The EM’s Toolbox – Resources for Tech Leads and Engineering Managers

I try to continuously learn and grow as an Engineering Manager. Besides the day-to-day work, I follow lots of useful content related to software engineering and leadership. In this post, I’m collecting all the blogs, newsletters, podcasts, forums, books, and other resources I really like and recommend. I will occasionally update this post with new content.

Table of Contents

⚠️ Lists are not in any specific order.

📄 Blogs

For me, this is the most preferred way of reading new things. Interesting blogs from people working in the SWE industry.

  • Rands in Repose
    My n1 favorite, Michael Lopp. His books and his blog was my best resource in growing as a manager in the past years.
  • The Pragmatic Engineer
    I believe Gergely Orosz doesn’t need an introduction. I follow his writing career from early on, he is truly a role model in the community.
    I love Charity’s blog. Honest, smart, interesting and omits any kind of bullshit.
  • The Engineering Manager
    James Stanier is an awesome EM who has a wholesome resource of management topics on his blog.
  • Pat Kua
    Pat is writing interesting and essential posts about the work of EMs and Tech Leads.
  • in|retrospect
    Allen Cheung’s posts are about technolgy, people and other interesting thoughts.
  • CodeKraft
    AbdulFattah Popoola posts mostly about building high performing teams and technical leadership.
  • Lara Hogan
    Lara is an awesome coach, writing about leadership and coaching.
  • NotSoSoftware
    Matt Newkirk has useful hints on growing, as software development can be hard.
    Brent is writing a lot about PHP, but there are also lots of interesting thoughts about blogging.
  • Increment
    More like a magazine, online and print on how teams build and work with software at scale.

💌 Newsletters

I mean… newsletters?! While this old-school classic might seem odd at first, I really love the format. You have a weekly newsletter summarizing interesting posts, topics, and discussions.

  • The Pragmatic Engineer
    A weekly column with advice, observations, and inspiration across the SWE industry by Gergely Orosz.
  • Level Up!
    A curated newsletter for leaders in tech by Pat Kua.
  • Irrational Exuberance
    Weekly collection of posts about engineering management and writing by Will Larson, sometimes known as Lethain.
  • Software Lead Weekly (SWLW)
    A weekly email for busy people who care about people, culture and leadership.
  • Refactoring
    Weekly practical advice about engineering leadership by Luca Rossi.
  • James Clear
    Weekly self-improvement tips, based on proven scientific research.
  • Cal Newport
    Weekly posts about deep work and productivity.
  • TechTello
    Brain Tickle Newsletter about work habbits and building great teams.
  • Engineering Impact
    A blog and newsletter by Pluralsight.
  • Fellow Manager TL;DR
    A weekly summary of hot topics for leaders in tech.
  • Tech Lead Digest
    Weekly newsletter with five interesting stories about building teams, leadership, and engineering culture.

🎙 Podcasts

Put your headphones on and listen to these amazing people talking about hot leadership topics.

💬 Slack and Discord Channels

Great communities to join. You can learn, ask for advice and build new connections.

📼 Videos

Interestingly, there is less content on YouTube compared to podcasts, blogs, and newsletters, but still, there are quite a few channels out there worth following.

  • The Pragmatic Engineer
    Yeah, this guy is everywhere. He’s not only blogging, having a newsletter and writing books, but also have a YouTube channel! (Gergely, when will you start a podcast?!)
  • Tech Leaders Emerging
    Software Engineering, careers and leadership.
  • LeadDev
    Meetups, confs, live events. Everything about tech and leadership.
  • Clément Mihailescu
    Tips on productivity, interviewing and software engineering.
  • Exponent
    Everything about interviewing.
  • code.talks
    A developer conference having lots of great talks.
  • Not Only Code
    Tech, careers and leadership.
  • Coding Tech
    Tech talks in various topics.

🎪 Conferences

I’m a big fan of conferences. There are a limited number of events about leadership worth visiting each year. All of these events are active during the pandemic as well in an online format.

  • Stretch
    Leadership and management Conference. I’m part of the organizing team. 💚
  • Craft
    A conference about software engineering craftship.
  • The Lead Developer
    Conference and meetups about software engineering leadership.
  • Tech Leader Summit
    The event is focusing on technical leadership.
  • Elevate
    Two days to become a better engineering or product lead.

👨‍🏫 Courses

I’m not aware of many courses focusing on software engineering management, but I can recommend these ones.

📚 Books

Definitely not a complete list of all the books, but a very comprehensive list of my favorite ones.

🧰 Others

I think… that’s all? Although, if you think this post is seriously missing some resources, drop a comment!

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