Getting Started As A Manager

I have found myself repeatedly recommending the same books and resources for getting started as a manager. So I thought, I might as well share them here.

This list is intentionally short and really focuses on getting started. Don’t worry, your reading list will grow intimidatingly long soon enough.


Managing Humans by Michael Lopp has had the biggest impact on me. For many others The Manager’s Path by Camille Fournier has played a similar role. Try both and see what works best for you.


Oren Ellebogen’s newsletter Software Lead Weekly is a reliable source of great content and Oren’s short comments always add some value on top. Highly recommended.

The newsletter archive can also be searched which can be helpful when you are looking for input on a particular topic.


If videos work better for you the recordings from The Lead Developer conference are a good start. The conference organizers also recently kicked-off a meetup in Berlin.


If you have to survive a long commute or like to listen to podcasts for other reasons check out Greater Than Code or Simple Leadership.


Twitter is a very good source for engineering management content. Make it a habit to follow everyone interesting you come across on other channels or on Twitter itself. Combine this with regular clean-ups to build up your personalized source for engineering management content.

Article Collections

If you are looking for input on a particular topic First Round maintains an impressive archive of articles about more or less everything. Google’s re:work is a bit more focused but equally useful.

When you are looking for ideas on how to spice up your workshops and meetings Atlassian’s team playbook and the tasty cupcakes archive are great resources.


It feels awkward to almost everyone to ask people you don’t know for a meeting to exchange experiences. A low-threshold way to get started is asking former peers who have become managers themselves to meet over lunch.