Become a Great Engineering Leader (PragProg)

Learn the tools and techniques of effective engineering leadership.


James Stanier @jstanier

edited by Adaobi Obi Tulton @aotulton

As you step into senior engineering leadership roles, you need to make an impact, and you need to make it fast. This book will uncover the secrets of what it means to be a successful director of engineering, VP of engineering, or CTO. With a hands-on, practical approach, it will help you understand and develop the skills that you need, ranging from how to manage other managers, to how to define and execute strategy, how to manage yourself and your limited time, and how to navigate your own career journey to your desired destination.

You can become a great engineering leader, the kind that runs a healthy, ambitious, and efficient organization that builds quality products, and this practical guide will provide you with the skills to get there. With this book you’ll uncover the tools, techniques, and secrets to being a successful and effective engineering executive.

Starting with the roles and responsibilities of directors, VPs, and CTOs, explore their positions in the org chart and understand how they engage on tactical, operational, and strategic levels to deliver great products at scale. Dive into the tools and techniques that you need to be successful. Understand how to frame and allocate your time, how to play finite and infinite games, how to position and manage senior individual contributors, and how to get the best from your peers, your manager, and your counterparts that you collaborate with in other disciplines. Understand how to communicate at scale and then raise the bar through effective performance management.

Get strategic: define, create, and execute your vision for your organization that stands the test of time. Understand the typical monthly, quarterly, and yearly cycles that companies go through and how to use them to your advantage. Tackle planning and budgets and understand how to make both work for you. Navigate wartime and peacetime successfully by adapting your priorities and leadership style. Plan out your career journey by understanding that it’s never, ever a straight line to get to where you want to go.

It’s time for us to lift the lid on effective senior leadership.

Dr. James Stanier is a computer science PhD who made the jump from software engineer to manager and has never looked back. He is based in Cumbria, UK, practicing engineering leadership remotely. He is the author of Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager and Effective Remote Work.

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