Slides: Leadership Without Management: Scaling Organizations by Scaling Engineers
Sep 16, 2013
1 minute read

Lot’s of great stuff in this terrific set of slides by Bryan Cantrill at Joyent presenting how to scale up your engineering teams without bringing in a bunch of extraneous process and middle management.

I’ve always had questions on what the best way to build engineering teams is. Bryan seems to hit the nail on the head with his deck. Some of my favorite quotes:

“Hierarchical titles are not uplifting, they’re corrosive”

“Having a select group hand down technical decisions is tremendously demotivating to younger talent”

“Non-technical management is a recipe for date-driven death marches, where “everyone” knows the schedule is unobtainable”

“The most dangerous management is that which are formerly technical. They often retain the confidence of an engineer, but lose the humility that is forced upon an engineer who must get a complicated system to actually work”

“Focus is not what you do, but what you don’t do”

“Present engineers with problems, not solutions. event if those problems are organizational or economic.”

“The best software engineers  -at every level of experience and across personality types – are also natural leaders”

“One need not have middle management; a flat structure with open communication and flexible teams allows software engineers’ natural leadership to develop.”