Summary of The Manager’s Path

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

8 Style


Camille Fournier, the managing director and head of platform engineering at Two Sigma, and a former tech vice president at Goldman Sachs and CTO at Rent the Runway, explains how quality management drives sound engineering, workplace harmony and future profits. She refutes the widely held idea among software engineers that management is a “soft” skill that requires less willpower than engineering. Fournier’s real-life anecdotes and examples illustrate her argument that good management matters in every field. She offers interesting surprises and calm guidance for software engineers looking to move into management and for those promoted into management against their better judgment. getAbstract recommends her insights as a useful career guide for engineering tech leads and, in particular, software engineering managers.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why software engineers should consider management roles, even if they hesitate to become managers;
  • What duties fall to a tech lead, engineering manager and engineering director; and
  • How mentoring helps the coach and employee.

About the Author

Camille Fournier, the managing director and head of platform engineering at Two Sigma, is the former CTO of Rent the Runway and a former VP of technology at Goldman Sachs. A frequent public speaker, she maintains the Apache ZooKeeper open source project, writes the Ask the CTO column for O’Reilly Media, and writes the blog Elided Branches for software engineers. 




Software engineering managers are first, last and always technologists – professionals who rely on logic, analysis and programming expertise as the building blocks of their careers. These engineers operate with a special mind-set and singular technical skills. They are objective and willing to try new approaches if the old ways don’t work. Engineering managers are also change agents and, often, significant assets to their companies.  

However, many software engineers and engineering managers don’t respect the management function or what it involves. Some “brilliant, introverted” engineers don’t want to manage. They want to write code, not think about the political angles and ramifications inherent to leadership positions. No organization can survive without professional management, including technological organizations that develop software as their basic business pursuit. They need managers who are deeply informed about their work and who build up good management skills.

Career Paths

A common career path for software engineers is to start as a technical lead and then become an engineering...

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