I want to be the best Engineering Leader that I can be. I've been leading teams for the past few years and I've has some success. We have grown the team and the products which have delivered substantial revenue to the company. But am I the best Engineering leader that I can be? Definitely not. I've done some reflecting on the gaps in my abilities, and as a first pass here's what I've come up with:
- System Design and Documentation
- Opportunity for Learning
No one wants to sit through an hour long zoom call while I drone on about KPIs and metrics. It's especially awful because my less-than-exciting Powerpoints. I typically have a white background with black text, a bulleted list, and the occasional screenshot if I'm feeling spicy. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of these long form information dumps, it can be dreadful. But I have witnessed leaders deliver information in a way that engages the audience and that's a skill I would like to master. I'm going to do some learning on crafting presentations and work on telling a story. Storytelling is a skill I worked on throughout my time getting a degree in English, I just need to find a way to appropriately apply that skill in the workplace.
System Design & Documentation
Writing code is only a part of a programmers job. At higher levels, Engineers need to be able to design the systems of the features or products that they are building. I've faced enough challenges that I believe I am decent at designing systems to scale, but I seldom have that design down on "paper". I'm working on being more proactive at drawing out the systems we are building. The improvements will be two fold. First, the whiteboarding practice will hopefully expose edge cases with more clarity before the code is written. And second, we will have diagrams as documentation which will assist future engineers when they inherit the system and have to either fix a bug or add additional improvements. I've found a resource for learning system design: https://github.com/donnemartin/system-design-primer I'm trying to go through a few solutions each week to see what I can learn.
Opportunity For Learning
We have a great team but I haven't been doing enough to level up our Jr. Engineers to work on more challenging problems. We historically have had lunch & learn sessions across the product teams. I'm going to revise the approach we have taken there and make sure the teachings are relatable, impactful, and actionable. Ideally I can empower engineers on each team to teach their peers as well. I believe that in order to master something, you have to be able to effectively teach it. I'm looking forward to seeing how our updated learning sessions improve our teams.
In My Personal Life
I need to do a better job of journaling throughout the month so that I have more specific items to talk about. Do to a lack of an idea compost for this month I'm going to rapid fire events from the month:
- Visited San Francisco for a family member's birthday
- Attended 2 more weddings, we have been to 7/8 of the total weddings this year
- Had a biopsy on two marks on my face. Fingers are crossed that it's not another case of basal cell carcinoma.
- In an attempt to get our house in working order I've committed to doing 1 small thing every day. We will get fully moved in with small consistent steps.
- Anniversary is in October. I can't believe it's been one year already!