“Engineering Leadership”: Engineering Management Panel (Video + Transcript)

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Sukrutha Bhadouria: Right now, it’s time for our next session. It’s the engineering leadership panel with Jenn, who is a Senior Director at Etsy, Kamilah, who is the Head of Financial Products at Gusto, and Willie, who is a VP of Engineering at Salesforce. We’re going to get together and discuss all things engineering leadership. Hi.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So as we have all the amazing panelists join us via Zoom, I’m going to quickly run through their backgrounds and their experience level as managers so it can set things in context.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Let’s start with Willie. Willie has been a manager for nine years. Within less than a year of turning into a manager, a role that she sort of begrudgingly got into, she even started to manage a manager.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So now that I started with you, Willie, and we have everyone here, let’s go into why you had to go into the role of management begrudgingly. Why did you have to be coaxed into it?

Sukrutha Bhadouria: And since you’ve gotten to managing a manager so quickly after that, which one was the harder transition to make? Was it being a new manager or managing a manager?

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Yeah, I call myself a reluctant manager, because the 14 years that I was a software developer, all my managers would always ask me, “Oh, why didn’t you go into management?”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And I always had this feeling that management managers were, I didn’t have a good [inaudible] them. They played and they had, they manipulated and they weren’t very transparent. That’s what I felt like. And during my time, all of them were men and I didn’t see myself in it.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: So then I joined Salesforce as a developer, and after a while I became scrum master, which I really enjoyed and I loved working with my team. Then there was a reorg and reorganization and our team was moved from one place to the next and our manager stayed behind.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And at that point, my peers on my team apparently said, “Hey, why didn’t you ask Willie to become the manager?” And that had never happened to me. And so, the guy I was going to be reporting to was a super good manager. And he said, “You know what? Why didn’t you try it for one year? And after a year, your development skills haven’t atrophied. So after a year, you can always go back.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And I started and I’m still doing it. So that’s been going well. For me, the actually getting a manager under me was more, I will say, almost dramatic, because I hired a wonderful one and she was super excited, and she would come to me. She’s like, “Hey, why are we doing this? And why are we doing that? And, we should be looking at this.” And every time she said that, I was like, “Oh, I should have done that. And I’m such a failure because I didn’t.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And then of course, luckily as she was doing such a great job and I saw what that did to the team, I realized that it was perfect to actually hire her. Because I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t give the team really what it needed. And so because I had other things to work on. So that shift in thinking that it’s not just, I’m a failure, she came in. That was hard. And only when she ended up hiring a manager under her, did I fess up and tell her, and it helped her when she had to go through it. So, yep.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: That’s so interesting. I see a lot of people commenting that they can sort of connect with that. Now, interestingly, you, Jenn, you’ve been for over six years now and you had a little bit of runway before you started to manage managers. And your belief is that your transition into management, first time management was a bigger jump than your org growing and you having to manage a manager. Tell me more.

Jenn Clevenger: Yeah, that’s a great question. I’ve been in management about six and a half years. I managed, a little bit before that in consulting, but it’s the people portion of the management wasn’t there is more about projects.

Jenn Clevenger: And so, why was my transition into management a bigger jump than managing managers? I think it’s because, at the end of the day, I had never really had a good manager before.

Jenn Clevenger: And so the very first job that I accepted was at Etsy and that was my first job into true management as I defined it today. And the job was offered to me by someone named Brave, who was the best manager I had ever had. I’d never had a manager like him before, so I’d never had that experience.

Jenn Clevenger: And so this is a really, really big eye opening experience for me. And a really big jump because honestly, I kind of had to redefine and rewire everything that I thought that I knew about this job, but also while doing the job right. Because I was already hired to be a manager.

Jenn Clevenger: And I figured out pretty quickly that I had no rubric or real understanding of what it meant to be a good manager, had to threw everything away. I had just never seen it. And just like to paint the picture because it’s fun, I wasn’t young at this time. I was like, well into my thirties, I had one and a half kids, I was super pregnant.

Jenn Clevenger: I had already gone through kind of a big long chunk of my career at multiple big companies.

Jenn Clevenger: And I had gotten used to kind of struggling through my career, looking for a mentorship or this elusive thing that people called sponsorship. That’s what you really need is to find an ally and support. And I just never was able to do it successfully. And so I felt really, really alone all the time in navigating my career.

