Management Skills

49 Manager ReadMes from Slack, Netflix, Google and more (a lot more)

12 min read

About a month ago, our CEO Brennan wrote an article on Hacker Noon: 12 Manager ReadMes from Silicon Valley’s Top Tech Companies. And…it kind of went viral.

So, I started digging through the interwebs and found as many of these manager readmes as I could (special thanks to managerreadme.com and Richard McLean). I had to stop myself at 49 (that’s a cool number right?), because the concept is spreading like wildfire, specifically in the tech industry, and more are being shared every day.

For those of you asking yourself, “what the heck are manager readmes?” – here’s a quick download:

Manager readmes are user manuals written by managers on their management style, philosophies, expectations, communication preferences, and more. It’s like a “how to guide” for employees getting to know – and working for – their bosses.

Click the images below to learn more about how leaders at some of the coolest companies in tech are managing their teams:

1. Michael Lopp (aka rands), VP Engineering at Slack

"Humans first. I believe that happy, informed, and productive humans build fantastic product. I optimize for the humans." @rands @slackhq Click To Tweet
 

2. Ben Morris, Sr. Developer Lead at Shopify

"You’re very good at your job. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t. If it feels like I’m questioning you it’s because I’m either: a) Trying to gather context. Or b) Trying to be a sounding board and rubber duck." @bnmrrs @shopify Click To Tweet

3a. Roy Rapoport, Director at Slack (And formerly Netflix)

"If I do something that negatively impacts my ability to retain you, you would be doing me a huge favor if you let me know about it, as soon as possible." @royrapoport @slackhq Click To Tweet

3b. Roy Rapoport, Netflix

"When it comes to adjusting to personalities, I strongly believe that the person in the more senior position is getting paid, partially, to adjust to the personality styles of the people reporting to them." @royrapoport @netflix Click To Tweet

4. Gergely Nemeth, Engineering Manager at GoDaddy

"More than any other factor, candid and compassionate feedback is central to a cohesive high-functioning team." @nthgergo @GoDaddy Click To Tweet

5. Mindaugas Mozūras, Head of Engineering at Vinted

"Don’t wait until our 1:1 with an urgent issue/opportunity. If you need me, I will make myself available." @mmozuras @VintedEng Click To Tweet

6. Luc Levesque, Head of Youth Products at Facebook

"I value speed more than any other item on this list, all other points are valued because they increase our speed." @luclevesque @facebook Click To Tweet

7. Tom Sommer, Director of Engineering at Redbubble

"With great power comes great responsibility. I am dead keen to give you the power of Autonomy. To receive it, you have to take responsibility for yours and the team’s output." @redbubble Click To Tweet

8. Dave Igoe, Head of Software Development at AO

"I expect my teams to continually run experiments, build a hypothesis, predict an expected outcome, run an experiment and then learn by contrasting the actual outcome to the expected outcome." @dave_igoe @ao Click To Tweet

9. Aaron Lerch, Engineering Manager at InVision

"1-1s are very important to me because they are dedicated space for you to talk about anything and everything you want." @aaronlerch @InvisionApp Click To Tweet

10. Richard McLean, Director of Strategy & Performance at Elsevier

"I am here to help you and your teams be excellent, to remove blockers, and to join the dots between what we do and the wider Elsevier strategy and priorities." @mcleanonline @ElsevierConnect Click To Tweet

11. Molly White, Tech Lead at HubSpot

"An important thing to know about me: if I have headphones on, it does not mean I am 'in the zone' or expect not to be interrupted (I'm probably just enjoying some music)." @molly0x57 @HubSpot Click To Tweet

12. Matt Newkirk, Sr. Engineering Manager at Etsy

"I’m dedicated to giving you clear and timely feedback and hope that you’ll give me the same." @mnewkirk @Etsy Click To Tweet

13. Isaac Hepworth, Sr. Product Manager at Google

"I believe in “clean” downtime, as in: time off where you go firmly offline work-wise. Make sure you spend enough of your vacation days this way; it’s valuable, healthy, and important." @isaach @Google Click To Tweet

