My Manager Readme

When I start working with someone new, I like to have a conversation to align our expectations of each other.

Number 1 thing to remember, this is my opinion and not that of any employer I may or may not have.


We are here for a good time, not a long time. The good times should be productive for both of us. The motivation for this README is to learn how we can be productive together within the system we exist in.

What do i do?

It depends on the job I have. I have oscillated from Team Lead to VP of a department of 100 engineers. Currently, I am a Senior Engineering Manager. This means I look after multiple teams that produce software for different lines of business.

  • I ensure that the company Objectives are known to everyone and the status of those objectives.
  • I spend time with other leadership members to ensure teams collaborate well together.
  • I spend time with other leadership members to ensure that we create an environment for providing engineers with a space to do their best work.
  • I set objectives for the teams to ensure they are getting better as engineers. Not just from a coding perspective but a testing, monitoring, and operational perspective.
  • I coach Team leads/Managers to be better Team leaders/Managers.
  • I measure the team’s metrics to ensure we are on track to create high performing teams.

How do i think?

  • We work with what we have. No company or system is perfect. We work to improve that system, slowly and together.
  • Working together on problems produces the best results. think pairing, mobbing etc
  • What I think Agile is
    • Work small
    • Talk to each other
    • Make people’s lives better.
    • That’s it. All that other junk is a distraction(source Allen Holub)
  • I like coding. I love engineering. There is a difference between the two. I want everyone to become better engineers.
  • Services that can be cloned, run locally, and well understood and operated by reading the are the absolute best.
  • Metrics matter. I put more of an emphasis on team metrics.
  • You are in charge of your career. You want to get better as an engineer or coaching etc. I will help, but you do the work.

What annoys me?

It takes a lot to annoy so my list is short.

  • Bullies, people who publicly tear people down, people who think they are the smartest in the room, people called Domenico.
  • People who can google something but ask anyway.

Enough of me, How do we work together?

When do we talk?

  • As a manager, my work mainly happens in meetings. Don’t be surprised by the lack of availability when you look at it. If something affects you and you need to talk to me, ignore my calendar and find me. I will make time to speak with you at any time.
  • We will talk at least once a week, even if it’s just to say hello.
  • We will spend some quality time, 30-60 mins every two weeks, to ensure your career is progressing(using the current company framework)

How do I view your impact?

  • As an engineer
    • Take control of, and take responsibility for your own destiny.
    • You continuously unblock yourself from problems.
    • Hold each other accountable for quality and delivery.
    • Always question, always ask “why?”
    • Ensure we are all working to our objective and know that unplanned work happens.
    • You ask your team leader for your team’s short and long-term objectives regularly.
  • As a Team Lead/Manager
    • Ensure the team understands our short term and long term objectives.
    • Communicate what successes and failures are to the team.
    • Ensure there is a calibration between you and your team every week to cover immediate and long-term goals.
    • Featux X- plan to complete it by Y(Y being in that week)
    • Be proactive with me. If there is a Major Incident, I expect the communication to be coming to me saying there is a review.
    • I expect you to have a plan for your team and tell me what the plan is and when it changes. I do not want to chase your plan.

How is feedback delivered?

Feedback Feedback is critical to both of our successes. Feedback is related to the objectives and mission of the team and how well that is going.
I user a RAG(Red, Amber, Green) RAG
Green - there might be things to improve, or there might not. If nothing ever changed, it’s all good.
Orange - one or more behaviours will not be sustainable if left unchecked in the long term. Something needs to change.
Red/ - there is a significant problem with a timebox, and we have explicitly discussed both the problem and the timebox.

Going Amber sounds terrifying. It shouldn’t be. It is absolutely recoverable! Even going red is recoverable.
Recovering from Amber (or red) builds a lot of trusts. You’ve proven that you accept feedback, acknowledge your role in the situation, and are willing and capable of changing, growing, and improving. That isHUGE.

I have a short memory of Red issues. Once they are solved, I never bring them up or hold them for future performance meetings like your end of year performance.

Beyond the company missions, objects and measures, what else do you measure?

SPACE Metrics


For things that dont fall into a specific bucket.

  • If you have a problem with another member of staff, I will hope you would talk to them first instead of coming to me, and if you have to talk to me, I expect you to tell the person you are having conflict with to be told.
  • I may seem like a happy go lucky person who loves to chat. I am a bit of an introvert. An Introverted person, for me, is one whose batteries gets recharged by not talking to folk, going to a quiet room and sitting in silence.
  • I like to have a happy team. Because I like happy teams, I tend to make a lot of dad jokes. Happy teams are productive teams. This approach can annoy some people, so apologies.
  • Ask assertive versus tell assertive. When you need to ask me to do something, ask me. I respond incredibly well to ask assertiveness (“Podge, can you help with X?”). I react poorly to being told what to do ("Podge, do X.”) I have been this way since I was a kid, and I probably need professional help.
  • I can be hyperbolic, but it’s almost always because I am excited about the topic.
  • I love engineering and becoming a better engineer, not just for me but also for my team.
  • I get obsessive over problems. As soon as I have cracked the problem, I never want to see it again.

I’ve written a lot about my philosophies, but a fair amount of my job is adapting to your needs and perspectives, and I look forward to talking to you about them!


I took a lot of inspirations from readmes i found on Hackernoon