Red Green Repeat Adventures of a Spec Driven Junkie

Trust Team to Your (Former) Work

I transitioned from an individual contributor to a manager in my current company years ago. One of the biggest challenges I consider in the transition is to: Trust the Team to Your (Former) Work

Once you become a manager, everything changes, one of those things is your work, or former work that you did as an individual contributor. Will the team do a good job with my (brilliant) work? How will the team keep using or building on my (magnificent) gift to them?

For me, that was all the tests, code, pull requests, etc. All the stuff I spent years:

  • learning to do
  • perfecting habits
  • refining with others
  • reading books
  • blood, sweat, tears

(j/k on the tears part :-) )

Now, I had to let all of that go and “manage” the team. What does that mean?

Split Time

At first, I was still involved with the coding. This wasn’t a good idea as the organization expects different things from a manager.

Review Work

Then I was just involved with reviewing pull requests. This is better as I would be more removed from the work. Reviewing team member’s pull requests annoyed me as the work I reviewed is “not done my way”. (i.e. variable names)

Enforce Rules

Next, it was me enforcing rules to the work. Linting, test driven development, styles, etc. This detaches me from the work further. I realize that any rules I want, I would have to enforce them. If I have to enforce them, that would take time.


Currently, I understand I have to trust my team to my output. That is not the same as my former work. I focus on working with the team, pairing with them to getting the best results. Taking all the years I developed on my own to teaching them one on one. Applying my thinking to the current situation the team is facing.

In essence: being a coach.