14. Ben Broeckx, Public Benefits Director at Sodexo

"I do not believe in hierarchy. I will move teams under my responsibility to increased autonomy as soon as possible, with the end objective to make those teams fully autonomous." @benbroeckx @SodexoGroup Click To Tweet

15. Daniel Richnak, Software Dev Manager at Woot

"Your job isn’t just to complete your sprint tasks (please do that too though). It’s also to own and to lead." @riknik @woot Click To Tweet

16. Elliott Carlson, Manager at RentTheRunway

"I urge you to hold me accountable to my promises, and to call out anything that might be missing from this document. Without your guidance, I will not be able to improve as a manager." @elliottcarlson @renttherunway Click To Tweet

17. John Cline, Sr. Engineering Manager at Blue Apron

"My default management mode is to let you handle your work without much guidance or direction from me." @clinejj @blueapron Click To Tweet

18. Derek Lakin, Sr. Engineering Manager at Skyscanner

"We get better by doing and by trying, so figure out the smallest thing you can do, try it quickly and learn from the experience. Rinse and repeat :)" @dereklakin @Skyscanner Click To Tweet

19. Mike Douglas, Engineering Manager at InVision

"I think about process a lot, and sometimes I take it too far. I’m a navel-gazer at heart, and I constantly look at ways to tweak processes to make them better." @miked @invisionapp Click To Tweet

20. Jay Desai, CEO & Founder at PatientPing

"Frameworks and context are critical to sharing your work. I am always interested in the reason why you believe what you believe." @jdesai01 @patientping Click To Tweet

21. Ray Nicholus, Manager of Software Engineering at Cofense

"I love to brainstorm and often ask for feedback on ideas on my “drawing board”. I may forget to explain this, so always assume I’m brainstorming with you." @RayNicholus @Cofense Click To Tweet

22. Mike Hostetler, Director of Engineering at Cars.com

"I love structure, documents and organization, but none of that matters without people, without relationships. My motto is “People First” and I strive to live that out every day." @mikehostetler @carsdotcom Click To Tweet

23. Gordon Diggs, Director of Engineering, at Intersection

"I have seen what small teams can accomplish, and like to find new ways for us to work well together before trying to expand the team." @GordonDiggs @intersection_co Click To Tweet

24. Ramez Hanna, Staff Lead SRE at Criteo

"I will be to the team what Alfred is for batman whether the team needs me to take the lead on a topic, or they want me to just handle comms." @InformatiQ @criteo Click To Tweet

25. Alan Page, QA Director at Unity

"Your relationship with me as a manager is a mutually beneficial deal for both of us. Our goal is to add value to each other, and we will help each other be successful." @alanpage @unity3d Click To Tweet

26. Maggie Gourlay, Engineering Manager at VictorOps

"I love my job because I get to help smart people work together on a pretty cool piece of software for a company who values both the product and the people who make it." @VictorOps Click To Tweet

27. Audree Fletcher, Consultant at Barnardo’s

"I tend to absorb the energy around me so I love working with optimists and growth-oriented people who are passionate about their work." @avfletcher @barnardos Click To Tweet

28. Brian Cheung, Manager of Software Engineering at Cofense

"How do I define success? At a team level, success for me is making progress toward solving the problems we are challenged to solve." @bdcheung @Cofense Click To Tweet

29. Lara Hogan, Engineering Leadership Coach at Wherewithall

"I believe that humans already have the answers inside themselves. My role is to help them find it." @lara_hogan Click To Tweet

30. Emil Sit, Director of Engineering at Toast

"Sometimes I will know (roughly) what needs to be done and I should share that information with you promptly. Other times you will know what needs to be done, and I hope that you will share that with me promptly." @emilsit @toasttab Click To Tweet

31. David Cohen, VP Engineering at Optimove

"Always strive to have better technical capabilities. You can make mistakes. No one expects you to be perfect. I expect you to be better at what you do as time goes by." @davidcohen213 @optimove Click To Tweet

32. Swaroop Chitlur, Engineering Manager at Helpshift

"We tend to think of meetings themselves as the main event, when in reality meetings should be the practice sessions." @swaroopch @helpshift Click To Tweet

