I'm Julien Dedek, Engineering Manager at Metalshub in Düsseldorf, Germany. I started out as a Backend Developer, focusing on Python, Django, and web development, and eventually moved into a leadership role. At Metalshub, I've been focused on supporting my team, setting goals, giving feedback, and helping new folks get settled in. Looking forward to sharing what I know and learning along the way!

My Mentoring Topics

  • Software Engineering
  • Web Development
  • Agile
N.
13.February 2024

I had an outstanding session with Julien, my mentor. He not only cleared all my doubts but also provided a detailed roadmap for my preparation. Julien's humility and helpfulness were truly commendable, creating a supportive learning environment. I'm grateful for his guidance and look forward to our next meeting. Thank you, Julien, for your invaluable assistance.

The Making of a Manager - What to Do When Everyone Looks to You
Julie Zhuo

Key Facts and Insights Management is Not About Power: This book emphasizes that good management is not about exercising power over others, but about guiding and supporting them. Effective Communication: Zhuo stresses the importance of clear, concise, and open communication as an essential tool for effective management. Building Trust: Building trust is integral to successful management. It is gained through consistency, honesty, and delivering on promises. Self-Reflection: The importance of self-awareness and reflection in understanding one's management style is crucial. Growth Mindset: Embracing a growth mindset and encouraging it among your team members plays a significant role in achieving success. Delegation: Effective delegation is a key skill that a manager must master. Zhuo provides guidance on how to delegate tasks effectively and empower your team. Feedback Mechanism: Constructive feedback is critical in a team's growth and development. Zhuo discusses how to give and receive feedback effectively. Conflict Resolution: Zhuo provides valuable insights on how to handle conflicts and disagreements within the team. Adaptable Management Style: The book emphasizes the need for managers to adapt their style to different people and situations. Goal Setting: Zhuo highlights the importance of setting clear, achievable goals for the team and the role of managers in tracking progress. Building a High-Performing Team: The book provides practical advice on how to build a high-performing team. An In-depth Analysis of the Book "The Making of a Manager - What to Do When Everyone Looks to You" by Julie Zhuo is a comprehensive guide to effective management, based on her experience as a manager at Facebook. The book is not merely a recitation of management theories, but a practical guide filled with personal anecdotes, case studies, and clear, actionable advice. Zhuo begins by demystifying the role of a manager by stating that management is not about power, but about guiding and supporting others. This is a refreshing take on management, which often gets misconstrued as a role that wields power over others. One of the book's key themes is the importance of effective communication. Zhuo emphasizes that clear, concise, and open communication is vital in managing teams effectively. This aligns with the 'Communication Competence Model' by Spitzberg and Cupach, suggesting that effective communication involves both the message's content and relational aspects. Another significant insight from the book is the importance of building trust. Trust, as Zhuo explains, is an integral part of successful management, earned through consistency, honesty, and delivering on promises. This aligns with the 'Trust Equation' proposed by Maister, Green, and Galford, suggesting that trust is a function of credibility, reliability, and intimacy. Zhuo underscores the importance of self-reflection in understanding one's management style. This concept aligns with the Johari Window model, which emphasizes self-awareness as a crucial aspect of personal and interpersonal understanding. The book also highlights the significance of adopting a growth mindset, a concept popularized by psychologist Carol Dweck. Zhuo discusses how a growth mindset encourages continuous learning, resilience, and adapting to new challenges, all of which are vital traits for a successful manager. Zhuo provides valuable insights on delegation, a critical skill that many managers struggle with. She gives practical advice on how to delegate tasks effectively, ensuring that the team members feel empowered and not micromanaged. Feedback is another crucial area that Zhuo explores in-depth. She discusses how to give and receive feedback effectively, emphasizing that constructive feedback is critical for a team's growth and development. This aligns with the 'Feedback Sandwich' method, which involves providing constructive criticism sandwiched between positive feedback. Conflict resolution is another topic that Zhuo skillfully navigates. She provides practical advice on handling conflicts and disagreements within the team, emphasizing the importance of empathy and understanding in resolving conflicts. The book also explores the need for managers to have an adaptable management style. Zhuo emphasizes that different people and situations require different approaches, aligning with the Situational Leadership Theory, which suggests that effective leadership is task-relevant. Goal setting is another significant theme in the book. Zhuo highlights the importance of setting clear, achievable goals for the team and tracking progress towards these goals. This aligns with the SMART goals framework, which emphasizes Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals. Finally, Zhuo provides practical advice on how to build a high-performing team. She explains how to create an environment conducive to productivity and how to motivate team members to perform at their best. In conclusion, "The Making of a Manager - What to Do When Everyone Looks to You" by Julie Zhuo is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to improve their management skills. Zhuo's practical advice and personal insights provide a fresh perspective on management, making the book a must-read for both new and experienced managers.

