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Engineering managers start out as engineers. Eventually, there is a fork in their career road where an engineer can choose to move up into management or continue on as an engineer in a more senior role. Changing to management involves an increase in responsibilities, a different set of goals to focus on.
Jon Emerson was working at Google as an engineer when a project he was working on started to get more attention. He moved into management, and spent several years at Google as a manager. Today, he works at Hired as a director of engineering, leading four different teams. Full disclosure: Hired is a sponsor of Software Engineering Daily, but this episode is not about Hired itself. We do start out with a discussion of the hiring process, because of Jon’s domain expertise around hiring, but most of our conversation focuses on the role of a manager, and the role of a director.
Most of the episodes of Software Engineering Daily focus on the day-to-day life of an engineer, so it was interesting to get a perspective from someone higher up the management chain, who has more visibility over entire software projects.