The Shape of the Modern Engineering Team

I’ve now been managing engineering teams for a few years. And the shape of an engineering team has changed significantly in just those few short years.

The pandemic has accelerated the change even more with a higher propensity for remote work. Now a single engineering team can have the combination of in-house local folks, in-house remote folks, employee augmentation through contact firms, and traditional outsourcing.

Also, hiring engineers is basically an employee’s market so even in-team expansion is happening overseas. It feels like the further distant the time zone, the more affordable the engineer.

Often, even outsourcing within a team is happening through multiple organizations where one could be providing engineers and another could be providing QA.

With this kind of engineering org structure, traditional management training is somewhat useless. I’ve previously tried courses through Harvard Manage Mentor but found that they mostly just wrapped some common sense into terminology. It wasn’t helpful with practical knowledge to help deal with a single team that is remote-first, culturally disparate, and global.

Comments, feedback, and discussion are welcome. What does your team look like today?What are your struggles? I’ll talk about mine in this series of blog posts on my experience and the learning I had from some great minds around me running remote high-functioning engineering teams at smaller organizations.

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