Remote Engineering Management: Managing an Engineering Team in a Remote-First World
Managing an engineering team is hard, managing a remote engineering team is even harder―but dedicating effort to setting up a proper remote-first environment will allow for your team to thrive. This book breaks down the most important processes in engineering teams, and demonstrates how to make them work effectively in a remote organization.
How do you organize code deployments, onboard new hires, give feedback, and stay up to date with your team when you can’t see each other in person every day? This book looks at how building connections and working together to solve problems comes naturally when a team is co-located, but can feel almost impossible when everyone is working remotely and communicating over video calls and messages.
Whether you’re an experienced engineering manager or just getting started, you’ll learn why copying in-office practices to the remote office doesn’t work, the communication issues behind the scenes you may not even realize are happening, and how to make every aspect of remote work better for your team. From learning about how to remove new remote-specific biases from your interview process, to understanding what the team really thinks about those daily status update meetings, this book will be your guide in creating the best and most inclusive version of your engineering team.
What You’ll Learn
- Recognize where current remote processes are falling short
- Build up best practices to lead a team with a people-first and empathetic approach
- Communicate effectively in a remote organization
Who This Book is For
Engineering managers, team leads, directors, and those hoping to move into a lead role, will get the most value out of the book. Many of the learnings around communication will be applicable to any position in an organization, but there’s a focus on processes and job duties most relevant to engineers.
Table of Contents About the Author Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1: Hiring The Job Application Form The Screening Call Panel Interviews Asynchronous Technical Test How to Schedule Interviews What to Do When Technology Fails A New Set of Biases Bias #1: Internet Quality Bias #2: Video Call Backgrounds Bias #3: Noise Winning People Over When They Have Multiple Offers Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 2: Onboarding The Week Before Welcome Email Onboarding Buddies Putting It All Together The First Week Creating a Welcoming Environment Setting and Managing Expectations Working on Building Social Connections Familiarizing Them with the Way of Working Putting It All Together Beyond Week One One-on-Ones Simple Tickets Deploying Code Pull Requests The Importance of Feedback Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 3: Meetings How to Schedule a Great Meeting Name/Description Attendees Date/Time Length Team Retrospectives/Brainstorming Days 1–2: Asynchronous Days 3–4: Asynchronous Day 5: Synchronous Team Building Games Escape Rooms Live Creative Experiences Watch-n-Learn Good Old-Fashioned Social Hour The “Stand-Up” Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 4: One-on-Ones An Introduction to One-on-Ones The Benefits of One-on-Ones Remote One-on-Ones Why One-on-Ones Are Better When Remote How to Structure Your One-on-Ones The Importance of a Shared Meeting Agenda Types of One-on-Ones The First One-on-One The Feedback One-on-One The Social One-on-One The Peer One-on-One The Manager One-on-One Troubleshooting and Mistakes When There’s “Nothing to Talk About” “We’ll Talk As Needed” The Emotional Overload Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 5: Deploys Getting Everyone on the Same Page Managing the Emotional Chaos of Deploys The New Team Member Situation Solution The QA Analyst’s Bug Reports Situation Solution The Rush for Last-Minute Code Situation Solution Forgetting About Time Zones Situation Solution Should I Stay or Should I Go? Situation Solution The Day After Situation Solution Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 6: Communication Strategies Staying Updated Unstructured Written Communication Cyclic Written Check-Ins Recurring Meetings In Summary Types of Calls Video On or Off? The Benefits of Voice-Only How to Get Started with Voice Chat Embracing Async Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 7: Feedback and Promotions How to Give Great Feedback Choosing the Appropriate Delivery Method Structuring Feedback to Be Effective After Delivering Feedback Creating a Culture of Feedback How to Receive Feedback Being Transparent Ensuring That Promotions Are Fair Learning About the Hidden Work Promotion Negotiation Announcing Promotions Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 8: Burnout What Is Burnout? How to Spot Burnout in Your Team Look Out for: Communication Patterns Look Out for: Work Patterns Look Out for: Engagement Patterns How to Talk About It How to Spot Burnout in YOU The Importance of Filling Your Own Cup Preventing Burnout Reduce Notifications Work Life and Personal Life Separation Time Away from Work Talk About It Takeaways from This Chapter Chapter 9: Saying Goodbye Employee Termination Performance Expectations Goals and Performance Improvement Plans Understanding the Underlying Situation Communication As a Vital Skill The Goodbye Conversation Announcing Departures Involuntary Departures Voluntary Departures Offboarding Knowledge Transfer Exit Interviews Takeaways from This Chapter Index
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