Best Management Resources for Coders

So you’ve gotten to the coveted role of senior developer or even manager, and you’re going to be stepping into a new role for the first time. Moving from a more junior role up to the management level is a big step. It requires abilities that stretch beyond coding and development. Instead of managing your own work load, you’ll likely be asked to take a more active role in project management, and ensuring that projects remain on track. You’ll be asked to work more closely with others, and learn how to manage more than just the technological aspects of a project.

Feb 2020 - 4 minutes read

So you’ve gotten to the coveted role of senior developer or even manager, and you’re going to be stepping into a new role for the first time. Moving from a more junior role up to the management level is a big step. It requires abilities that stretch beyond coding and development. Instead of managing your own work load, you’ll likely be asked to take a more active role in project management, and ensuring that projects remain on track. You’ll be asked to work more closely with others, and learn how to manage more than just the technological aspects of a project.

For someone who has spent the majority of their career focused on their own abilities and skills, this can feel like a huge leap. However, what if we told you that management was just another skill that you could cultivate?

You don’t need to be some gifted management genius in order to succeed at the job. In fact, lots of managers are moving away from being trained in formal management training programs. Many millennials, who currently form almost 50% of the workforce, are unimpressed by current management training options, and are opting to learn on the job or teach themselves at home.

Today, we’re going to walk through some of our favourite management resources for coders. Whether you’ve just received a promotion or are hoping to be bumped up the ladder soon, these resources will help you take your hard skills, and pair them with the soft skills you need to succeed as a manager.

Harvard Business Review

Did you know that the Harvard Business Review has been offering management advice and resources to its readers for more than 95 years? This magazine, which is published in print every two months, regularly explores the most useful tools and resources for navigating current trends in management. A digital subscription gives you unlimited online access for only $11 per month, but if you want to go old-school you can buy a digital and print subscription for only $2 more.

It might seem old fashioned to read a magazine, but it’s a great way to keep up with current market trends and learn from the wisdom of other people working in your field.

Ask a Manager Podcast

Ask a Manager is a really popular website that’s been publishing information directed at first-time managers for 12 years. The articles on the site are primarily written by Alison Green, who has a fun, informal style and a knack for answering tough questions in a reasonable, thoughtful way.

She’s still publishing articles often, which you can read through at your leisure, but she also has a podcast with a really fantastic back catalogue. The podcast is no longer on the air, but you can find earlier episodes here. It’s great for listening to in the car or on transit during your morning commute.

The Manager’s Resource Handbook

Although they are trying to sell you their products, the Manager’s Resource Handbook is a great hub for useful management resources. In addition to a website full of articles and blog posts about management, they also offer a workbook designed for your first 180 days in your new position. It’s very hands on, with 44 pages of tips and tricks to help you feel more comfortable. You can print it out, mark it up, fill out the checklists, and reuse any worksheets that feel useful. They also have other workbooks for specific management responsibilities like hiring, onboarding new employees, and writing proposals.

A Library Card

There are so many books about management out there that it’s hard to pick even a few of our favourites. Some, like Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence Peoplehave been a staple of leadership training organizations for almost a century. Others, likeRadical Candorby Kim Scott and Act Like a Leader, Think Like a Leader by Herminia Ibarra have been published within the last five years.

Ultimately, you’re the best judge of which types of books will benefit you the most. With a library card, you can pick out a few at a time without having to purchase every single one, and compare them to each other. Ultimately, if there’s a book that you’ve enjoyed, buy it so you’ve always got it as a resource.

Forbes

As a magazine dedicated to business, Forbes has a lot of online resources geared specifically towards managers. If you don’t want to dig too deeply on their vast website, stick to the Leadership and Innovation sections. They also have a great podcast called Mentoring Moments, which features interviews with managers sharing the most vulnerable and educational mentoring moments of their career. Depending on where you are in the world, Forbes likely has online or print magazine content targeted specifically for your region.

Mentorship

One of the best ways to improve your management skills is through a partnership with a trained mentor. It can be someone at your own company, or a person you meet elsewhere. Mentorship is a great way to learn in a hands-on way, and get real-time feedback on your skills. If there’s no one at your company who is willing to mentor you, start asking around to your colleagues or friends. They may know of someone socially, or from a previous job, who would be willing to mentor you.

If there’s someone that you’d love to have as a mentor but don’t know well, start by building a positive personal relationship. Don’t force things- stay relaxed, and let the relationship develop over time.

Learn to Let Go

One aspect of management that’s sometimes hard to adjust to is giving and receiving negative feedback. Many people struggle with this when they reach the management level. They don’t want their colleagues to think of them as negative, so they bend over backwards to couch things positively. Call it the ‘Michael Scott effect’. The Office’s bumbling protagonist wanted to be liked so much that he was completely ineffective. Instead of going to absurd lengths to cushion yourself and your colleagues from negativity, work on taking criticism less personally. Some people do this through mindfulness meditation. Others find reading books like The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck quite helpful.

Be Your Own Type of Manager

Only you can prove to your superiors that you’re the best choice for a management position. If you’re on that track, you’ve likely got valuable development skills already. The next step is improving your management skills, and you’ll be on track to a more senior position in no time.

by SIMPLYPHP
Feb 2020