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What are some steps one can take to try and understand/see things from their manager's perspective?

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Entry-level Engineer [P3] at Atlassian2 years ago

I've heard it's always good to try and understand your manager's perspective, their expectations, and what they need from you.

I assume most junior engineers wouldn't have prior management experience, so it would be useful/insightful for junior engineers gain some perspectives on the priorities and challenges a manager faces whilst running a team, so they can better help the team.



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    Robinhood, Meta, Course Hero, PayPal
    2 years ago
    • It's really hard for junior engineers: The main thing you can do is ask what your manager is thinking about and the challenges they're facing. This is because the overlap between managers and engineers is more senior level behavior.
    • You build empathy by putting yourself in their shoes, and the best way to do this is to concretely what that other person does.
    • As an engineer, this means doing "manager-ey" things like:
      • Mentorship
      • Aligning many parties, often non-eng ones
      • Managing timelines
      • Helping out with hiring and calculating headcount
    • All of the above are things software engineers can do and should do especially once they get to senior levels. As I started doing this, I realized these things were all quite hard to do really well. It made me appreciate my manager a lot more.
    • I think the most accessible one for a junior SWE is to take on an intern. However, how much effort an intern requires will vary a lot based on company. At Meta, it was a huge commitment. At other companies I've been at, it was quite small.