Job Title: Engineering Manager
Type of Company: My company designs host bus adaptors for fibre channel storage area networks. Storage area networks are high speed connections between servers and disk arrays.
Education: BA, Mathematics, Providence College
Previous Experience: I graduated from college and worked as a software engineer. I then moved to another company where I started as a software engineer and transitioned into engineering management.
Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is to manage a system test group. The engineers in the system test group are responsible for quality assurance for the products that the development teams build. As a manager, I am responsible for developing the system test schedules, assigning the test engineers to specific tasks and maintaining the schedule as the project progresses.
I also participate in meetings with marketing, program management and development engineering. In the early stages of a product's development, I attend these meetings to understand the features of the product so we can develop a test plan. Once system testing starts, I provide status updates at these meetings, informing the team of our progress, the number of issues we have found and the number that have been resolved, etc.
In addition to project responsibilities, I also manage the testers in the group. This means I monitor the quality of their work, review them on a regular basis and also work with them on career development.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is being able to get more accomplished as a team versus what I can accomplish as an individual. The ability to motivate individuals to get the best possible performance out of them is very rewarding.
The worst part of the job is that the system test activity is the last engineering activity before the product ships. At times, this means that the system test team is under more pressure to complete their task on time, even when the development team is late delivering a product to system test.
Job Tips: Take courses that teach system level design. Take on leadership roles while you are working in engineering. When you decide you want to pursue a management path rather than a technical route, take a number of management courses before you start your first management job. Pay attention to detail too.
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