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Radical Candor: Fully Revised & Updated Edition - Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity
Kim Scott

Key Facts or Insights from "Radical Candor" Radical Candor is a management philosophy that advocates for direct, clear, and empathetic communication between managers and their teams. It is built on two fundamental principles: "Care Personally" and "Challenge Directly". The book provides a comprehensive framework that helps managers to improve their leadership skills and promote a healthy workplace culture. Scott breaks down management styles into four quadrants: Radical Candor, Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy. "Radical Candor" advises managers to have difficult conversations with their employees, offering constructive criticism without being insensitive. The book emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships with team members to promote trust and openness. Scott also highlights the significance of listening to feedback from employees and using it to improve management practices. She suggests that managers should delegate tasks effectively to promote growth and development in their team members. Scott provides practical tools and techniques to implement the principles of Radical Candor in real-life situations. The book is based on Scott's extensive experience in leadership roles at various renowned tech companies, including Google and Apple. It calls for managers to maintain their humanity while being effective leaders, hence the subtitle: "Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity". In-Depth Summary and Analysis of "Radical Candor" "Radical Candor" by Kim Scott is a revolutionary guide that offers valuable insights into effective leadership and management. It provides a comprehensive framework based on two fundamental principles: "Care Personally" and "Challenge Directly", both of which are crucial for building strong relationships, promoting a healthy workplace culture, and improving overall team performance. In her book, Scott categorizes management styles into four quadrants: Radical Candor, Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy. Radical Candor is the most desirable of the four as it incorporates both caring personally and challenging directly. It encourages managers to be honest and direct with their feedback, while also showing genuine care for their team members. On the other hand, Obnoxious Aggression, Manipulative Insincerity, and Ruinous Empathy are all flawed management practices that could potentially hamper team morale and productivity. Radical Candor emphasizes the importance of having difficult conversations with employees. It encourages managers to provide constructive criticism without being insensitive or harsh. Such feedback, when delivered appropriately, can help employees improve their performance and contribute more effectively to the team's goals. Building strong relationships with team members is another significant aspect highlighted in the book. When managers care personally about their employees, it fosters a sense of trust and openness within the team. This, in turn, promotes better communication, collaboration, and overall team dynamics. Listening to feedback from employees is another crucial aspect discussed in the book. Scott emphasizes that managers should not only provide feedback but also be open to receiving it. This two-way communication allows for continual improvement and adaptation in management practices. The book also offers insights into effective delegation, advising managers to delegate tasks that promote growth and development in their team members. This not only helps to build skills within the team but also shows employees that their managers have confidence in their abilities. Scott provides practical tools and techniques to implement Radical Candor principles in real-life situations. These include methods for giving and receiving feedback, holding effective meetings, and resolving conflicts, among others. The concepts and ideas in "Radical Candor" are deeply rooted in Scott's extensive experience in leadership roles at renowned tech companies, including Google and Apple. Her practical examples and anecdotal evidence add credibility to her arguments and make the book a valuable resource for managers at all levels. Finally, a key message from the book is for managers to maintain their humanity while being effective leaders. It's possible to be a "kick-ass boss" without losing your empathy, compassion, and respect for others. This balance is the essence of Radical Candor and a cornerstone of effective leadership.

