Meetings with Chris Eigner

2023-02-14: Becoming a Manager

  • Impact
  • Relationship building
    • Credability with Executives
    • Trust
    • Their language
    • Communication
    • Lubricates the communication
    • They will invite you to prioritisation
  • Architect
    • Collects information proactively

Programming is not the main part
Documentation to convince people

Proactivity is the best
They listen by talking with people

Sale is an ongoing process - it is like a garden
Understanding their needs and doing checkins
Sometimes they will have no problems,
but because you are with those people they will know who to talk to.

1-1s are very nice to bump topic - you can tune the frequency.
You will get the vibe of people.

Politics is not negative.
People running around trying to find a place to get most impact.

When people know that you are problem solver,
then THEY will proactively contact you.

Sales Pitch

  • establish benchmark
  • have spreadsheet of problems company has - effort/impact
    • time
    • money
    • ask other people/business for potential impact
  • Try to convince people by talking
    • A lot of things are chosen arbitrally
      • Credit Karma: CEO has just decided it because he didn't like Scala
      • Hype Train, just in the gut
  • Reversible Decisions can be taken lightly
    • Non reversible should be tested

How not to be pushed around

Don't get retroactivated by your leader
Push back business people - use analogies and methaphors

Key phrases:

  • Drop less important projects
    • Things need to have priority
  • Cut scope on some things

Principal engineers

Project Management

Role of tech lead: Person that organises the meetings

  • The tech lead defined
    • Roadmap
    • Complexity of tasks
      • For Juniors, etc.
  • You need to have basics
    • It helps you communicate with managers
    • And other people

Having data well visualized makes working with person experience better.

Being best manager

Having no ego,
and staying out of technical details - made him a better manager.
More Facilitation to get the knowledge from other people.

Data Queries

I would just go to the data scientist.
Or sometimes it is just already there in grafana.

Not all decisions need data.
Data sometimes excavates new stuff.
Sometimes you need to find the charts.

Engineering is usually a metric driven.
Not always it needs to be translated to money.

2022-12-14: On path to becoming a team leader

  • Company looking for junior team leader?
  • Senior Engineer -> Management
  • Checking companies before applying?:
    • Reverse Interview
      • Roadmap
      • Headcount
      • What would the success look like
      • What leadership looks like
      • Is my team adding value?
      • Most annoying process that you haven't automated
      • How day to day looks like?
        • How deployment looks like?
      • find reverse interview
    • Looking for leads
      • Review sites (glassdoors)
      • Network
        • Linkedin
        • Rands
        • Blind (app)
        • Reddit
      • Do not look on offers


  • process is cultural thing
    • standardise so no mistakes are made
    • Not a process: automation

Responsibilities -> Achievements
Own Initiatives -> Personal Projects
Reduce staff to
Communicate things more clearley
Gallup Traits ->
Remove Hobby Section
Boil down the skills

As Team Leader - make work of my boss easier

Ask your boss to take something from your plate?

Staff Engineer:
Process cross section engineering

As a Team Leader, do I become more like manager or staff?
Don't be scared that you will be locked in one role!
As a manager or staff you get quickly expose to isolated stuff.

  • Delegate
  • Assert what you can do and what not
    • Ownership boundaries