to Manage Humans

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Vandana Premkumar
Nov 11, 2018 · 2 min read

Software Engineer to People Manager

If you bumped into this blog you are either an individual contributor(IC) aspiring to be a manager or a good manager looking for ways to motivate an IC. This project is based on machine learning algorithm of one’s skills and will to be the highest grade of people manager.

Getting Started

Most software engineers at one point of their career hit the crossroad of which path to pick — technical ladder or the management ladder. Software engineers may face this crossroad more than once in their lives. This is to help those engineers who are looking to grow their management skills.


Reading a book about management isn’t going to make you a good manager any more than a book about guitar will make you a good guitarist, but it can get you thinking about the most important concepts. — Drew Houston

After reading “Managing Humans” by Micheal Loop , I learnt that managing projects is different from managing humans. The first one qualifies you to be project manager and second one makes you a technical manager.


Rob Warmley articulates 12 step process for leadership:

  1. Jot down your goals.
  2. What are your weaknesses and how can you improve.
  3. Ask feedback from your team about your leadership skills.
  4. Get organized in everything — one on ones, meetings, status reports.
  5. Get trained, there are tons of leadership courses and books for your rescue.
  6. Read management books.
  7. Learn to listen.
  8. Practice praising and rewarding.
  9. Find a mentor or coach.
  10. Communicate effectively.
  11. Be transparent.
  12. Create a feedback system.

Running the tests

Listening and taking feedback from your team members is good on the job test. Increase your “test coverage” by seeking feedback from peer managers, from other teams and companies.


Having 90% test coverage and good supporting manager is key to deploying an IC to manager.


“Managing Humans” | Third Edition | Micheal Loop | Brianna Hansen | Rob Warmley


Please share your views in comments below your personal experience of this career switch.

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