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Manager README

What is this document?

The goal of this document is to help you get to know a little more about me and my management/working philosophies. The primary audience for this document is anyone who reports to me, but it may be helpful to anyone who interacts with me at work. Please treat this as a living reference, a promise on how I will conduct myself, and what I expect from you.

What this document is not

This is certainly not a replacement for face-to-face communication as we start on this journey. It is a jumping-off point for our conversations. You won’t find concrete plans for the future in here, only modes of operation that guide my decisions.

What you should expect from me

We’ll start with weekly, 30 minute 1:1s. This is your time to use as you please. The only request I have is you come prepared with discussion topics. Let’s try to use this time to focus on your future and avoid it becoming a status meeting (unless that’s what you need in the moment).

Feel free to ask me anything. It will be extremely rare that you have a question I am not allowed to answer. I believe defaulting to an open state offers greater benefits than risks.

Few things are more important than talking to you when you need to talk, even when my calendar is packed. Send me a message in chat or call me any time during the day. If it’s important that something gets addressed, there’s no need to wait for our next 1:1. My calendar is public, so don’t hesitate to grab a time slot if you need to talk.

You will know where you stand with me and the organization at all times. I subscribe to the philosophy of Radical Candor. Feedback will be delivered quickly and will be kind, clear, specific and sincere.

Many developers have a tough time with self-promotion. If that sounds like you, please allow me to cheer/share your accomplishments with the wider organization.

Code reviews are one of the best ways to share information across an engineering team. Expect me to have thoughts on your code. You should have thoughts on mine as well. Pull requests represent undelivered value to the project. Your PRs should go no longer than 24 hours without feedback from me.

How you can help me

Put in your best work each day and be accountable for your assignments.

Challenge me. If you don’t agree with a decision I’ve made or my code is not up to par (yes, it happens), speak up.

Let me know if you don’t have what you need to do your job. One of my biggest responsibilities is ensuring you are set up for success.

Remote teams require all of the same positive behaviors that make co-located teams work well, just taken to an extreme. We don’t have the luxury of the break room or hallway chats so we need to over-communicate. We miss out on a lot of non-verbal communication so always assume positive intent in our interactions.

##Things to know about me

I have been married to my wife, Rebecca, since 2008. We have one son, JP, who is in first grade.

My Family

Outside of work hours you can find me either out in the vegetable garden or the wood shop. I’ve kept a small garden for a few years now. Just before the pandemic I quadrupled my growing space and really went deep into the hobby.

JP holding carrots from the garden

I’ve dabbled with woodworking for as long as I can remember, but have recently gotten into hand tools. I love the challenge and my lungs, ears and fingers thank me for making the switch.

Pro tip: If you ever need to distract me, bring up anything in this section and I’ll talk for hours if allowed.

Conclusion

The thoughts on this page have been rattling around in my head for years now and I figured this would be a great opportunity to get them in writing. As such, this is still a work in progress. I would love your feedback! Does something not make sense? Did I miss something you feel is important to address? Let me know.

If you ever feel as if I am not living up to the ideals in this document, don’t hesitate to bring it up.

I’m excited to work with you and to see what we can all accomplish together.

Last updated: April 16, 2022


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Written by Aaron Eaton