Codecademy for Business and our friends at Code Climate have been meeting with engineering leaders to talk about their career journeys, leadership tactics, and their advice for the next generation of engineers in a new series, 1 on 1 with Engineering leaders.
So far we’ve heard from Tara Ellis of Netflix and Brooks Swinnerton of GitHub. Today, we’re excited to share the latest in our series of interviews — a talk with Gergely Nemeth, Engineering Manager at Intuit. Gergely talks about what first excited him about engineering, the importance of having a good work/life balance, and the role of an engineering manager.
You can find even more from this week’s interview on the Code Climate blog, where Gergely shares his thoughts on remote leadership and the transition from IC to manager.
Q: What interested you about engineering when you were just starting out?
For me, the most exciting thing was the magic of creating something from nothing. After writing a few lines of code, you can create a website or an application that other people can start using or playing with. Software engineering, especially web development, is more accessible than ever.
Web development came a long way and using open source tools, you can build simple applications or a website for yourself quickly.
For me, the reason I got into engineering was that it feels great that you can create something that lots of people can start using and make their life easier.
Q: What advice do you have for people who might be considering a career in engineering?
Suppose someone already has some coding experience, some technical background. In that case, it's really easy to build on that knowledge through Codecademy or any other online courses that they can find.
For example, my brother, who has a background in logistics, just started picking up Python through Codecademy and some data science knowledge because he was interested in that topic.
There are also lots of excellent coding boot camps folks can participate in. Most of these programs also help folks land their first engineering job.
The one advice I have is this. On Twitter or LinkedIn, some people tell their followers that they have to work 12 hours a day to be successful in software engineering. I would caution against that. Everyone must find a good work/life balance, even if they are ramping up a new gig because in the long run, we must have good mental health. Working for 14 hours a day doesn't help you get there.
Q: What advice do you have for engineers who are considering management one day?
Work a lot on your communication and mentoring skills. I spend most of my time as an Engineering Manager (EM) making sure that people can grow and progress in their careers. A crucial part of being the EM is helping others grow and eventually to make sure that you have other leaders who can replace you. This is how you scale yourself.
For more about Gergely’s career journey and leadership strategies, head over to the Code Climate blog.