About a year ago, I made the decision to transition from individual contributor to engineering manager here at Stitch Fix and it’s been quite a year to take on a new role! In that time, I’ve learned so much, such as how to navigate a pandemic as both an employee and a people manager, how vulnerability can be a powerful tool in a leader’s toolbelt, and the difference between being an individual developer versus a manager on a team.
I was recently interviewed by Code Climate, in collaboration with Codacademy, to talk about just that: my experience as a new manager and tips for engineers thinking of transitioning to the manager track. Here is a short excerpt:
What advice do you have for new managers or for people who are looking to make the shift into a manager role?
…one piece of advice I got from my current manager that I found really powerful was to lean into the vulnerability of being new at something. If you’re managing a team, it’s easy to pretend like you have all the answers… But I’ve been doing this for 9 or 10 months now and I’m still figuring out my management style and what works for me. Be upfront about that, let your team know, “Hey, I’m going try a few things out. Let me know if they’re not working until I figure out what’s working.” It lets your team know… that you don’t have all the answers. Being vulnerable as a leader gives your team permission to be vulnerable back to you, and that just builds more trust…