Jenn Clevenger: And so I had to do a lot of reprogramming because it turns out that is actually the manager’s job to help you with those things and to support you. And so that was now my job and I just didn’t even know that.

Jenn Clevenger: So just to make it super tangible, a few things that I remember learning really early on just by watching Brave do his job. And it was kind of this epiphany like, “Holy crap, this is the job. It’s kind of cool.”

Jenn Clevenger: I realize as my manager’s job to advocate for me in places that I’m not, that’s a huge one. And it’s my manager’s job to help me navigate my career and to think about me in opportunities for me, and that is part of their job and not just like a favor or a two minute piece of advice that they’re going to, they have a couple minutes and they’ll drop some advice as they walk past your desk, because that’s like it’s actually a foundational piece of their job right?

Jenn Clevenger: And then, outside of me, me, me, me, and it’s also your manager’s job and responsibility to prioritize things for your org and your team like fairness, inclusion, diversity, building a culture of psychological safety. Like those things don’t happen for free or out of magic, it’s your actual job to build these things into your team. And that was really fascinating to me. I just never seen it before and I’d never considered it as part of the manager’s job.

Jenn Clevenger: And so, I think it was a really hard transition for me because I had to relearn all these things very late in my life. But it was a really good one, and I’m so thankful for having had such a great manager at that really important transition point in my life, to show me what I think is the difference between being a good leader, versus just being a manager. Like, can you imagine the type of manager I might have turned out to be with this whole life of experiences that I was carrying along with me and going in this total other direction. So that was a really big, big change for me.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: That’s interesting Jen, because we have on the other side of the spectrum, our newest entrant into the dark side, Kamilah. You’ve not been a manager for a full year even.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: We’ve known each other a long time and when I first met you, I feel like I remember you saying you’d never move into management. You were, “an IC for life.” like, wanted to grow as a tech lead.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So I’m curious and I’m sure most people will be, what made you change your mind? We meet a lot of people at Girl League events that are sort of sitting on the fence and not really knowing what their path is. So I’m sure it’s going to be insightful for everyone.

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I very much had the, I just wanted to grow on this tech lead path, which I actually did. And so I think there was part of it where I got to that goal of like, “Okay, I can really do this. I can be a very senior tech lead, I’m able to accomplish this and I can be really effective at this as well.”

Kamilah Taylor: And I think that was a really rewarding experience for me. But I think sort of similar to Jenn, I’d also had just a lot of anti examples of what to do as a manager. And I think that was a huge part of my hesitance is that I was like, “I couldn’t see the value in the job because I wasn’t seeing a lot of great examples of it, and it seemed like a fairly thankless role.

Kamilah Taylor: And there were a couple of things that happened. One was that, I took this course some years ago, General Management through Harrison Metal. And that actually started to shift my mind and I was like, “Oh, I understand what the role of management is and in making this a functioning organization and really what you want to see.”

Kamilah Taylor: And I think that was like the beginning of my, maybe not opposed to trying this out at some point. Like, I can see where this, how impactful it can be to have the right people in this role. So I had that in the back of my mind.

Kamilah Taylor: And then when I joined Gusto, I think similar to Jenn, I had finally my first example of like, “Oh, this is what a good manager is.” And I voiced pretty early on when I joined that this is something I was thinking of.

Kamilah Taylor: And again, very similarly, he really advocated for me and had me in the right rooms. And when I wasn’t there, would voice and sponsor me. And I remember having this moment, I think the first time that happened like, “Oh, is this sponsorship amazing?” I read about this for so long, now I see what they mean when they talk about sponsorship.

Kamilah Taylor: And then seeing who would work through coaching people on his team at different levels and really helping to grow engineers. And I think all of that just gave me okay, like, this is something that I think would be really rewarding.

Kamilah Taylor: And then the last part of it is that there’s, I think if you’re really a very, or there are a couple of different archetypes of the senior tech lead and I’d say there’s at least one of them that starts to overlap with an engineering manager, because you are coaching a lot of engineers, right? And you’re helping with that prioritization and the strategy.

