Why this Document?
This document is an effort to explain my role, my values, my expectations and finally my quirks as a manager.
It's important to keep in mind that this is a live document and, as such, this will change with time. Often I won't be able to live up to these values and ideas, but it's alright, we all make mistakes. Hopefully, two things can emerge when that happens:
- I will learn from my failure.
- You will be comfortable to hold me accountable and keep me honest.
I have two main focus: the business and the team.
From the business perspective:
- Making sure we are aligned with the business goals and working towards those as effectively as we can.
- Making sure we're working on the right things at the right time.
- Representing the team, and the business both internally and externally.
- Assist non-technical people interacting with engineers, by helping both ends speak the same language.
- Hire great people.
From the team perspective:
- Help you achieve your goals.
- Support you in your personal development via mentorship and guidance.
- Help you understand the context, the "why" and the wider picture of the work we are doing.
- Create bridges between you and the other teams.
- Give you direct and honest feedback be it positive or negative.
- Ultimately make you happy while working together.
- transparency - I will never withhold information that impacts you or your work, by making sure you are in the loop. This is tightly related to how we communicate inside and outside the team. The best way for me to be aware of how and what you are doing is for you to show it to me, either directly by grabbing me for a coffee, or indirectly via a Pull Request or Jira Ticket. Bottom line: I prefer you to push information to me, instead of me pulling it from you.
- honesty - Independently of being positive or negative feedback, I will be 100% honest with you about anything. Failures should be analysed, reviewed and serve as a lesson, while success should be cheered and celebrated. The same goes in the opposite direction: I like to think I am a logical person, so I will take negative feedback as constructive criticism, from which I can learn. If I do something good, let me know as well. :)
- accountability and ownership - if you are part of my team, I intrinsically trust you, without any reservation. As such, when you are in charge of a feature I expect you to own it, not only from a technical point of view but also understand the whys, the whats and the whens. You become the CEO of that feature. As such, when you succeed I will make sure everyone knows about it. When you fail, I expect you to understand why it happened, learn from it and persevere.
- empathy - Assume that the other person did the best they could possibly do in the given situation. A lot of time, when reviewing each other work, we lack the full context, which leads to knee-jerk reactions. This is a point I am working on and still have a lot to learn.
- I expect you to deliver on time and uphold our standards, but sometimes bad things happen. I hope, when that happens, for you to be honest with me about it. It's easy to mitigate a bad situation when you see it coming. It makes my life difficult if failure is just around the corner and I just got to know about it. You can also expect that I will never commit to something that I know we as a team can't deliver.
- Be comfortable to grab me at any point and have a conversation with me, no matter the topic or the time. If you are blocked or something is bothering for whatever reason, let me know as soon as possible and I will make you my priority. Ultimately, I serve you. My success is the sum of your success and the team's success. This dictates if I have done a good job or not.
- Work life balance is important, sometimes I have trouble making the separation. Please tell me if I am bothering you outside working hours, or feel free to not reply and ignore me.
- I expect you to keep learning. I like to think I provide the tools, the budget and the time for you to learn new things and improve your knowledge. If you need guidance on what you should focus next, I will do my best to direct you to the right place or person.
- During technical conversations, I like when people disagree with me. The best solutions come from a healthy level of debate. I will challenge your ideas with the goal of coming to the best possible solution, I hope you will challenge me back.
- I don't care at what time or where you work. On the other hand, I do care that you attend the meetings you have accepted, be available for your team and deliver on what's agreed.
- Sometimes I can be cold, or blunt, please tell me when this happens. This is a personal struggle since it's who I am. All human interactions can be warm and empathetic, independently of the subject's nature, so this is something I am working towards.
- Generally speaking I sound more pessimistic when writing, compared when I am on call, or talking F2F.
- I am quite opinionated and passionate about what I do, this can lead to heated debates. Tell me when I am wrong, or out of line.
- I need coffee in the morning, otherwise, I won't function. If I am not particularly responsive, we should probably grab one.
In the past, I could get into a micro-management mode, although in the present I like to think that it's rare. If it happens, please tell me to step back and let you do your job.[I believe I am no longer doing this]
- I can be quite terse when messaging, sometimes answering an entire paragraph with an "ok". Don't take this personally, or that I am being dismissive.
Thank you for taking the time to read all this! Any feedback is welcome. 🙇