There is far more to software engineering than shipping code. A truly effective engineering manager needs to step up with these issues to protect the team.
Here are the core points from the video:
- A good engineering manager is a shield - In particular, engineering managers should handle non-technical issues like politics and organizational thrash, abstracting that pain away from their engineers so they have the clarity to execute.
- Alex's Manager Shielding Story - When Alex joined his team at Robinhood, the product roadmap wasn't very clear. There definitely wasn't enough well scoped out work for the team to work on. To shield the team from this product direction thrash, he created a high-impact infrastructure project for the team to work on, giving them the scope necessary to not get destroyed in performance review from doing nothing.
If you're interested in how Alex led that Robinhood infrastructure project despite being new to the company, watch his case study about it here: [Case Study] Becoming A Tech Lead Again In Just 1 Month After Joining Robinhood From Meta