OK, managerial skills are different than technical skills but I wonder what kind of contribution managers make here who have little or no technical skills. Someone has already mentioned that he gets frustrated when he has to spend half of his time just to communicate a problem to their manager. How much technical skill do you think managers should have in order to effectively work with the team?
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I've been here for well over two decades and i've had roughly 10'ish direct managers (and a few dotted). I've observed their abilities tend to fall on a bell curve not much different than the 100's of engineers i've worked with. There are good ones and bad ones, simply put.
Many managers hog all the cool high-profile projects that would be good for ICs careers. Some upper managers seem to require that of managers. They should be helping their direct- reports. You know, MANAGE!
My experience is that managers technical skills stagnate very quickly, and their technical work becomes very low quality. The typical path is IC becomes FLM and no doubt they were the smartest person on the team, but they stop growing technical expertise in that area. They are still expert on whatever it was that got them promoted, but slowing down and don't really have equivalent expertise for rest of team. It gets much worse when they get to second level because the manager does not really know anything at all about any of the other teams work.
The saddest sight of all is to watch 2nd level (and above) managers, who still spend a lot of time on technical work. They are almost universally sh–ty at technical work (because their skills have stagnated, and also because they do not have as much time because they have to do management work) and also sh–ty managers because they spend half of their time doing technical work. It's a lose/lose/lose situation all around.
There are still 2nd and even 3rd and 4th level managers who try to juggle technical work. I believe a big part of the motivation is to earn credibility with engineers. But usually their work is very low quality. And it just seems sad to me. It's like watching an old, retired superstar athlete coming back onto field and trying to compete with youngest and strongest guys.
Intel has always been known to be able to great engineers into terrible managers.
I left in no small part because of a manager who was entirely clueless to the technical details of anything his team was working. It was so bad he received focal feedback from the entire team multiple years in a row saying he needed to learn about what we were working on. Ironically, his feedback to me was that I was technically deficient to my peers in other teams in the department. Like the abuser making the abused think that they’re the bad one.
Sadly, he’s still there. The people that know anything are mostly gone now. People leave managers not companies. Plenty of teammates left the team both before and after I pulled the plug and most ended up at different companies. This is why Intel is in big trouble.
My manager where I work now is very technically competent. I spend my time getting real work done instead of educating my manager, and I’m no longer told I’m not pulling my weight. I haven’t ever regretted leaving, I only wish I’d done it sooner.
I am a manager (lowest level). You need technical skills to get to management level. Once you are there your technical skills are not needed any longer! You transform into a politician or accountant . It is sad. I will leave.
"I have no technical skills; therefore, I manage".
This saying fits most of the managers that I've had at intel whole time I've been there and it's along time.
At a minimum, managers should be able to explain in reasonable the technical details of what their engineers are working on, why they are working on it (necessary benefit), and what the current status is on those endeavors. Otherwise they are just wasting oxygen.
intel managers not only have no technical skill, they cover their lack of managerial skill by stealing credit for others' technical work
Intel managers lower my faith in humanity.