Kamilah Taylor: And so as I found myself growing into that archetype of the tech lead, I thought, “Let me try this out and see how this goes. So, I’m still within my one year, I have a friend who has a bet. They believe I will stick through it past the one year. And I’m honestly, I am enjoying it. It’s been very rewarding so far.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: That’s wonderful, glad you’re more inclined to stay and now you’re also managing a manager. So [crosstalk].

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I probably owe my friend a hundred dollar dinner, but that’s fine.

Kamilah Taylor: So, Willie you spoke about the early struggles and I know from our conversations you’ve considered not really having that strong network as one of your early missteps.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Yeah.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Well, tell us more about that and what is it that people can do and what the benefits are?

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Yeah. I think for me, it was very much, there were very few women around during my whole career, not until I got to Salesforce to become a little bit more common. And so I was not used to confide in people or reaching out to people. Asking for help is actually a skill. And I definitely then wasn’t good at it.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: So what happened was, I became a manager, had some manager under me and then I would feel super, super heavy that everything depended on me, and I had so much responsibility, and it freaked me out from time to time.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: So what I would do is, this was still pre-COVID in the office. So I would get through a very difficult meeting, run to the bathroom, get a cry out and just like, “Ugh…” And then suck it up, and kind of like, “All right, I got this, going there.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: If I look back on it, there’s such a waste of energy and such a lot of, it takes too much out of yourself. And so the stupid thing of me was that I did tell my ICs that they needed help and they needed somebody to commiserate with. But I hadn’t figured that for myself yet.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Now I’m a lot better. I have a very solid network of friends and peers, but also people above me and people below me. So people above you is super important because they kind of have the experience and that viewpoint that you’re striving to get to.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And so one of the benefits there was, early on when I had to add more managers, I had this feeling like, “So, I’m I just going to hire the same person over and over again in a way the same template?”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And my then mentor, who was, I think even two levels above me, she was just like, “No. Well, if one of the things that have worked for me is that I hire for what I am not good at or what I don’t like to do.” And that was spot on, right? Because you’re forming a team and in a team you need different abilities.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: For myself, I actually really enjoy mentoring. I have quite a few. From time to time, I’ve had to cut back because it does take time and it takes a lot of listening. But it’s a way of giving back.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: My network is where I commiserate, where I vent, where I ask for help, where I start my first ideas. And, “Hey, what do you think?” I’m thinking this, or there’s this situation.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Doesn’t mean that they’re all at the same company. Keep people around, I would say, people that I trust and that have nothing to do with my current company. That can be super helpful too. So yeah, having that network is really important. Everyone in my org, I ask, “Do you have it? If not, can I help you get one? Like, can I matchmaker?” That kind of thing. It’s important.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: I feel like, especially remote, right? It’s so valuable to have that network of folks who are doing this job or similar jobs in other companies, helps you like right now you’re not going crazy or everybody’s trying to figure this thing out right now.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Yeah, and anything in life almost takes a village, right? It’s not just rearing kids, as they always say, but, it’s almost anything. And that village, that can be your network and that can be so much easier. Life doesn’t have to be that hard. Not like I’ve made it.

Jenn Clevenger: I wonder. Can I ask, because I feel like that’s one of the things that I struggled with is building that network. I’m just not great at it, I never really have been. And then the past two years have just made it so much worse.

Jenn Clevenger: I’m not even really good at keeping in touch with my friends, let alone going so far out of my comfort zone and building a network from scratch. Like what kind of tips?

Jenn Clevenger: It sounds like you have had a lot of success in being able to build and maintain that and that’s awesome. I feel super jealous. Like what kind of tips can you give about that?

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: I picked up many of them through work, different jobs that I’ve had. Then at classes, very often at certain courses that you take, there’ll be somebody and you’re put together and you have to do some stupid exercise and yet you find and it clicks and then I’m like, “Oh, okay, let me talk some more.” And the ones that it clicks with, I kind of stay in touch with now.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: During COVID, just like I’ve had a really bad time, I have not added on anyone for me. I’ve had mentees reach out and I’ve taken on new mentees, but yeah, I’m really looking forward to the next kind of big gathering, and talking, and meeting people again in the hopes that something happens there.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: But most of them are different projects I’ve done, classes, that kind of stuff. It’s hard. Networking is super hard.

