I’ve been leading engineering teams for over 6 years, ranging from smaller web development groups to overseeing multiple teams of engineers. My leadership style has been shaped through the experiences, good or bad, that I’ve had during this time. I’ve also learned a number of important lessons from the following books.
If you’re looking to improve your leadership skills or are thinking about a shift to engineering management, I highly recommend these books.
The Manager’s Path: A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth & Change
By Camille Fournier
This book is a must-read for anybody at any stage in their leadership journey. It walks through what to expect at any step of your career. There are practical examples that helped me understand my role as an engineering leader vs a contribtutor and I re-read it every couple of years and learn new things I didn’t get the first time I read through the book.
Accelerate: The Science of Lean Software and DevOps: Building and Scaling High Performing Technology Organizaions
By Nichole Forsgren PhD
I found this book a fascinating read, similar to how I feel whenever I read the Freakonomics, or similar, types of books. Lots of numbers, survey results and facts about how to measure, and even improve performance in the lens of engineering projects.
Confessions of a Public Speaker
By Scott Berkun
Public speaking is a skill necessary for any engineering leader, even if you aren’t planning to speak at conferences. Being prepared and eloquent when sharing your ideas is a very tricky skill to master (which didn’t come naturally to me). Scott’s book is an entertaining way to learn lessons and techniques about public speaking and how to make an entertaining presentation.