Engineering management

As an engineering manager of several teams, I sometimes worry — and my teams like to remind me — that my technical skills will eventually wither away from doing only management work and no technical work.

I really enjoy management work! I like thinking about the big picture, how everything fits together, and why it sometimes doesn't. I even like doing all the small things that move the needle on that.

But: When I’m good at engineering management, I know that I owe a large part of it to being a developer at heart.

The great thing about engineering management…

I’ve been doing open source for a while. It’s pretty easy to do. It’s just writing code, the same as before, and then sharing it with people instead of keeping it to myself.

I used to think that open source had to be perfect. I used to think that the README should be about as good and extensive as Shakespeare’s collected works, and that each function should read like a poem. I used to think that it should change the world, or at least a few lives. …

I’ve learned some things the hard way, so when I left Hyper they asked that I write them up so my successors wouldn’t have to. We open source by default, so it’s only right that I share this, too.

There’s two ways to go about deciding things. One way is that the team who needs it decide for themselves, and the other is that you decide for them.

Everyone will think that you should decide. They’ll think that you know best, or that you want to decide. …

I’m Johannes. I work at Hyper. That’s the job I quit today. It’s all I know, and it’s all I’ve ever wanted to know. It’s a wonderful place, and I thought I’d never leave.

I wrote this because I couldn’t tell anyone why I did.

That’s not to say I wasn’t allowed to. I even wanted to. I just wasn’t able to. I simply could not put it into words. I could only say that it felt right, and it scared the hell out of me.

I’ve always said that I love building things. That’s still true. I love making…

Johannes Gorset

Chief nerd at VG and open source enthusiast

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