#5 - Intentional Technical Leadership

Newsletter - Saturday, 7 May 2022

Salut my friend!

Welcome to another issue of the Intentional Technical Leadership newsletter.

What's been happening with you and your team this week?

Yet again I've been scouring the web for more interesting technical leadership articles and videos for you to enjoy.

Here's what I found for you this week. πŸ‘‡πŸ»

πŸ”– Interesting Reading

5 Engineering Manager Archetypes

This is a fascinating read about the different types of Engineering Managers from an experienced technical leader, Pat Kua. Depending on the company you work at, there's a different idea of what an Engineering Manager should do.

This article breaks the role down into 5 different archetypes for skills ranging from technical focus to delivery focus.

Although I am quite technical, I think I'd classify myself as the "Team Lead" archetype - growing a team to do their best work.

Big thanks to a good friend, and fantastic people-focused Engineering Manager, Gav for sharing this article with me! πŸŽ‰

How to Support Junior Developers

I ❀️ building teams that include less experienced software engineers and this is a GREAT article on supporting them.

Defining expectations in the role is key but sometimes new engineers don't like to bother people, especially in remote environments.

A great point in the article is about building trust. I always like to build open and honest conversations with new team members and tell them that there's no such thing as a silly question. Answering questions from junior engineers is a great way for more senior team members to teach and learn what they could be missing.

No, You Don’t Have to Meet in Person

This is an interesting take on remote work after researchers published a paper showing that people were less creative in video calls than in-person meetings. πŸ€”

It calls out some of the positives of being creative whilst not being in the same room. Most people aren't in touch for the whole day, even when together, and have burts of creative energy and lulls in their thinking.

What do you think? Does being together in the same room make people more creative?

πŸ“Ί Worth Watching

SIMON SINEK: Leader verus manager

I've always enjoyed watching Simon Sinek talks. In this one, he talks about what leaderships really means - empathy and perspective.

A lot of leaders can be concerned about their status rather than the real job of leadership. In it he says:

Leadership is taking care of people in our charge rather than being in charge.

I ❀️ this quote!

A fascinating look on what good leadership looks like.

πŸ‘‹πŸ» One From Me

Be a force multiplier

I wrote this article after attending the Lead Developer conference back in 2019 and seeing Pat Kua speak. He talked about leadership and how you should be a multiplier for your team, not a diminisher.

It's about multiplying the culture of the team and bringing out the best in people.

It's about multiplying the process and unblocking your team to do their best work.

It's about multiplying the technical skills of your team by helping to improve their software engineering skills, either by teaching them yourself, or by finding someone to teach them.

Have a read and think about how you can be a multiplier for your team.

🌢️ Hot Take

Vocabulary around burnout

Sarah Dresner tweet

I really like Sarah's take on burnout in this tweet. I've definitely felt burnt out through a constant lack of strategy and vision from companies that I've worked at.

It can be exhausting to try and get clarity on your team's work and is often incredibly challenging to protect your team from constant direction changes. Nobody realises the effect this can have on leaders within a business.

There's a great reply tweet which sums it up nicely:

Burnout is what happens when your ability to care outweighs the response to your caring


I hope you enjoyed this week's selection of intentional technical leadership articles.

Hit reply and let me know what you think.

Feel free to send me any interesting articles, videos, or podcasts you've found.

Speak to you soon,

Engineering Manager @ Beacon

P.S. I have big news to share in a few weeks! 😱

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