Their discussion covered a lot topics, and, to my mind, was a perfect illustration of the complexity and nuances of the engineering manager role. At one point Roberta summed up her role like this:
“So now I manage the people, right? I manage their careers, I help them grow. And I also have a strategic vision of where we need to be. So it’s more of a position it’s very similar to what engineering managers and other companies do. But it’s a little bit more technical than that too, because I do need to keep my eyes on where the software architecture is, is moving towards what are our strategy in terms of scale and where we want to be and not in the next PR, but in the next three years.”
Every company does engineering management differently, but that mix of technical detail and strategic focus is common, especially when you get a the manager of managers position.
Anyone curious about the management side swing of the engineering/management pendlum would get a lot out of the things Roberta talked about.