So, you want to become an Engineering Manager?

August 6, 2022 · 4 min · Adam McKerlie

Most developers at one point or another in their careers have thought about switching to management. Maybe your boss left suddenly and you were the most senior engineer on the team. Maybe you’ve spent a number of years in your current role and are wanting a new challenge. Or, if you’re lucky, your mentor brought up some traits they thought would make you a really good manager. Whatever the reason, you’re here now, trying to figure out whether this is the right move for you....

Welcome to mckerlie.com

August 2, 2022 · 2 min · Adam McKerlie

For the better part of the last decade, I’ve been an Engineering Manager (EM) and Director of Engineering (DoE). I’ve learnt a number of ways that don’t work when it comes to leading people and a few ways that do and I’d like to share them with you. A few weeks ago one of my co-workers asked me what it was like getting into management. As I reflected on that question I realized it was one I’ve answered before....

Meetings can be Poisonous

December 22, 2020 · 5 min · Adam McKerlie

Eight years ago I wrote about how meetings are poisonous . At the time I was the senior developer on my team and I was getting pulled into 4-5 meetings a day. This killed my productivity and made it difficult to get any of my IC work done. I struggled for many months until I realized that I could just say no to meetings. Since then I’ve transitioned from developer to manager , manager to director and then back to manager....

Four Things I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career

May 22, 2017 · 4 min · Adam McKerlie

When I was getting started early on in my career I made a lot of mistakes. I was unhappy, working for people who didn’t respect me and I was lost. I was unsure as to whether or not I wanted to continue being a developer and for a while, I was unsure if I’d ever be able to make it. I was working my butt off and burning myself out for a company I didn’t believe in....

The Five Traits I Look For When Hiring

January 26, 2017 · 4 min · Adam McKerlie

Hiring is hard. It’s a stressful process where you’re trying to find a good fit, both personally and technically, all in a few short hours. Over the last 7 years, I’ve hired many developers and while they haven’t all worked out, I’ve been very fortunate to have been able to work with some excellent people. In every case, as I’m sitting across from them in the interview, I focus on trying to see if the candidate exhibits the following five traits....

From Developer to Manager

October 12, 2016 · 6 min · Adam McKerlie

In early 2013 I transitioned from a developer to a manager of a team of 3 when my manager left suddenly. It took me over two years (and doubling the team size) until I felt like I really understood what it meant to be a manager and thought I was adding value. Here are a few things I’ve learnt and tips others gave to me. Less Coding By far the hardest thing for me to realize was that I needed to cut back the amount of coding that I did....