A Journey into Engineering Management
Two weeks ago, we launched our product, Plato. Plato is on a mission to help Engineers become great Engineering Leaders thanks to a community of mentors who are experienced engineering leaders from top tech companies, including Segment, Lyft, Facebook, Google, Spotify, Trello, Slack, Uber, Netflix…
Today, we go one step further towards this mission. At the occasion of the launch of our product, we organized an event in San Francisco at SaaSTR CSS. At first, we wanted to organize a small event, a small meet-up in San Francisco to gather some of our mentors and to celebrate together the last 5 months of work we did. After a few emails sent to our users, mentors, and friends, we realized that there was a genuine interest in hearing about Engineering Management. And a few days later, we had more than 250 people signed up for the event to hear our mentors share their experience in Engineering Leadership:
For this first event, the theme was: A Journey into Management. Over the course of the evening, we wanted to go through the life of an Engineering Manager:
- The first steps in the life of an Engineering Manager is the “Transition from IC to Manager”
Speaker: Shivani Sharma (Senior Engineering Manager @Slack)
- Then usually, and it’s inevitable, you make mistakes. A panel of 3 of our mentors share their “Worst mistake as a manager”
Speakers: Tasneem Minadakis (Engineering Leader @Uber), Brett Huff (Engineering Manager at Trello/Atlassian), Benjamin De Point (Senior Director of Engineering @Datto). Moderator: Christian McCarrick (VP Engineering @Telmate)
- Over time, you become better at your job and others begin to look up to you. Four of our mentors discussed the meaning of leadership in “How to become a legitimate leader”
Speakers: Richard Sun (Senior Director of Engineering @Kabam), Yi Huang (Engineering Manager @Facebook), Jean Hsu (Engineering Manager @Medium) and Nikhil Pandit (Engineering Manager @Clever)
Moderator: Christian McCarrick (VP Engineering @Telmate)
- After you master being a Manager of Engineers, you may find yourself being promoted to yet another type of manager. Tido Carriero talks about his “Transition from Manager to Manager of Managers”
Speaker: Tido Carriero (VP Engineering @Segment)
- After all these steps, you might have a higher level of responsibility. Luc talks about his mission at Lyft in “Building an Engineering Structure”
Speaker: Luc Vincent (VPE Lyft)
These speakers are only a small cross-section of all the mentors we’ve gathered in our community all around the world. None of this would have been possible without their dedication and commitment.
During my welcome speech, I talked about where we come from, why we’re on this mission, why we think that mentorship is the best solution to solve this problem, and why the best Engineering Leaders, “Plato mentors” around the world have joined us on this mission. If you’d like to learn more, check out this video (it runs about 9 minutes):
Thank you Jason M. Lemkin and SaaStr team for being our host for a wonderful evening! We don’t want our mission to be limited to San Francisco or even to one country. So we’re doing three things to go further on our mission to help Engineers become great Engineering Leaders:
- We’ll share the content we produce online. In fact, you can see all the videos from this event on our YouTube channel here.
- We’ll organize more events in SF. Those events will be more focused around one Engineering Leadership topic. We’ll pick those topics according to the challenges we see going through our product: One-on-ones, Hiring, Firing, Feedback, Promotion, Performance Evaluations, etc. Do you have suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know!
- We’ll organize events in other parts of the world. Our next event will be in Paris, to bring the best practices of Engineering Leadership from the Silicon Valley to our home country: France.