33. Oren Raboy, VP Engineering at Totango

"I value people that take ownership on work. Own the problem, the solution, the process and result of what you are working on." @orenraboy @totango Click To Tweet

34. Oren Ellenbogen, VP Engineering at Forter

"I serve you, not the other way around. I’m always available to assist. Ask me. You work for @ForterFraudFree, not for me nor for your direct manager." @orenellenbogen Click To Tweet

35. Adam Ochonicki Director, Platform Engineering at Articulate

"I'm not here to 'manage people'. I'm here to manage for people. I don't manage you, or your work, or your life. You do that." @adamochonicki @Articulate Click To Tweet

36. Zoe Gould, Head of Product at DWP

"I like to think I fight for what is right, helping others and using my networks and skills to solve problems, just like a certain lady detective. But obviously with less murders and less fantastic outfits." @Zoe_On_The_Go @DWPdigital Click To Tweet

37. Liran Tal, Engineering Manager at Neilsen

"I value transparency about what’s happened, what’s happening, and what’s going to happen." @liran_tal @Nielsen Click To Tweet

38. Scott Burns, VP Engineering at Stratasan

"I have opinions. This does not mean they are correct or you should blindly believe them. Please disprove me so that I can learn with you." @scottsburns @stratasan Click To Tweet

39. Mike Kleiman, Manager of Engineering at BiblioCommons

"I never want ideas, questions or solutions to become something anyone is afraid to engage in." @mikekleiman @BiblioCommons Click To Tweet

40. Katie Womersley, Director of Engineering at Buffer

"Please invest in 1:1s – if you’re a manager, please do regular (weekly) 1:1s, and if you’re an engineer, please use the time of the 1:1 as a chance to reflect on your challenges and growth." @katie_womers @buffer Click To Tweet

41. Robert Stuttaford, CTO at Cognician

"If I’m being grumpy, it’s likely because I’m overstimulated and could do with a screen break. Tell me it’s ok for me to take a break or a nap 🙂 I will also happily give any orphan cheesecake a happy home." @RobStuttaford @cognician Click To Tweet

42. Caleb Huitt, Development Lead at Ag Leader Technology

"It's my belief that some of the best outcomes result in people given room to excel at what they're good at. It's my job to help make that happen." @cjhuitt @AgLeaderTech Click To Tweet

43. Karney Li, VP of Engineering at Wealthsimple

"At certain times you will have to work long (long hours) and hard (with lots of intensity), but working smart is the most difficult to achieve." @karneyli @wealthsimple Click To Tweet

44. Adam Fields, Chief Architect at Graphika

"I do what I do because of loyalty and a desire for excellence, not out of obligation. I don’t expect to do work without getting paid, but that is not why I strive to do the best work possible." @fields @Graphika_Inc Click To Tweet

45. Austin Kelmore, Engineering Lead at ustwo Games

"Trust that I will always try to do the best I can for the team, but letting me know when I fall short of that goal so that I can rectify it." @AustinKelmore @ustwo Click To Tweet

46. Jim Grey, Director of Engineering at Emplify

"Trust is everything at work. Just as I extend trust to you, I want you to trust me. Our mutual trust will build over time." @mobilene @emplify Click To Tweet

47. Cassie Robinson, Strategic Design Director at Doteveryone

"I’d rather have difficult conversations than things be unspoken or inauthentic, so just be straight with me." @cassierobinson @doteveryoneuk Click To Tweet

48. Chuck Groom, Director of Engineering at VTS

"Well-being matters. This includes an emotionally safe work environment — no aggressions, humiliations, or manipulations." @chuck_groom @viewthespace Click To Tweet

49. Neil Tamplin, Senior IT Officer at Cadwyn Housing 

"To avoid multitasking, I might not be accessible all the time, particularly during the early part of the day where my focus is 'getting sh*t done." @NeilTamplin @CadwynHA Click To Tweet

One final note: this may be a list of mostly tech leaders, but manager ReadMes are a valuable tool for any person managing humans. Why not try writing your own?