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An Elegant Puzzle - Systems of Engineering Management
Will Larson

Key Insights from "An Elegant Puzzle - Systems of Engineering Management" The importance of leadership in the engineering management field. The role of systems and processes in managing the engineering function. Decision-making strategies and the concept of trade-offs in engineering projects. Resource allocation and its impact on the success of engineering projects. The importance of communication for effective engineering management. Managing and mitigating risk in engineering projects. The role of motivation and team dynamics in the success of engineering projects. The concept of incremental and iterative progress in engineering management. Techniques for problem-solving and troubleshooting in the engineering field. The importance of continuous learning and improvement in engineering management. An In-Depth Analysis of the Book "An Elegant Puzzle - Systems of Engineering Management" by Will Larson presents a comprehensive view of engineering management, a critical field in today's technologically-driven world. Larson's perspective, shaped by his extensive experience in the field, provides readers with a unique, in-depth understanding of the various systems, processes, and strategies used in engineering management. Leadership is a central theme in Larson's book. He asserts that effective leadership is crucial in managing engineering projects. Leaders should not only possess technical expertise but also need to be adept at managing people, fostering teamwork, and facilitating communication. The book offers insights into various leadership styles and their effectiveness, emphasizing the need for leaders to adapt their approach based on the situation and team dynamics. The book also dives into the importance of systems and processes in engineering management. Larson suggests that well-designed systems and processes can significantly enhance efficiency and productivity, reducing the likelihood of errors and oversights. He provides practical advice on how to design and implement these systems, highlighting the need for flexibility and continuous improvement. Larson emphasizes the importance of decision-making strategies and the concept of trade-offs in engineering projects. He posits that every decision in engineering projects involves trade-offs between different factors, such as cost, time, quality, and risk. He offers strategies for making informed decisions and managing these trade-offs effectively. Resource allocation is another crucial aspect discussed in the book. Larson argues that the success of engineering projects largely depends on how resources – human, financial, and material – are allocated. He provides guidelines on how to allocate resources efficiently and effectively, considering factors such as project requirements, timelines, and constraints. Communication is highlighted as a critical factor for effective engineering management. Larson emphasizes that clear, concise, and timely communication can prevent misunderstandings, facilitate collaboration, and enhance productivity. He offers tips on how to communicate effectively in different situations, such as team meetings, project updates, and crisis management. Larson also discusses the importance of managing and mitigating risk in engineering projects. He suggests that risk management should be an integral part of the planning and execution of engineering projects. He provides strategies for identifying potential risks, assessing their impact, and developing contingency plans to mitigate them. The book also explores the role of motivation and team dynamics in the success of engineering projects. Larson believes that motivated and cohesive teams can significantly enhance productivity and the quality of work. He provides insights into how to foster a positive team culture, motivate team members, and manage team dynamics effectively. Larson also underscores the concept of incremental and iterative progress in engineering management. He suggests that breaking down complex projects into smaller, manageable tasks and making incremental progress can lead to more effective management and better outcomes. He also emphasizes the importance of learning from each iteration and continuously improving. The book delves into techniques for problem-solving and troubleshooting in the engineering field. Larson offers practical advice on how to identify and address problems effectively, leveraging logical reasoning, creativity, and technical expertise. Lastly, Larson underscores the importance of continuous learning and improvement in engineering management. He argues that in a rapidly evolving field like engineering, continuous learning and improvement are essential for staying relevant and competitive. He provides strategies for fostering a culture of learning and improvement, encouraging innovation, and promoting personal and professional growth. In conclusion, "An Elegant Puzzle - Systems of Engineering Management" is a valuable resource for anyone involved in managing engineering projects. It provides a comprehensive understanding of the different aspects of engineering management, offering practical advice and insights based on Larson's extensive experience in the field. The book is not only informative but also thought-provoking, challenging readers to rethink their approach to engineering management and strive for excellence.

