My favorite engineering leadership books - 24/09/2023

Here’s the kicker, my all-time favorite books about managing engineering teams aren’t necessarily strictly technical books. But they still contain a plethora of lessons and best practices that perfectly apply to most scenarios in the day-to-day of an engineering leader.

In this blog post, I’ll be sharing 4 books that come to mind. I might add a few more later on. But for now, these are the 4 books that left a strong impression on me.

“High Output Management” by Andrew S. Grove

This one is a classic. First published in 1983 and written by former Intel CEO Andy Grove, it is a must-read for anyone in pretty much any leadership role. The book singlehandedly introduced so many timeless and high-impact concepts like OKRs, one-on-one meetings, managerial leverage, and more.

“Work Rules!” by Laszlo Bock

This one comes straight from the mind of Laszlo Bock, Google’s former VP of People Operations. It offers an inside look at Google’s unique approach to HR and team management. Bock’s insights on hiring, compensation, and performance evaluation are very valuable for engineering leaders looking to build and retain world-class teams.

“The Making of a Manager” by Julie Zhuo

Another great book that isn’t engineering-focused per se, but it has so much practical advice. Julie Zhuo, a former VP of Product Design at Facebook, shares her journey and lessons learned in “The Making of a Manager.” Her insights on communication, providing feedback, and setting clear expectations are highly relevant to any engineering leader.

“Managing Humans” by Michael Lopp

Michael Lopp, in addition to writing great books, has one of the most inspiring blogs out there. “Managing Humans” offers a humorous and candid look at the challenges of leading engineering teams. Lopp draws from his experiences at companies like Apple and Pinterest to provide practical advice. The book covers topics such as leadership styles, team dynamics, and the importance of trust in managing successful engineering teams.

While these books may not be your typical technical manuals, they offer a rich source of wisdom for those striving to build and manage world-class engineering teams. These books provided me valuable insights, and hopefully, they can do the same for you as well and help you navigate the complexities of team management.

Pick up one or more of these books. Your engineering team will thank you for it!