My 2 Rules for Managing Software Engineering Teams

In the dynamic world of software engineering, managing a team efficiently can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. I’ve had the privilege of managing highly effective teams at tech giants like Google and Amazon, as well as at my own startup, Thinknear. In this blog post, I’ll share two fundamental rules I’ve always followed for team management, which I believe are the keystones to any successful tech team.

Rule #1: Establish a Clear Process

The first and foremost rule is having a process. But why is this so crucial? In any team, especially in tech, clarity and structure are vital. A well-defined process ensures that everyone knows what is expected of them and how to go about their tasks. This reduces confusion, increases efficiency, and ensures quality in the work delivered.

Writing It Down

An unwritten process is the same as not having a process. Documentation is key. It’s important that the process is not just communicated verbally but written down. This serves as a reference point for everyone in the team and helps new members get up to speed quickly.

Understanding the Process

It’s not enough to just write down the process; every team member must understand it. New employees must be introduced to it, and it should be reviewed regularly at team meetings. When team members understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of the process, they are more likely to follow it and work efficiently.

Rule #2: A Process to Change the Process

The only constant in technology is change. The second rule emphasizes the importance of adaptability. A process should never be set in stone. It needs to evolve with the team, the technology, and the market.

Regular Opportunities for Revision

How often does your team get a chance to review and revise the process? It should be a regular activity. Whether it’s a monthly or quarterly review, setting aside time for the team to discuss the current process and propose changes is crucial. This not only keeps the process relevant but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

Inclusivity in the Process

When revising the process, it’s important that every team member has a voice. Encouraging suggestions and feedback makes team members feel valued and ensures that the process is shaped by diverse perspectives. This inclusivity often leads to more innovative and effective methodologies.


Managing a team, especially in the ever-changing landscape of software engineering, is no small feat. Having a solid process that everyone understands and abides by can help add structure and certainty.