"I'm Winston Wolf, I solve problems." How engineering managers are like the character in Pulp Fiction
03.02.2023 | 9 min read
Remember Harvey Keitel in the role of Winston Wolfe? I bet you do. In "Pulp Fiction," he exemplified cool competence as the "fixer," who dealt with Jules' and Vincent's stumbling. It's safe to say that every business would be better with Wolf on board, and this is often the case with engineering managers. An engineering manager is an important leader within a company, responsible for guiding the engineering team. Also, they must provide direction and mentorship to their team, ensuring that projects are completed on time and to a high standard of quality. In this article, we will explore the various duties of an engineering manager and the impact they have on a company's success.
Who Exactly Is an Engineering Manager
An engineering manager is a critical player when it comes to delivering completed projects on time, within budget, and to a high standard of quality. They hold a pivotal position in the organization as the head of the engineering department, leading a team of engineers and technical specialists. The manager is also accountable for establishing clear objectives and setting the technical vision for software development projects.
Aside from that, they provide guidance and mentorship to team members. The manager works closely with other departments, such as product management and design, to ensure that the engineering team's efforts align with the overall goals of the company.
When it comes to a software development agency, an engineering manager is someone who may also help team members to overcome challenges within projects and help nurture their skills in areas that are of particular interest to them. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.
Prioritizing the needs of the team
First and foremost, an Engineering Manager needs to ensure that their team members have a well-organized work environment, knowledge, competencies, tools and practices. This should take place through a culture of open communication, in which each team member feels comfortable asking for the tools and technologies that they need.
Cultivating a growth mindset
An Engineering Manager should be up to date with all the latest technologies and methods in order to combine them with the career paths of individuals, based also on their skills, talents and ambitions. They should also be aware of the areas in which particular team members would like to develop their skills - and should know where their strengths lie. In their role as a mentor, they should be able to hone particular skills and in doing so, keep the entire team motivated and engaged.
Being awesome communicators
Engineering Managers are responsible for effectively communicating top level decisions from senior management and the engineering team. It’s important to make sure that team goals are aligned with the broader company goals - and that everyone is aware of their role within the bigger picture. At the same time, an engineering manager is an active member of the management team, so it's important for them to be able to communicate the needs of their teams and have an impact on the organization's strategic direction.
Supporting with challenges
Inevitably, there will be challenges that arise on client projects and the role of the Engineering Manager is to use their skills and expertise to support team members in solving these.
How to Become an Engineering Manager
As stated earlier, an egineering manager plays a critical role in ensuring the success of software development projects. Therefore, the path to become one might take numerous forms, but it often entails the same steps. This is due to the high level of education and breadth of practical skills necessary for employment in engineering management positions.
In addition to setting objectives and providing direction, an Engineering Manager must have a thorough understanding of the software development process. This includes knowledge of different software development methodologies, tools, and technologies. They should be able to make informed decisions about project timelines, resource allocation, and risk management.
"If you want to become an engineering manager, first of all, you have to build your technical skills. On this position, you will need to have a strong foundation in your field of expertise, as well as a willingness to stay up-to-date with new technologies and best practices," said Mike Ćwikliński Mobile Engineering Manager at 10Clouds.
"Next, seek out leadership development opportunities, such as training programs or mentorship, and practice your leadership skills in your current role. Also, take on additional responsibilities to show your willingness to build up your expertise. This might, for example, involve taking on a technical lead role on a project. And last, but not least: building strong relationships with other engineers, as well as with other departments and external partners. Make an effort to get to know your colleagues and build your network, both within and outside of your organization," he added.
Engineering Manager's Skill Set
Technical expertise: It's a must-have for an Engineering Manager. They should have a deep understanding of software development concepts, programming languages, and other relevant technologies. They should also have a solid background in software architecture, design patterns, and software engineering practices.
Problem-solving: These skills are also an essential requirement for Engineering Managers. They should be able to identify and resolve issues that arise during the development process and make decisions that align with project goals. This requires strong critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively with the team.
Leadership skills: An engineering manager needs to be able to lead and motivate their team, and to foster a positive and collaborative work environment. This includes the ability to delegate tasks and responsibilities effectively, to communicate clearly and concisely, and to build trust and credibility with team members.
Organizational skills: Engineering managers need to be able to plan and coordinate the work of their team, and to track progress, and ensure that deadlines are met. This requires strong organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize tasks and manage time effectively.
