Welcome to Managing Bits and Atoms by me, Zheng!

This newsletter documents my ramblings of good tech leadership.

There’s already a good amount of tech leadership content out there, but understanding that:

  1. Every company has a different culture

  2. As software permeates more industries, the problem space and product being built is getting more diverse and distinct

These demand very different executional strategies. The cookie cutter advice doesn’t always work. Based on my experience, the lessons I’ve learned building a SaaS product with real paying customers is very distinct from autonomous driving (AV) where there generally isn’t a business yet. In some cases, great advice for one is like asking to bring out the devil in the other. We’ll go into the details in an upcoming essay.

I’ll write about how to execute on major engineering initiatives and nurture a great team of engineers. After all, this is what engineering management is about: delivering great results. I believe the only way to do it well and in a sustainable manner is with a competent team. A team where each team member has a good working relationship with another and is empowered to do their best work.

I’ll also cover topics like:

  1. Understanding roles within an engineering organization and their responsibilities.

  2. Hiring engineers at a slow and steady vs. hypergrowth stage.

  3. Managing up and down the chain.

  4. When to lean in or back off on an escalation event.

  5. Dealing and managing expectations for cross organization dependencies.

  6. Managing engineering resources on firefighting vs. delivering on long term initiatives.

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