Resources for Engineering Managers

A curated collection of books, tools, and other resources for engineering managers

Resources for Engineering Managers

On this page I'm collecting a list of various resources for engineering managers. I personally tried/watched/read all of them, except when I explicitly mention that I didn't. Some of the links below might be affiliate links. I'll keep updating the list, I'm currently building a list of articles that I recommend for all EMs, so check it again in the future!

I'm always eager to try and learn new things, if you have some recommendation, ping me on 🐦Twitter or send me an ✉️email.

Books

  • Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps - probably more useful for VPs of Engineering or CTOs, this book talks about introducing Lean and DevOps practices in order to improve the efficiency of tech teams and build more resilient organizations.
  • Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager (🎥 video) - great primer on engineering managers' responsibilities, it guides reader through various challenges and recommends how to approach them. Great read!
  • Behind Closed Doors: Secrets of Great Management - not specific to tech industry, this book still provides useful advice for managers who want to improve their skills. It covers multiple topics like delegation, coaching, goals&objectives and more
  • The Culture Map - a business book that talks about working with different cultures. The author is a consultant and shares her lessons about working with companies all over the world, but I found this content very relevant to my work as EM, since I lead international teams and I strive to understand how my team members work
  • An Elegant Puzzle - a collection of tools and approaches to various problems you'll encounter in tech leadership role. I recommend it more as a reference book rather than reading cover to cover.
  • Leading Snowflakes - a good intro to engineering management; Oren Ellenbogen shares 9 lessons for new EMs
  • Manager's Path - a book that describes various states and challenges related to management in tech industry, from tech leads to CTOs
  • Managing Humans - engineering management stories from Sillicon Valley. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads, though I read it a long time ago and don't remember much
  • Peopleware: Productive Projects and Teams - a classic book on productivity of software teams. It certainly feels dated (originally released in late 1980s), but 3rd edition was released in 2013 and the book still has a lot of value
  • The Phoenix Project - a handbook in form of a novel, the book teaches about DevOps practices and looks at managing teams from perspective of inputs and outputs
  • Resilient Management - a book for new managers, covers topics like setting clear expectations, and effective communication. Currently on my to-read list
  • The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide - interview preparation book by Vidal Graupera (whose blog you can also find on this page)
  • The Unicorn Project - a sequel (I guess?) to "The Phoenix Project", written in similar style of a novel, this book focuses on good software development practices. In my opinion it's not nearly as good as the first book, but still an entertaining read

Tools

  • EasyRetro (formerly FunRetro) - my tool of choice when it comes to running team retrospectives
  • Notion - a favourite planning tool of many people, can act as a calendar, todo list, project management tool, and many more; comes with a generous free plan
  • Obsidian - a knowledge base tool that allows you to connect multiple pages witn linking mechanisms. It has a growing community and an ecosystem of plug-ins
  • Peakon - a web-based tool that helps to measure employee engagement, and allows employees to anonymously share feedback with their managers.
  • progression.fyi - a collection of career growth frameworks and matrices, not only for developers, but also testers, project managers, and more. Very useful when you're building a propression framework for your department or company
  • SourceLevel - a tool that uses various metrics to allow you to better understand your team's performance (I haven't tried it yet, and I still haven't made up my mind about how useful are such tools)
  • Todoist - a powerful todo app with clients for all major operating systems; free plan available
  • Typora - a desktop Markdown editor (Windows, MacOS, Linux) with a minimalist style and a lot of very well-thought features. One of my favorites, I use it to write a tech book with a lot of code examples, and to write work-related notes. Currently (August 2021) available for free

Blogs

  • Camille Fournier - blog by author of "The Manager's Path". Camille doesn't write often, but when she does, it's high quality content
  • Charity Majors - tons of thoughts about tech careers and leadership, a must read!
  • Managers Club - interviews and articles on engineering management, by Vidal Graupera, author of "The Software Engineering Manager Interview Guide"
  • Pat Kua - Pat is a coach and consultant and ex-CTO, on his blog he shares thought on the intersection of tech and management
  • Pragmatic Engineer - Gergely Orosz, an experienced engineering manager shares his lessons from Uber and Microsoft, and writes about topics like career progressions and salary negotiations
  • Silicon Vallye Product Group - blog focused on product managenemt, with a lot of useful content for engineering managers who closely collaborate with product teams
  • Will Larson - author of "An Elegant Puzzle" and "Staff Engineer", Will shares a lot of interesting thoughts on tech careers

Newsletters

  • Level Up - weekly content for leaders in tech by Pat Kua (who also writes a blog I list on this page)
  • software lead weekly - newsletter by Oren Ellenbogen (author of "Leading Snowflakes" - check books section), with content about people, culture, and leadership in tech. Going strong for more than 400 editions!
  • Tech Manager Weekly - another weekly newsletter with interesting articles about managing tech teams. Made by CTO Craft (check also communities section below)

Others

  • CTO Craft Community - CTO Craft is a company offering coaching and workshops for technical leaders. They have a free Slack community and organize a number of events, like conferences
  • Engineering Manager Slack group - a Slack community moderated by a group of volunteers
  • https://github.com/ryanburgess/engineer-manager - a more comprehensive list of resources with 100+ items for engineering managers (some of them lack any description though)
  • LeadDev - LeadDev is a full portal and an organization dedicated for tech leaders. It includes a ton of good articles, they organize events and workshops. Truly a great place for engineering managers.
  • Plato - a place where you can find mentors (paid service) or volunteer your time to help others. I currently participate there as a mentor.
  • Mentoring Club - a non-profit alternative to Plato, where you can find mentors or become a mentor. I'm currently a mentor there and you can book a session with me.