> Given the momentum of startups and investment in the region, there’s a huge demand for experienced engineering management. This is particularly acute in Southeast Asia, where few companies have seen enough scale (yet) to have developed deep talent internally, even as they enter hyper-growth and race to add engineers at a tremendous pace.
You have hit the nail on the head.
In Singapore, Startups only really started picking up in the last 10 years or so. Even then, the number of Startups here that grew to a point where Engineering Managers were required are few and between.
Many of these Startups might end up promoting from within, which usually means that the most senior engineer would end up in a managing role. However, this introduces a few problems:
1. The senior engineer might not actually want to be a manager
2. The new manager lack training, guidance and mentorship
What happens next is that Startups (which might no longer be quite Startup) might then look to hire more traditional enterprise managers who have had that experience of looking after big teams, but might be quite detached of modern software engineering practices.
This leads us to the challenge that you might have experienced in your hiring: The “experienced engineering management” that you have been seeking (which may exist outside of SG, i.e. SF), is a unicorn in this part of the World.
The good news is, as more and more experienced engineering managers, like yourself, Jean Hsu, Edmond Lau share more of your knowledge/experience, we, in SG, would have a better chance of learning about what it takes to be a better engineering manager.
Edit: It might be a bit of over generalization for the opinions mentioned above, but that’s been my experience this far.
Companies generally do not spend much on training engineering managers in their coaching and managerial skills too.
> while I’ve yet to hear of any sustained programs here in Singapore.
This is something which I am passionate about and has been thinking about for a while too. Would love to see how we can do something here in SG. 🙇