Shishir Sharma

Shishir Sharma

Director of Engineering at Pingpad

September 03, 2018

#coaching #devops #full-stack #startup

Hello! What's your background and what do you do?

I am an Electronic's engineer by training, I have worked as a full stack devops engineer on the various scale in Indian and multinational companies. Currently, I am working on a startup.

How was your transition from software development to management like?

I was always a good engineer but later people were really impressed by my management skills. Over the time I was everyone's goto guy. When the need of hour came I was the most suitable candidate for management. For me, it was really organic.

What does your day-to-day work look like, and what motivates you to do it every day?

My day is a combination of a daily firefighting, professional coaching, consensus building and technical guidance.

I keep myself motivated by looking at the larger picture of what are we doing and what is the end goal.

What are the biggest challenges you've faced so far? What did you do to overcome them?

My company pivoted and I was suddenly managing three businesses. Team morale was down and body language was unproductive.

I was surrounded by a cloud of uncertainty. I gathered myself and looked at the situation objectively. There was a lot of upsides and silverlings. I convinced myself that I have to be fully committed before I can expect anyone else. I found two options for everyone

1) stay and fight to be a turnaround kid or

2) move on with no hard feeling and your contribution will still be remembered.

My conviction was enough for retaining almost 65% of people. We still failed after a year and half but everyone put up a great fight. We know that we left no stone unturned. We were no longer a collection of people, we were a cohort of highly motivated soldiers working towards a single goal.

We might have lost a battle but we will succeed in the war of life :)

What's the best advice you've received about being a manager?

Best advice was the "My team's failure was my failure and my team's success was my success"

What do you tell developers who are considering making the switch or new to the role?

Management is tough, especially for good engineers. I was good at managing my work and was successful in avoiding bad situations.

So I was good at avoiding bad situations and had no experience of how to recover from them.

As a manager, I was always given task which was in a really bad state (Basically no light at the end of the tunnel.). It would be really easy to fix the problem yourself and move on, but good management style demands that people should be educated to be the manager of their own (Give a man fish vs teach a man how to fish).

Final call to action! Where can we go to learn more about you?

Drop me a line on Twitter or LinkedIn.