Episode 250: The management track and active listening


In this episode, Dave and Jamison answer these questions:


  1. I’m a Tech Lead at a decent sized corporation. If I want to grow towards a promotion my options are a more people management track towards Engineering Lead (basically a TL who also manages 1-2 other TLs) or a more technical track towards Staff TL. Where I’m struggling is I don’t know how I would actually work towards the Staff level, seeing as most of my time is spent wrapped up in mentoring, coaching, planning meetings, and just generally large blocks of time spent on Zoom. Have you ever seen someone move down that path? I worry I would be letting my other responsibilities slip through the cracks by focusing on my own technical advancement. How should I balance what my team needs from me vs. what I need to focus on to get to a role like that? Is the best way to get there 1 step back (to being an individual contributor again) and then two steps forward (working towards Staff Engineer then Staff TL)?

  2. Hello soft skills! Love the show and your great banter, keep the laughs coming.

    Do you have any tips for ‘active listening’? My manager is very, very chatty and our catch ups over zoom often last two hours or more. I find myself drifting in and out while he talks and then need to snap out of it when I hear something that might be useful.

    How do I keep focused in extra long meetings where we are one on one and the content is not particularly interesting?


Show Notes


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