Engineering management can be a lonely place. Welcome to Managers Club where you will find interviews with top engineering leaders and managers to help and inspire you. Listen to the real-life stories of successful and ambitious engineering leaders who are focused to lead their teams to bigger and better outcomes.
ManagersClub is a podcast by author and fellow engineering manager Vidal Graupera. For more, go to https://www.managersclub.com
Interview with Shruti Venkatesh, Senior Engineering Manager at VTS
Shruti Venkatesh is a Senior Engineering Manager at VTS. We discuss the ideal team member, how reading fiction can help you become a better leader, four coaching questions she asks her directs twice a year, what it takes to be a great engineering leader, and more in this interview.
Interview with Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range
In this interview with Jean Hsu, VP of Engineering at Range and former leadership coach, we discuss the transition to a hybrid workforce, topgrading interviews, the importance of sleep, what it takes to be a great engineering leader, and more!
Being a Great Tech Executive — Interview with Aviv Ben-Yosef, Tech Exec Consultant & Author
Vidal: [00:00] Good afternoon. Welcome to the latest edition of ManagersClub. I’d like to welcome Aviv Ben-Yosef to the show. How are you?
Aviv: [00:09] Hi. I’m great. Thank you for having me.
What’s your background and how did you get into management?
Vidal: [00:12] Thanks for coming on. I was looking at your background, but maybe you could tell a little bit about yourself to our listeners. I know you’ve been a consultant, but also an executive leader.
Aviv: [00:21] Sure. I come from a very down-to-earth coding background. I started coding when I was nine, I served in the Israeli Defense Forces as an engineer. And since then I moved up the ranks did a bunch of roles. I worked at IBM, worked as a first employee of a startup for the good first years. And for the past nine years or so I’ve been independent.
Part of it was just coding freelancing for companies. And then I slowly moved up to being the sort of a fractional leader, having managed teams and then teams and managers of teams. And then even teams as big as 40 50 engineers under me. And in the past few years, I’ve been transitioning to consulting and coaching tech executives to move them from needing someone like me as a band-aid to providing them the ability to just lead their teams as they need to.
What are the biggest challenges you face as an engineering leader?
Vidal: [01:21] Great. I was reading your book. We’ll talk about it in a bit, but what do you see as some of the biggest challenges that you face or your clients face as engineering leaders?
Aviv: [01:29] I think that there are very common things that I see globally. For example, there’s the issue of, as the team becomes bigger and you’re growing and hiring more people, how do you maintain the same level of productivity and how do you maintain the same level of engagement by our people so that they don’t feel like they’re joining this big machine and they’re just a cog and this big thing.
That’s one problem I’m seeing all the time. Another challenge I think is for us personally, as leaders as the constantly to upgrade our own processes, our own tools, because managing a team of five people is not the same as managing a team of 15. And it’s not the same as managing managers and so on.
So we constantly need to redefine what we’re doing. Let go of things that might’ve worked for us for years, but no longer make sense and that sort of thing. And that’s hard, like molting every six months in a scale-up startup is going to be hard. But if you don’t do that, you’re going to be left behind.
Vidal: [00:02:40] I think one of the hardest things you mentioned is a lot of leaders, have the tech part down, but it’s the soft skills that they have difficulty with. Is there any particular soft skill that you see as a big challenge?
Aviv: [00:02:51] Say when you talk to tech executives, yeah, they have the tech part nailed down and executive is really hard. And exec’ing is vague. We like the specified JIRA ticket,
Interview with Jeremy Henrickson, VP Product and Engineering @ Rippling
In this interview with Jeremy Henrickson, VP Product and Engineering @ Rippling, we discuss hiring at startups, the importance of making decisions quickly while still considering that I might be wrong, and what it takes to be a great engineering leader.
Interview with Yannis Pavlidis, Senior Director of Data Science at Walmart eCommerce
In this interview with Yannis Pavlidis, Senior Director of Data Science at Walmart eCommerce, we discuss what it takes to be a great engineering leader, differences between engineering and data science, psychological safety, and hiring and conducting interviews during the pandemic.
How to Communicate and Motivate Engineers with Charles Weindorf, Senior Vice President Of Technology at Avertra Corp
How to communicate and motivate engineers with Charles Weindorf, Senior Vice President Of Technology at Avertra Corp. We discuss his new book on communication, tips to be a great new engineering leader, and several lessons from the US Navy.