Monday, August 13, 2018

Review: The Manager's Path by Camille Fournier

The Manager's Path Cover
I should start a list of books I wish I read earlier. This one would definitely be on that list. Thankfully it is fairly recent, so I don't have myself to blame.

Most people that I know in some kind of lead or management role stumbled into them. This was certainly the case for me. One day you are the lone developer in a small shop or start-up and without your fault it does start to grow. All is well until you have a handful of people in the team, suddenly there is a need for some structure and dare I say the word "management".
A lot of developers, including myself, are introverts and also prefer the technology side of a company. Taking on the role of a lead or manager will force you to talk to more people and reduces your time on the keyboard. I never wanted to manage people, but working at my start-up (guideguide, war stories another time) I realised that someone had to do it and if I cared for the company it probably had to be me.

This is where "The Manager's Path" comes in. It explains the path you might take from being a lone contributor to taking on more responsibilities like mentoring, leading on the technical side, to managing teams and finally being a CTO.
It explains every role in great details with real life examples and asks questions to assess your own situation.

Even if you are happy to just being a developer this might be helpful to understand the other side and what to expect from your lead. Maybe it also helps to decide that management is not for you yet and you want to learn more about the technology before you take the next step. Or you decide you just are happy where you are and might never go further than on the technical side.

I did see myself in a lot of the chapters and wished I had someone tell me these things 20 years ago.
Now I will keep it on hand as a reference to look up when I have to reassess roles and help others to grow.
While my title is Technical Director at the moment, in the book I am somewhere between manager of team(s) and manager of managers with a sprinkle of CTO. 

I wonder if there are similar books for other professions, reading this book might be good, but a lot of things are specific to technical careers.

A five star from me. ★★★★★

The Manager's Path on Goodreads
My random highlights

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