Software Engineering At Google
Chapter #6 - Leading at Scale (1 of 3)
Software Engineering at Google Chapter #6 - Leading at Scale (1 of 3)
This section is for managers of managers (Director level and above)
As you move up you go more broad than deep, moving out of technical details
Your effectiveness depends on the ability to marshall engineers in addition to your general technical knowledge (wide not deep)
As a manager of managers you are more strategy-oriented as opposed to solving specific engineering tasks
Most of the decisions you make will be about finding the correct set of tradeoffs
Tradeoffs also apply to human behaviors (not just technical)
As a leader you guide people towards solving difficult, ambiguous problems
Create a workable path through the forest and point your engineers towards the important trees
Find the blinders. People wearing blinders have made certain assumptions about the problem or solution or similar. Find the blinders, ask questions, consider fresh strategies.
There is no best choice or silver bullet only “best choice for the moment”
Call out tradeoffs, explain them to everyone, then balance and decide
Make a decision, then iterate. “Always be deciding”
"Managing up" is making sure your management chain understands how your group is connected to the company and what they are doing to help the company
Frame the iteration process as continual rebalancing of tradeoffs
Beware analysis paralysis, don’t let perfect be the enemy of good
Good (quality), fast (latency), cheap (capacity/compute) - pick two
It’s not your job to solve ambiguous problems, but to get them organization to solve them itself, without you
Don’t be the SPOF / bus factor of one
To create a “self driving team” there are three main parts: delegating subproblems, defining the problem space, and iterating when needed
When assigning work, consider an organizational structure that is looser, where teams are not static. You may not have to be constrained by organizational boundaries.
Thank you for your time and attention.
Apply what you've learned here.
Enjoy it all.
© 2021 Josh Turgasen
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