Context: I work as a Entry Level SWE at Series B Startup with 25 people; the SWE team is 7 people total. I am the only person currently under my manager & my coworkers are fairly clear about what I am building & why. Also, the SWE team morale is strong and productivity seems to be at a sustainable rate.
During our mentor-mentee meeting last week, my manager & I agreed to give each other specific feedback each week (and also agreed for our 1:1 meetings to be used for awkward, personal stuff as Alex & Rahul recommended). In general, I think he is an incredible manager; he’s personable, highly knowledgable, is available to answer my questions, & answers all my noobie questions but I do think there are some shortcomings as he is not used to being a mentor or a manager.
I don’t want to just say “Great job!“ as that is an easy default to fall into week-after-week.
So how do I evaluate my manager? Is there a set of questions somewhere? A framework of some kind?
One of the most important jobs for a manager is to be a coach. How do you feel your manager is with giving you constructive feedback? You mentioned being relatively new on the team -- what would it have taken for you to onboard 20% faster, and how could your manager have helped you with that?
The other dimension to feedback is format + frequency. How often does your manager become "awkward" and how often are you surprised?
You can also start to think about your manager at the team level. When you talk to coworkers, are they clear about what you’re building and why? Are there any observations you can share about the team productivity/morale that could be helpful?
Finally, there's the quantifiable data. Things like retention and promo rate are closely tracked for every manager. Based on your observations on the team, could you share some insights?