Manager README

Date published: 16-May-2020
3 min read / 803 words

Motivation for this document

Hey everyone, I took a second to write up a README about how I lead teams and what I value in people and organizations. Thanks for taking a second to read this. At the end of the document, I feel like you should have a better understanding of my motivations, quirks, and how I think about problems.

My role

My role at BriteCore is to lead our Product Engineering division and deliver value to customers. My "official" title is Vice President of Engineering. Below is a rough overview of what I consider my overarching responsibilities at BriteCore.

  • Leading the team through management and mentorship
  • Contributing to recruitment activities
  • Developing processes to ensure our software solutions meet quality standards
  • Ensuring developers are obsessed with the lowest time to value for our customers
  • Preparing and optimizing budgets
  • Recommending technological developments and improvements
  • Investing in our team continually
  • Engineering at BriteCore should focus on the "how" we build and deploy products for customers. We work hand in hand with our Product team to ensure we are building the right thing.

What do I value most?

Our BriteCore Values encompass values I practice daily and value immensely. Trust, Transparency, Candor are three of my guiding virtues. People will work best with me, the closer they line themselves to the values we hold at the company. I also value active ownership of problems - voluntarily picking something up and carrying it to the finish line. Lastly, I care about people - the whole person. I want to know about your family, what you do for fun, the last video game you played, and when you're planning on taking time off. I know the best engineer is one living a complete life outside BriteCore.

My Expectations

I expect people to own problems and show good judgment when solving problems. If you make a mistake, be honest, and make sure everyone knows as soon as possible. We've all made them. I've deleted more production data than most people, so I understand. Let's just work to solve the customer's needs and do best by our clients. There's a lot of "Definition of Done" discussions these days, and BriteCore is no exception. Mine is simple: Done means our clients can use it.

As far as availability, I like to see most folks be available for video calls from 10 - 3 CT. Not a hard and fast rule, but we need to be able to talk out issues, and sometimes hopping on the call is just the most efficient way to do that. If you need to get something on my calendar, you can throw something on there but would appreciate checking that you're not double booking me. You can hit up my Slack DMs at any point, and I've got an "open door" policy if you have something we need to talk through.


I have 1:1s with my direct reports for about 1 hour twice a month. I recommend all my managers have at a minimum 30 minute meetings with direct reports twice a month. Usually, I run my 1:1s as an ongoing casual conversation. If individuals have topics they want to discuss, I encourage them to write a meeting agenda. Also, if we need more than 1 hour, that's cool, I just would like to know before we get together for scheduling purposes.

Personality quirks

I make a lot of jokes. I understand when things are serious, but I make my way through life with a lot of banter and humor. If you feel like I'm not taking you or the situation seriously, please just say so.

I like programming, video games, sports, my family, and talking about things not work. Please hang out in our company hobby Slack channels; I'll be there!

I'm very pragmatic at the end of the day - I prefer better to perfect. I will aim to hit 80% of value in a product and very possibly never get back to the other 20%. I work well with people with the same inclinations but also really benefit from people that can think through all the details to help lock down that final 20% on a project. Even Python, as my preferred programming language, is a very "pragmatic" choice. I think in Python.

I'm still a software engineer at heart, so sometimes I'll dive too deep into details when discussing product features or issues. If you need me to jump back at a higher level in a convo, just say so!

Where to focus on your first 90 days? Learn your team members and listen a lot in your first couple of weeks. Look for an opportunity to step up and "own" a problem to production. Time to value for our customers is the name of the game here. Glad to have you on board!