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How To Get More From Your Engineering Manager

codechix

Once you understand what things impact her/him, you can understand how to help her/him. And, most importantly, help yourself!

By Rupa Dachere (Founder, CodeChix & Software Engineer, VMware)

It took me years to realize that managing my boss was something I needed to do. And then, it took me even longer to figure out how to do it or even what to do.

The standard operating procedure is that your manager will give you a bunch of tasks to do and expect you to do them. And usually, at this point, I would go to work, do my tasks, get them done well and then, get on with my life. That’s that.

And I felt like I was getting nowhere.

So, here’s the lesson that I learnt.

You need to figure out what your managers’ personality is.

Does s/he like one-on-one meetings, is s/he a morning or a night person, does s/he like to communicate by walking to everyone’s cube or office and chatting with them or does s/he prefer to use email to communicate?

Once you understand your manager’s world and what things impact her/him, you can understand how to help her/him. And, most importantly, help yourself!

For instance, if your manager needs to showcase your team, step up and do some technical talks which are company-wide through videoconferencing (if needed). That would not only give YOU much-needed visibility, but, it would also give visibility to your manager. And it would be a win-win situation for both of you!

So, learn to manage your boss and forge ahead! And if you are not forging ahead despite trying your best, network like heck and find a position that is more fruitful.

And for that, you will need to know a lot about networking. Networking is something that we engineers don’t give much importance, and that can really hurt us.

Editor’s note: This blog post is part two of Rupa Dachere’s Career Lessons from the Developer Trenches series.

Women 2.0 readers: How have you managed your manager? Let us know in the comments!

About the guest blogger: Rupa Dachere is the Founder of CodeChix and a Software Engineer at VMware. She has worked at various multi-nationals and startups and learned many lessons through the hard knocks of life. She is a speaker at the Grace Hopper Conference (2012) and dedicates her time and money towards building great products and providing continuous education and mentorship for women developers of all backgrounds and skill levels. Follow her on Twitter at @rdachere.