Finally, experience in software development is crucial for Engineering Managers. They should have a proven track record of delivering high-quality software products and managing successful projects. This experience will enable them to make informed decisions and navigate the complexities of the software development process and being a partner for clients.
Architectural and Software Development Project Management
Defining project scope is a crucial first step in managing software development projects. The Engineering Manager must clearly understand the project requirements, constraints, and objectives. This will help to establish project goals and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Resource allocation is also a critical component of project management. The Engineering Manager must make decisions about the allocation of time, money, and personnel to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget. This requires a deep understanding of the team's strengths and weaknesses, as well as the ability to make informed decisions about the use of resources.
Managing timelines is another key aspect of project management. The Engineering Manager must set realistic expectations for project completion and ensure that the team is on track to meet these deadlines. This requires the ability to effectively manage project risks, prioritize tasks, and make informed decisions about project timelines.
Regular team meetings are an essential component of effective project management. The Engineering Manager must hold regular check-ins with the team to ensure that progress is being made and that everyone is on the same page. These meetings also provide an opportunity for the team to discuss any challenges or roadblocks that may arise during the project.
Finally, it is important to stay organized when managing a software development project. Breaking down projects into smaller tasks and setting milestones helps to ensure that progress is being made and that the project is on track to meet its objectives. This requires a deep understanding of project planning and the ability to effectively manage tasks and timelines.
Why hiring a Software Company With an Engineering Manager is Good
Hiring a software company with an engineering manager can bring a number of advantages to your business, as it allows you to tap into a large pool of experienced developers and designers who can work on your project. This can help you quickly scale your team and bring a range of specialized skills to the table.
The software company's existing processes, tools, and infrastructure can also help save you time and reduce costs. For example, the company may already have established project management tools, testing frameworks, and development environments in place, which can help streamline the development process and speed up delivery times.
Having a dedicated engineering manager on your project also provides you with a single point of contact who can oversee the project, ensure that it stays on track, and address any issues that arise. This can help reduce your workload and provide you with peace of mind knowing that your project is in good hands.
Moreover, the software company is accountable for delivering a high-quality product that meets your requirements. This increased level of accountability can help you achieve better results and ensure that your project is delivered on time and within budget.
Finally, the collaborative and well-organized approach of the software company's developers and designers can lead to faster delivery times and higher-quality results. With an engineering manager overseeing the project, you can expect clear communication, effective problem-solving, and the efficient use of resources.
It’s fair to say that hiring a software company with an engineering manager can bring a range of benefits to your business, including access to a larger pool of experienced developers and designers, reduced costs and delivery times, increased accountability, and higher-quality results. However, it's important to choose a software company with a proven track record, good references, and a transparent communication and collaboration process to ensure that your project will be a success.
An Engineering Management: A Solution to Software Developer's Shortage
The lack of software developers is a big problem for a lot of businesses and industries, especially in places where tech skills are in high demand. Recent studies and polls show that in many places, the demand for software developers is higher than the supply, which means there aren't enough qualified professionals.
The World Economic Forum's latest report on the shortage of software developers says that the world will need 18.2 million more IT workers over the next ten years. Also, a 2020 survey by Gartner found that there will be more than 2.5 million unfilled IT jobs by 2022, and this number is expected to rise to as many as 5.5 million by 2025.
Because there aren't enough software developers, it can take longer to hire people and be harder to get the best ones. This can make it hard for businesses to find and keep the skilled workers they need to build and maintain their technology systems.
Businesses can't find enough qualified software developers to meet their needs because there aren't enough of them. This can slow down and lower the quality of software development projects. This can cause delays, higher costs, and results that aren't as good.
If you don't have enough developers, you might be able to get by with just hiring an engineering manager. Many talented people who are just starting out need a mentor to help them do their jobs better. An engineering manager can lead and motivate the current teams to move quickly up the ranks and become senior developers.
In conclusion, an Engineering Manager plays a key role in fostering company growth by providing guidance and direction to software development teams, support clients and impact company’s direction. They have many roles and responsibilities in project management, requirements management, and team management.
To become an Engineering Manager, one must have the necessary job requirements and skills such as technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, and experience in software development. Furthermore, it is important for an Engineering Manager to effectively manage software development projects by understanding job requirements, setting expectations for the team, staying organized, and managing timelines.