Jenn Clevenger: Yeah. It’s super hard.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: It’s super uncomfortable. Yeah.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, and it’s also like, how do you break the ice like you said? Jenn, things have just gotten so much harder with COVID, but I feel like just from the comments we’re seeing in this conference, that there’s a lot of people who are feeling very energized to go outside of their comfort zone, including me.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So I feel like all of you spoke about having this, not such a great opinion about management and through that I sort of sensed and also directly got that you probably just didn’t have the right examples of good managers.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So Kamilah, now that you are, you’ve been managing a manager for the last few months, what are the qualities you believe should be in a manager? That’s not just managing an IC, but also managing managers, more junior or more senior, what is it that everyone can learn from?

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah, it’s definitely been really an interesting transition to, and in fast succession, which is part of the life at a growing startup, for sure. Something that I found interesting is that there are a fair amount of similarities to managing or coaching, coaching a manager and then also coaching a more senior engineer.

Kamilah Taylor: I think that was something that I didn’t sort of got on onto immediately, and of course did my thing, I read, read lots of books, read lots of things as I tried to figure out how to get into that mindset. And there was some differences, but also like honestly I think a huge overlap.

Kamilah Taylor: The other thing that’s been helpful for me is to also recognize that everyone has their different way that they prioritize or think of things when they’re making those decisions and leading a team and not trying to, like for me to be an effective of manager, I have to meet people where they are and understand what is the right types of guidance and advice to give people, that’ll resonate with how they work through and how they lead on.

Kamilah Taylor: And yeah, I found that helpful, as I said, yeah, for managing tech leads and also for managing manager is really a large overlap.

Kamilah Taylor: The one other, I would say sort of difference and something like I’m still learning though, is that you do have to, there’s definitely a, when it’s someone immediately an IC on your team, right? You have a little bit more insight and overview around how the project is executing, right? And a ties loop, feedback loop, when understanding when you need to adjust how you’re operating and it’s a little bit more of a delay.

Kamilah Taylor: You get it back in layers. So I would say that’s the other thing. And you see, folks talking about that a lot. I think it’s in some ways, maybe even a little trickier with us being remote and distributed, because it takes a little bit of a while sometimes to get that signal back.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. I mean, while we are trying to be that perfect manager, because we all know what a bad manager looks like, but it’s a little bit harder to turn into that perfect manager that we wish we had. There’s going to be missteps along the way. And Jen, from our last conversation, you had a really interesting story about how you needed to adapt, while you all changed, so tell us more about that.

Jenn Clevenger: Yeah. Yeah. I’m glad you thought that story was fun. It’s a learning story for me. And it’s kind of about growth and change. Etsy has changed a lot and grown a lot in the past few years, not just in size, the company overall, but kind of in our commitment.

Jenn Clevenger: To like, being a data driven machine learning first company and I run a data engineering team. So this is like a lot of change and growth, and fast paced movement in my org. So just for context, I’m a person that loves context. When I first started at Etsy, I was hired to manage a small two data engineers within a smaller data end construct.

Jenn Clevenger: And now fast forward six years, I run six teams with 60 people on them and with eight managers, and two directors, like me and my reporting chain. And I’m not giving you this context to be braggy, but because it’s very relevant to my story in the less and that I learned.

Jenn Clevenger: And I guess my point is like, when I first started at Etsy, we got big, but first we were small, right? And we felt really small. And I kind of grew up with this small team of people around me with two to three managers reporting to me. And we worked side by side, making decisions together, blurred reporting lines, it was a very, very flat hierarchy.

Jenn Clevenger: And my reports, even the ICs that report to me, we all felt like colleagues. I always leaned really, really hard because of that into leadership by consensus and that worked really, really well for us. And it feels good, leadership by consensus feels good. Everyone’s agreeing and kind of coming to these conclusions together.

Jenn Clevenger: And then, it felt pretty all of a sudden without any announcement or flagship moment, or I didn’t get a ribbon, or something to indicate that this was going to happen.

Jenn Clevenger: Things just stopped working so well, and I started noticing that the old practices weren’t working anymore and they’re actually like creating a ton of confusion and the gutty within this org that had grown, had kind of grown, grown.

Jenn Clevenger: So what happened? We had hired more managers, people who didn’t know me and via osmosis, people who didn’t me but also who didn’t even report directly to me there, like skip level reports.

