Dev Interrupted
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Dev Interrupted

How Promotions Ruin Dev Careers w/ Shopify’s Dir. of Engineering James Stanier

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In so many professions, the reward for exceptional work is a promotion to management. Unfortunately, for developers whose programming gets them singled out for promotion, the skills to manage a team have nothing to do with the work that got them recognized in the first place.

James Stanier, Director of Engineering at Shopify, understands the pitfalls of being promoted from an IC to an engineering manager, and began writing as a way to think through the mistakes he himself was making.

Today, James is an accomplished author; his first book Become An Effective Software Engineering Manager debuted in 2020, and his second book Effective Remote Work was published earlier this year.

On this week’s episode of Dev Interrupted, James talks about how developers can prepare themselves for a role in management, or alternatively, why they should avoid a career in management altogether. He also discusses why Shopify loves remote pair programming, how to find your voice as a developer and why writing a book can be a spiritual experience.

Episode Highlights Include:

  • (4:06) Why so many devs are afraid of becoming managers
  • (16:51) The 90 day management test
  • (22:46) Remote work has increased dev productivity by default
  • (27:47) Why Shopify loves remote pair programming
  • (33:01) Finding your voice as a developer
  • (41:17) Writing a book can be a spiritual experience

Starved for top-level software engineering content? Need some good tips on how to manage your team? This article is inspired by Dev Interrupted — the go-to podcast for engineering leaders.

Dev Interrupted features expert guests from around the world to explore strategy and day-to-day topics ranging from dev team metrics to accelerating delivery. With new guests every week from Google to small startups, the Dev Interrupted Podcast is a fresh look at the world of software engineering and engineering management.

Listen and subscribe on your streaming service of choice today.

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