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The Manager's Path - A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change
Camille Fournier

Key Facts and Insights from "The Manager's Path - A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change" Management is a skill that can be learned and improved upon, just like any technical skill. Good leaders are not born, they are made - through experience, learning, and continuous self-improvement. Leadership in tech is not just about technology, but also about understanding people and organizational dynamics. Effective management involves a balance of technical skills, people skills, and business acumen. Transitioning from an individual contributor to a manager requires a significant shift in mindset and responsibilities. Team management requires strategic thinking, clear communication, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. Leadership at higher levels involves influencing the broader organization and industry, not just your immediate team. Successful tech leaders foster a culture of learning, innovation, and accountability within their teams. Handling growth and change effectively is a crucial aspect of tech leadership. Continuous learning and adaptation are key to staying relevant and effective as a tech leader. An In-depth Analysis of the Book's Contents "The Manager's Path - A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change" by Camille Fournier serves as a comprehensive guidebook for individuals in the tech industry who are stepping or looking to step into leadership roles. At its core, the book emphasizes the idea that management, like any technical skill, can be learned and honed. It challenges the common notion that good leaders are born, not made, and argues instead that effective leadership is the result of continuous learning, experience, and self-improvement. This perspective is crucial in an industry that often mistakenly equates technical expertise with leadership potential. The book also underscores the fact that leadership in tech is not solely about understanding and applying technology. It's equally about understanding people and the dynamics of an organization. This requires a balance of technical skills, people skills, and business acumen. Fournier emphasizes that this balance is critical for success and effectiveness as a leader. The transition from an individual contributor to a manager is another important topic in the book. This transition involves a significant shift in responsibilities and mindset. Instead of focusing solely on one's own technical work, a manager must consider the broader picture, including team dynamics, strategic planning, and organizational goals. The book provides valuable guidance on navigating this shift. The text goes on to delve into the specifics of team management, highlighting the importance of strategic thinking, clear communication, and the ability to inspire and motivate others. These skills are essential for creating an environment in which team members can thrive and produce their best work. As leaders move up the ladder, their role becomes less about managing people and more about influencing the broader organization and industry. This insight is particularly relevant in the fast-paced tech industry, where leaders must constantly navigate change and drive innovation. Another noteworthy point made in the book is the importance of fostering a culture of learning, innovation, and accountability within teams. According to Fournier, successful tech leaders are those who encourage their team members to continuously learn, innovate, and take ownership of their work. This fosters a high-performing, adaptable team that can successfully navigate the rapid changes in the tech industry. Finally, the book discusses the crucial aspect of handling growth and change effectively. This involves being able to adapt to new technologies, market trends, and organizational changes. Continuous learning and adaptation are key to staying relevant and effective as a tech leader. In conclusion, "The Manager's Path - A Guide for Tech Leaders Navigating Growth and Change" provides a comprehensive, insightful guide for individuals aspiring to become tech leaders. It offers valuable insights and practical advice on a wide range of topics, from the basics of management to the complexities of leading at higher levels. It emphasizes continuous learning, adaptability, and a balanced skill set as crucial qualities of successful tech leaders.