Jenn Clevenger: And by osmosis I was kind of hearing that they’re confused by my engagement style. Like in our weekly managers meeting, people were confused by my questions, “What is Jen asking us to make a decision? Or is she like, why is she oversharing? Is she telling us what’s to do? Or all these open ended questions?” Like it was just creating a lot of confusion for people.

Jenn Clevenger: And it was confusing for people because I was still treating them like what I thought was the management style, leadership style that had worked for such a long time. It’s like, familiar old friends sitting around a living room together, troubleshooting problems for the org and then going out and fixing them altogether.

Jenn Clevenger: But what I learned was that my org had grown and changed and I knew that and that was obvious. Because you can see that change, but there were less obvious changes that had happened that I did not detect. Like more subtle and that I had to change my leadership style in order to accommodate for that, and the leadership style that I was using, that I was leaning into, it just wasn’t working anymore.

Jenn Clevenger: And it was actually causing like a negative impact for my people. So it’s not just that it stopped working, but it was creating a bad experience for people. We had outgrown this. And this was a really big change for me. And it was a change I didn’t like it.

Jenn Clevenger: I didn’t like to feel like I wasn’t part of this group of people anymore. And so what worked and what I ended up doing is I started to kind of distance myself from this. Like now large group of people, these managers, who I had thought of as my peers, my collaborators, and I had to play a different role for them and find a totally different way to lead for all of them. Not just the ones I knew and the ones I didn’t know, but for all of them in aggregate, there wasn’t any picking and choosing.

Jenn Clevenger: It was a little bit lonely, I had to find, kind of back away from these people that I felt so familiar with and find my own peers elsewhere, other directors in other orgs to seek advice from, this goes to your networking. I’m not awesome at networking.

Jenn Clevenger: And it’s an interesting lesson to learn because if I look back, it feels super obvious, like I’ve read a million articles that say that this happens. It’s not an amazing epiphany. Everyone’s like, “Wow, I can’t believe you learned that amazing thing.”

Jenn Clevenger: But it surprised me how subtle the change was. I didn’t get a memo or anything and I didn’t recognize it until it was right on top of me, kicking me in the face. So, I thought that was a really, really interesting lesson to learn that I learned on the path.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah. It’s a little unfortunate sometimes because by the time you get feedback as a manager, it feels like it’s coming in when a lot later than you would like, because it’s almost like everyone expects you to have your crap together [crosstalk]

Jenn Clevenger: Yeah, that feedback loop, right? The feedback loop is so slow. That was one of the things I noticed in transitioning from being an IC to management is there’s no satisfying feedback loop where you can finish something, run the test and be like, this is good. I did a thing today. Like the feedback loop in management would be like a year, like months, maybe even multiple years. And it’s very, very rewarding work, but that you got to have some patience for it.

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I think that my managers had said was that, like adrenaline that you get when you’re able to build something, you’re like, “Yes.” Compiles or like, “Yes, it went through.” The way you don’t get that hit, but you do get it but isn’t a different thing.

Kamilah Taylor: It’s like, you’re able to get your intern an offer, like you’re able to get someone promoted or a thing that someone was working towards, they did that and you were able to see them do that.

Kamilah Taylor: But it’s a much longer investment. And so it takes longer to get that like, “Oh yes.” Or conversely, if you were trying to coach someone towards something, also takes longer to be like, “Oh no, this is not working.” Like you got to change tactics.

Jenn Clevenger: Yes. I feel like the highs are higher, but the lows are lower.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: The lonelier, that’s for sure.

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You also, you don’t have to like the same, like as I see can sort of rant to anyone and it’s just not, it’s not true anymore.

Jenn Clevenger: Yes.

Kamilah Taylor: Yeah.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: The more senior you are as a manager, you get more and more feedback about how you show up. Which sometimes feels like, “What has this got to do with anything, how much I smile?”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And how other people see you show up can be completely different than from inside, right? Like I’ve had moments where I thought I was being, because I was so angry that I was really being raging.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And I asked somebody and they were like, “Oh no, no, you were just very strict. And you let it be known that you did not agree with that.” And I’m like, “What? Really?” Or they think I’m authoritarian, and I’m like, “That’s the last thing I want to be.” That to me, it’s almost like bad thing to tell me. So yeah, it’s almost a bad thing to tell me. So yeah, it’s difficult.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, when it feels a little personal that’s when it’s a bit heartbreaking. But you know what, through all the missteps, like you said, “There are successes.”

