ENGINEERING MANAGERS INTERVIEWS
#6 Make Your Role Available For Someone Else by Tiago Oliveira, an Engineering Manager at OutSystems
How bees can help you multitask and deal with changes. The importance of performance review frameworks, war rooms, and making space for people to grow.
Tiago Oliveira is an Engineering Manager in Outsystems, recently promoted from a Team Lead role. This means Tiago is managing other managers and an area of the Outsystems platform.
Tiago talks about people management, how to advance in your career, and how all managers typically struggle with similar problems. He explains how the performance review framework can help managers to make space for people to grow. How adapting to change can also be learned elsewhere, in his case by working with the bees — you cannot order them around, you need to adapt. We also talk about war rooms, mob programming, recreating the office feeling in remote, and many more topics.
No masters in people management
At the beginning of June 2022, Tiago assisted at the Dev Lead Conference London. In the workshop that happened before the actual conference, he met many other managers and they realized they have similar problems.
On the conference workshop we found out that as people managers, we all struggle with the same problems.
We all struggle with the same problems because you can’t just get a master's degree in people management and suddenly know all the answers.
When we talk about people management there is no such thing as seniority.
Take yourself out of the equation
In order to be successful and advance in your career, your goal should be to make you not needed to perform your work. This means someone else can step up start doing new things and learn.
Give people space to grow, give them some responsibilities, and make your role available for someone else.
Pair-programming — the war room
There are different ways of doing pair programming and Tiago explains a few kinds of it:
- the war room mob programming
- the newcomer pair-programming
- the casual sprint pair-programming
- why it is more valuable to do a pair-programming than a code review.
Pair-programming is better than a code review. It’s better to have two people responsible to do the work than to have three people responsible, one to do the work and two to review. Because when you are reviewing you are biased. And when you’re building something from scratch you actually think about the problem from the first stage without anyone giving you bias about anything.
Finally, we talk about Tiago’s new Engineering Manager role. He explains the job description is not totally clear but the main responsibilities are as follows:
The goal of an Engineering Manager is pretty much the same as a Team Lead’s — make sure your team is delivering with quality. But now your team is no longer individual contributors, now your team is a group of managers. And you are also responsible for a given product area.
What’s more as an Engineering Manager in this setup, meaning the manager of managers, you are also responsible for strategic thinking and planning for the team and area.
It’s thinking about the future of your team, your area, and of the company. What will be the needs six months from now? Do we need to hire more people because we will need them six months from now?
Listen to the whole interview as a podcast: