Welcome to the world of multiple-team management! We’re going to talk about managing multiple teams before we talk about managing managers, because while those things are related, they don’t necessarily coincide. You probably have tech leads reporting to you now, though, and juggling the work of directly managing more than three or four people with the process of understanding details about what’s happening across a couple of teams probably means one important thing: you’re not writing (much, any, production) code.
When I created the career ladder for my previous job, the director of engineering role was usually the place where a person would start to manage multiple large teams. Let’s review some of the description from my engineering ladder:
The engineering director is responsible for a significant area of the technology team. The engineering director typically leads engineers across multiple product areas, or multiple technology functions. Both tech leads and individual contributors report into them.
The engineering director is not generally expected to write code on a day-to-day basis. However, the engineering director is responsible for their organization’s overall technical competence, guiding and growing that competence in the whole team as necessary via training and hiring. They should have a strong technical background and spend some of their time researching new technologies and staying abreast of trends in the tech industry. They ...