As an engineering manager, you have a lot of responsibilities, including leading your team, meeting deadlines, satisfying stakeholders, and keeping up with the latest technologies. You are expected to be a technical expert, and keeping up with all the new trends and techniques can be overwhelming. But don't worry. There are ways to stay updated without losing your mind.
This article will explore some of the best ways to keep yourself technically updated while being an engineering manager.
Learn from Your Team
As an engineering manager, you have a team of highly skilled engineers working under you. And let's be honest. They probably know more than you do about the latest technologies. So, why not learn from them? Ask your team members to give presentations on new technologies or techniques they've been using. Not only will this keep you up-to-date, but it will also show your team that you value their knowledge and expertise.
You can even challenge your team to a hackathon or coding challenge. It will allow you to learn something new and build camaraderie among your team members. And let's face it, coding without snacks and caffeine is just a nightmare.
Attend Conferences (and Have Fun!)
Attending conferences is a great way to learn about new technologies and network with other professionals in the field. But let's be honest. Conferences can be tedious. So, why not make them fun? Bring your team along and turn it into a team-building exercise. Attend the after-parties and network with other professionals in the field. Who knows, you might even learn something!
If you're feeling adventurous, attend a conference abroad. Not only will you get to learn about new technologies, but you'll also get to explore a new city and culture. Just make sure to budget accordingly because, let's face it, engineering managers are not known for their financial planning skills.
Another option is to attend virtual conferences, which have become increasingly popular recently. You can participate from anywhere in the world without travelling expenses.
Make Time for Personal Projects
You may not have much time for hands-on coding as an engineering manager, but that doesn't mean you can't work on personal projects. Take time to work on a side project or contribute to an open-source one. Not only will this keep your skills sharp, but it will also give you a chance to experiment with new technologies.
If you're feeling ambitious, start your side project. Who knows, it might even turn into the next big thing. Just make sure to have realistic expectations because, let's face it, not every idea is a winner.
Read Tech Blogs and Articles
One of the easiest ways to keep up with the latest technologies is by reading tech blogs and articles. Many tech blogs cover a wide range of topics, from programming languages to cloud computing to artificial intelligence. You can also follow industry leaders and influencers on social media to stay updated.
Take Online Courses
With the rise of e-learning platforms, online courses have never been easier. Many online courses cover a wide range of topics, from front-end development to data science to cybersecurity. And the best part is you can take these courses at your own pace and from the comfort of your home.
Another option is to attend webinars, which are usually shorter than online courses and can be a great way to learn about specific topics.
Attend Meetups and Networking Events
Meetups and networking events are great ways to connect with other professionals in the field and learn about new technologies. You can find meetups on websites like Meetup.com, and they cover a wide range of topics, from programming languages to DevOps to project management.
Collaborate with Other Departments
As an engineering manager, your work is not limited to the engineering team. You must collaborate with other departments like product management, design, and quality assurance. These departments have their skills and knowledge, which you can use to learn about new technologies and methodologies.
Mentoring others can also help you stay updated with the latest technologies. When you mentor someone, you must keep updated to answer their questions and provide guidance. Mentoring can also allow you to learn from your mentee's experiences and perspectives.
Being an engineering manager can be tough, but staying up-to-date with the latest technologies doesn't have to be. Learn from your team, attend conferences (and have fun!), make time for personal projects, read tech blogs and articles, take online courses, attend meetups and networking events, collaborate with other departments, and mentor others. With these tips, you'll be able to keep up with the latest trends and techniques without losing your mind. So, go forth and update yourself, my fellow engineering managers! And remember, if all else fails, just Google it.