How Technical Should Managers Be? 🧑💻
Can you pull off both management and tech leadership duties? And what if you are a non-technical manager?
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A few weeks ago we ran a live event in the Refactoring community where we invited some very accomplished engineering coaches.
The event unfolded as a group coaching session, where the coaches covered all kinds of questions and real-life problems from members of the community.
An interesting topic that was brought up is about engineering managers without a technical background 👇
Q: I manage a technical team but I don't have a technical background. How do I build skills and credibility in my current role and for my future career?
The need for technical skills in EM roles is an evergreen debate. Just recently, even Elon weighed in on this, in his classic style:
I have no business arguing with the fact that technically excellent managers have an edge over those who are not. But is such excellence mandatory to be a good manager?
Well, it’s complicated, and it turns out it depends on the size and the composition of your team.
Let’s dissect this, by covering:
⚔️ Boundaries between EMs and Tech Leads — why they are so elusive.
🌗 Hybrid managers — can you pull off both roles?
🌊 When the levee breaks — when do you need to separate the two?
🌱 How to grow as a non-technical manager — what to focus on to be successful.
Let’s dive in!