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How can I unblock engineers on the team without actually diving into the code with them?

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Anonymous User at Taro Community2 years ago

How can I unblock engineers on the team without getting into the weeds and debugging the issue myself or pair programming with them?

Right now, I create work tickets and add context so engineers can easily pick them up. Engineers will then come to me with technical problems as they get blocked on these tickets, which requires a lot of time from me.

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    Meta, Pinterest, Kosei
    2 years ago

    Resist the urge to jump into debugging mode when your engineers hit a problem. It’s more scalable (and healthier) for engineers to employ tools to unblock themselves. I like to ask myself the question “what would I do if I were stuck in this position?” – answers I often find myself giving are:

    • “Talk to this person who has more context”
    • “Read this part of the documentation”
    • “Let’s do the hacky version first, then we can improve on it”

    Some other points worth mentioning:

    • Use some judgment about the level of ambiguity your engineers can handle – for more senior engineers, I’d expect them to create their own tickets.
    • The task of decomposing a problem and adding context is critical, and it should be done by someone closest to the problem. As your scope increases, the person with the most context will increasingly not be you.
    • As you start to delegate more to senior engineers, you’ll get looped in only for the gnarly problems or the fires. So you’ll still have to get involved, but these issues will be higher leverage.