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Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager
Dr. James Stanier

Key Insights from "Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager" Transitioning from individual contributor to manager: The book provides a comprehensive guideline on how software engineers can transition into effective management roles, emphasizing the need for a shift in mindset and skillset. Managerial responsibilities: The book outlines the various roles a manager plays in a software engineering team, which includes project management, team building, conflict resolution, and strategic planning. Effective communication: The importance of clear, concise, and effective communication in management is stressed throughout the book. Managing team dynamics: The book provides insights into understanding and managing the complexities of team dynamics in a software engineering environment. Performance management: The book provides a framework for setting expectations, measuring performance, and providing feedback to team members. Leadership development: The book emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, self-reflection, and development for a software engineering manager. Career growth: The book provides guidance on how to navigate career growth in management within the technology industry, including advice on networking, mentorship, and personal branding. Building a positive work culture: The book encourages engineering managers to foster a positive work environment that promotes diversity, inclusion, and collaboration. Implementing Agile methodologies: The book discusses the application of Agile practices in managing software engineering teams and projects. Strategic decision making: The book provides tools and techniques for strategic decision making, including risk assessment, prioritization, and long-term planning. Understanding and navigating organizational structures: The book offers insights into navigating and understanding the complexities of organizational structures in a software engineering context. Detailed Summary and Analysis "Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager" by Dr. James Stanier is a comprehensive guide for software engineers aiming to transition into managerial roles. The book provides a clear path for this transition, emphasizing the need for a significant shift in mindset and skillset. The author argues that the technical skills that make one a good software engineer do not necessarily translate into effective management. This is a significant insight that resonates with my experience in academia, where I have seen many technically proficient individuals struggle with managing others. The book outlines the variety of roles a manager plays in a software engineering team. These roles include project manager, team builder, conflict mediator, and strategic planner. The author clearly defines these roles and provides practical advice on how to fulfill them effectively. This multi-faceted approach to management is a crucial aspect of modern software engineering management, where the role can no longer be reduced to simple project management. Effective communication is another key topic in the book, which I believe is fundamental to any managerial role. The author provides clear strategies for communicating with different stakeholders, including team members, senior management, and clients. He emphasizes the importance of clarity, brevity, and empathy in communication, which aligns with my experience in managing academic teams. Another significant aspect of the book is its focus on managing team dynamics. The author provides valuable insights into understanding and managing the complexities of team dynamics in a software engineering environment. He discusses topics such as fostering collaboration, resolving conflicts, and managing performance. I find this section particularly useful as it aligns with the modern view of management as a role that facilitates team success rather than controlling individual tasks. The book also provides a comprehensive framework for performance management. The author discusses setting expectations, measuring performance, and providing feedback. These are crucial aspects of managing a software engineering team, where performance can often be quantified but should also include qualitative aspects such as teamwork and creativity. Dr. Stanier places a strong emphasis on leadership development, arguing that an effective software engineering manager must be committed to continuous learning and self-reflection. This aligns with my experience in academia, where the most effective leaders are those who are open to learning and adapting. The book also provides guidance on navigating career growth in management within the technology industry. The author discusses networking, mentorship, and personal branding, providing practical advice on how to advance in a managerial career. The author also encourages engineering managers to foster a positive work culture that promotes diversity, inclusion, and collaboration. This is a crucial aspect of modern management, and it aligns with my experience in academia, where a positive and inclusive culture can greatly enhance team performance and satisfaction. The application of Agile methodologies is another key topic in the book. The author discusses how Agile practices can be applied in managing software engineering teams and projects. This is a crucial aspect of modern software engineering management, as Agile methodologies have been shown to enhance productivity and satisfaction among software engineering teams. The book also provides tools and techniques for strategic decision making, including risk assessment, prioritization, and long-term planning. These tools can be invaluable for software engineering managers, who often need to make strategic decisions that can have significant impacts on their teams and projects. Finally, the book offers insights into navigating and understanding the complexities of organizational structures in a software engineering context. The author discusses different organizational structures and provides advice on how to navigate them effectively. This is a crucial aspect of management, as understanding the organizational context can greatly enhance a manager's effectiveness. In conclusion, "Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager" provides a comprehensive and practical guide for software engineers aiming to transition into managerial roles. The book covers a wide range of topics, from communication and team dynamics to performance management and strategic decision making. It provides valuable insights and practical advice, making it an invaluable resource for aspiring software engineering managers.

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