Engineering Manager is a technical person who overlooks the aspects of project and team from the lense of various stakeholders. According to Glassdoor: “They are responsible for solving any engineering issue that comes up in a project. A few of the main duties of an engineering manager are answering technical questions, proposing budgets for projects, training new employees, and working with various other departments.”

Table Of Contents

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An Introduction

EM is a well known role but is only applicable in organisations where number of teams or engineers are more than 2 pizza teams and working in products. This particular role doesn’t make much sense for project based work or services organisation where the priority is to ship the project rather than improve the process or engineering aspect of it.

EM leads to the role of Director of Engineering at larger scale.


The role of Engineering Manager is a technical one and the person who hold this title is expected to know the technology stack which her team uses. Since the duties of EM is not same as developer, the tools and technologies used differ greatly. Some of these tools are not accurate from Software Development perspective and more of a practice oriented ways on how to achieve something non-tangible.

  • Value Chain Mapping: as means of identifying bottlenecks in the delivery
  • Roadmap: as a visual tool to align the stakeholders on the timelines, sequence and/or priorities for a given period. Usually for a quarter or year.
  • Project Kick-Off: to align all the stakeholders on the expectations and sharing the common knowledge for better project harmony
  • Cross Teams Releases: large scale releases involving multiple teams or departments. EM becomes a Program manager in this case looking after processes
  • Introducing Best Practices: These practices could be JIRA Workflow, Branching strategies, Deployment patterns or anything which helps the team or product
  • Process Spikes: To try out practices which improves certain part of the end to end SDLC
  • Architecture Reviews: is used to ensure long term health of the applciation. This is in collaboration with Architects and Senior Developers
  • Decommissioning of Legacy Applications: is important in many applications which have survived long enough.


Getting Started

Path to becoming an EM is not well defined. It is one of the roles whose roles and responsibilites varies from organisation to organisation. One should targer to be good Software Engineer and follow that career path until s/he manages technical people or projects. After that it becomes more meaningful to pivot towards Enginnering Management.

People To Follow


What is the difference between Project Manager (PM) and Engineering Manager (EM)?

Project Manager (PM) is a person whose responsibility is to manage the timelines of a Project and strive to meet the deadlines. Generally PM are not tech savvy and comes from Quality Assurance or Business Analyst backgrounds. Engineering Managers on the other hand have no concerns over timelines of any kind.

What is the primary goal of EM in an organisation? What are his duties and responsibilities?

Primary goal or responsibility of EM is to continuously improve the practices of SDLC for an organisation or tribe, or team. For an EM to be effective, the person should have good technical command over the technology dev team uses.

Learning Materials



Books To Look Into

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