9 More Books All Engineering Managers Should Read

John Hartley
7 min readNov 28, 2023

A while back I posted “9 Books All Engineering Managers Should Read,” and it seemed to be helpful for folks. Two years removed, there are many more books that can help you succeed in your engineering management career.

You can also get this post in podcast form on Hartley’s Handbook.

Photo by Joao Tzanno on Unsplash

In no particular order…

Scaling People

Author: Claire Hughes Johnson, former COO at Stripe | Amazon

I noted this previously in the first list, but I love reference books. Books that are meant to be read end to end are great in their own regard, but reference books like Scaling People are the most helpful. Having a problem with performance reviews or where to start? There’s a whole section along with templates. Bad at OKRs? Johnson gives you templates and techniques to improve.

This, along with Principles by Ray Dalio and another reference book later in the list are an excellent trifecta of reference books for engineering managers.

Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done

Authors: Lawrence Bossidy and Ram Charan | Amazon

A key for engineering organizations to thrive is the ability of their engineering managers to execute the overall vision. Project execution specifically is a critical skill for getting things done. One of the first measurements for my managers is “Are projects getting completed on time and on budget?” There are many definitions for completeness and Execution highlights ways to define within your org.

From start to finish, Execution gives strategies, tactics, and tips on how to improve your execution skills by clarifying requirements and identifying what exactly is wrong with your systems and processes today. Summarizing the book in eight words: spend less time talking, and more time doing.

Resilient Management

Author: Lara Hogan | A Book Apart

One of the only books I’ve ever seen that suggests talking about “what makes someone grumpy,” and it’s partially on this list for that reason. Lara Hogan walks readers through ways to approach work styles and preferences, how to communicate…

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John Hartley

Engineering leader with a passion for building and growing teams. Writing about leadership and management in the tech industry. Director of Eng @ Curology