Sukrutha Bhadouria: So let’s switch on to the more positive side of things we, because you know, why you learn a lot from your missteps. You also learn from your successes because it’s this loop, right? Sometimes things are going great and sometimes they’re not. And how you deal with it is…

Sukrutha Bhadouria:How you emerge from it is the mark of how you’re going to end up. So over you Willie. And I want to hear from all of you, but starting with you, Willie, what was that project deliverable? What is that one thing that you achieved that made you finally feel like, “I’ve got this. I’m actually good at this?”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: I realized after last time we spoke. I’ve kind of had that every single step when I have grown. And there’s these milestones that you have where suddenly, boom, you do something new. But one of the first ones was where I was asked to help on a project that was behind on the time deliverable. It had people that didn’t report into me at all. And it was very high profile. So it was around a mobile app for our user conference. And that was not easy. And I had never had it where people don’t report into me yet I am going to have to get like, “Come on, guys, let’s go! Or let do this or…” And so in the beginning I was… And then I was just like, “Okay.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: I said yes to this. So I might as well just do my thing. And my thing is just get to know the people, talk to them, make sure that they have a voice and get them to trust me. And those things kind of go in hand. You start small with like, “Hey, shall we do this?” You promise something or you show something, you make it happen. And then you just repeat and repeat. And we did it ended up being super rewarding because people that didn’t report to me suddenly gave me feedback of like, “Oh, this was super cool. And that was great. And thank you for doing so and so.”

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: And they didn’t have to, because it’s not like I control their salaries, so that was super meaningful to me. And yeah, we became a nice type tight group and we delivered what we had to deliver. It was hard. It was a bit of a death March, which I am not a fan of. But we did it and that was the first time once it was delivered and I was at the user conference, I was just like, “Yes, did it. Now I can take a break.”

Sukrutha Bhadouria: That’s amazing. We almost at time, Jenn or Kamilah, did you want to share a quick story?

Kamilah Taylor: I mean, at least as a manager, I think the first time where I felt like, “I got this,” was probably going through my first performance review cycle and then coming at end feeling like, “Yeah, as able advocate for the folks on my team, this went well.” So I think that was my big break like, “Okay, I think I can do this. This is a thing.” There were no surprises, I was able to argue for folks and I felt really good about that.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Nice, how about you, Jenn?

Jenn Clevenger: I’ll say that I never really feel like I got this. But when I had to pick one thing that I felt like that was a really useful learning, that made me feel more confident if you will, is at some point in the past few years, I’ve had a huge past few years, I guess I realize as a manager or person who leads a team and then an org and then multiple teams, no one is going to do the work if you don’t do it.

Jenn Clevenger: And I don’t know, as an IC, a lot of people do things for you and they put things in place and then you follow along. And even that’s true for entry level managers. And there’s always someone above you who is setting the framework for you, to insert yourself on it gets a little bit more and more amorphous over time.

Jenn Clevenger: But at some point I realized these teams are not going to grow unless I advocate for them. No one is going to tell me like, “Oh, your teams look small. You should probably ask for more head count.” You independently have to come up… And it’s a level of creativity that I didn’t think that you could exercise, not being an IC anymore. Because engineering’s … you’re creating things and it’s so fun.

Jenn Clevenger: And as a manager, I just tell people what to do [inaudible ]. But there’s actually an element to it which is really fun and creative. Once you embrace all of the different pieces that you have to use to paint your picture, if you will.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Yeah, oh my gosh! Absolutely. But I’m with you. I’m like that too sometimes I’m like, “Have I really got this?” And I go despite this, but with that, I’m going to wrap.

Sukrutha Bhadouria: Thank you so much, ladies, for taking time out of your absolutely busy day to, educate in smile and lead us through this. Thank you so much.

Jenn Clevenger: Thank you for having us.

Willie Hooykaas-Baldwin: Thank you, and now I have three extra people in my network.

Jenn Clevenger: I know. Winning!

Angie Chang: Thank you all.