Engineering management

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  • Thread starter moondawg
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Can someone explain to me what engineering management entails exactly?
 

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  • #2
berkeman
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Can someone explain to me what engineering management entails exactly?
In general, engineering managers are promoted from within the engineering teams. You gain experience as a regular engineer, and if higher management sees that you are good at organizing projects (which you do as a regular engineer too), and when they ask you, you express an interest and willingness to lead a team of your fellow engineers, you may have an opportunity to be tried out at the engineering manager position.

The upside of transitioning from a regular engineer to an engineering manager is a little better salary, and a bit more control over projects (although you still need to keep your motivations and arguments technical in nature), and the downside is a lot of extra pressure to get the project done right and not slip schedules.

The engineering profession definitely needs good engineering managers, but at least for me, I have not been motivated to accept offers of the transition. I prefer the more "pure" technical challenges, and would not be a natural at managing the performance of other engineers working on my project teams.

My current manager has some good engineering management talents, including understanding how to try to manage difficult technical challenges and their effects on our schedules. He also is pretty good at pushing on vendors and Intellectual Property (IP) vendors when they don't stand up and provide what is expected. He and I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder on some very challenging projects as engineers, and I have no problem working for him as my engineering manager.

Tough job. Not for me. But definitely an opportunity for talented engineers who have an interest in the business end of engineering.
 
  • #3
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Managers more or less get paid to manage people, to deal with people. If you're not a people-person, then don't be a manager.
 

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