing my second book,
Staff Engineer, which synthesized the stories of a number of individuals
into a framework to attaining and operating in Staff-plus engineering roles.
I wrote both books because I kept working with very talented individuals
who were nonetheless lost in their roles.
As I worked in my first engineering executive role at Calm, it became hard to ignore
the drumbeat of recurring questions. How do I work with my CEO who doesn’t have an engineering background?
Harder still, how do I work with my CEO who does have an engineering background and thinks every
project should take at most four hours? How do I measure engineering capability?
How do I report to my board about engineering’s impact and progress?
How do I run planning? How do I balance engineering resources across multiple business units?
After three years in role, and dozens of attempts at answering each of these questions,
I felt like it was time to pull together those answers into a book,
which has become
O’Reilly’s The Engineering Executive’s Primer.
The book is in early release now; I anticipate finishing writing in 2023, and
hope to have the printed book available by June, 2024.
As I did for my previous two books, I am writing the book “in public”, and you can see early drafts of each chapter
using my blog’s “executive” tag.
There is a lot under that tag already,
as I’ve been writing full time for the last 6-8 weeks,
probably 150-200 pages.
The final drafts in the book will be different, having gone
through extensive editing and technical review, but you can get most of the book’s core ideas from these posts
as long as you don’t mind the occasional typo or confusing wording.
A few folks have asked about Infrastructure Engineering:
I am still planning to write that book, but it’s now second on the list.
Primer felt at the top of my fingers, like I could just sit down and write it,
so I decided to focus here for the time being before I started to forget everything
I’ve learned over the past few years. I do fully intend to comeback to write Infrastructure
afterwards, but that’s looking like a 2025 or 2026 release at this point.
You can see the Early Edition on OReilly.com,
and subscribe to the Irrational Exuberance newsletter
for draft chapters (along with my other writing).