Some career advice.

June 22, 2019. Filed under career 16

One unexpected perk of publishing a book is that folks start to ask you questions about all sorts of loosely related things. One pretty common thread has been around career advice, I’ve written up most of my advice for easier reusability. Some of the ideas are a bit contradictory, which I suspect is the nature of all useful advice: you’ll have to work through the conflicts and details yourself.

Path to engineering manager of managers.

June 15, 2019. Filed under management 114career 16

Once your company gets large enough to roll out a formal career ladder, it becomes the foundation of most discussions about performance and promotion. All ladders have certain requirements that have to be met in order to advance, but typically the resources required to fulfill thoes requirements aren't scarce. As you get more senior, scarcity starts to creep in.

Growing with your company's complexity.

January 29, 2019. Filed under management 114career 16

When finishing up a difficult project, sometimes I pause to dream about how it'll extend [my career](/career-narratives/). If I bundle this project with a few others, mix in supporting a healthy and impactful team, add a dash of time for the flavor to deepen, and undoubtedly this will get me to the next level.

Meeting people.

January 26, 2019. Filed under management 114career 16

In the earliest bits of my career, I spent a lot of time worrying that my lack of pedigree was holding me back. How much easier things would have be for me, I imagined, if only I'd attended a feeder school like Stanford or started out at a prestigious company like Google. Memories of that angst bubbled up when I was chatting with someone at a recent conference, and they asked how I knew so many of the people nearby. My first reaction was that I don't know very many folks, but it's also the case that I know meaningfully more folks today than I did just a few years ago, and that change isn't entirely accidental.

Career narratives.

September 26, 2018. Filed under management 114career 16

A peculiar challenge of management is trying to invest in someone's career development when they themselves are uncertain about their goals. As a manager, you may have more experience and more access to opportunities within the company, but that represents a small slice of their career possibilities. Our schooling often rewards us for being methodical, linear thinkers, but that approach is less effective outside the intentionally constrained possibility spaces.