DevRel/Engineering Leadership Resources

Beginning my journey into engineering management, check out the leadership resources shared with me by my network.

Mo McElaney
3 min readNov 12, 2021

I recently accepted an offer to manage a team of open source developer advocates. When I announced my new role on Twitter I also used it as an opportunity to ask for engineering leadership resources because while I’ve done a ton of interviewing, hiring, training, mentoring, teaching, public speaking, team building, etc over the years, I’ve never actually officially been a people manager. The response was overwhelming and I’m so grateful to my network for the plethora of resources they shared! I thought this list might be helpful to others embarking on their leadership journey in tech. Many of these resources are books, and you can (and should!) buy the books from your favorite local bookstore, but if it doesn’t matter to you, where possible I’ve provided my favorite local book seller so that you can support them instead of the big turds. I also highly recommend you follow all the amazing people who shared their recs with me because they are all wonderful humans.

My crowdsourced list of devrel/software engineering leadership resources in no particular order…

Resource: The Managers Path
By: Camille Fournier
Recommended by @evanborden

Resource: An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management
2nd Resource for same author: Newsletter for Irrational Exuberance.
By: Will Larson
Recommended by @Josh_Atwell

Resource: Software Lead Weekly Newsletter
By: @orenellenbogen
Recommended by Rob Friesel

Resource: “Things I’ve Learnt from My Transition from Engineer to Engineering Manager” (10 minute video)
By: Anuja Kelkar
Recommended by Reshama Shaikh

Tweet from Reshama Shaikh, who founded Data Umbrella

Resource: “Resilient Management”
By: Lara Hogan
Additional resource: Blog and Newsletter
Recommended by @ant_auth

Resource: Suzan Bond’s Newsletter
Recommended by @Scott Pantall

Resource: The Business Value of Developer Relations: How and Why Technical Communities Are Key To Your Success
By: Mary Thengvall
Recommended by Chris “Woody” Woodruff

Resource: Radical Candor
By: Kim Scott
Recommended by Steve Martinelli

Resource: Becoming a Leader in Product Development: An Evidence-Based Guide to the Essentials
By: Eb
Recommended by @ruthmalan

Resource: Become an Effective Software Engineering Manager
By: James Stanier
Recommended by @smithderekm

Resource: Rands in Repose leadership resources
By: Michael Lopp
Recommended by Kathy Keating

Resource: “The Lead Dev” Blog and Events
Recommended by Lorna Mitchell

Tweet from Lorna Mitchell

Resource: First Round Review
By: First Round Capital
Recommended by Csaba Okrona

Resource: Leadership Garden
By: Csaba Okrona
Recommended by themself…

Resource: Devocate: Learn about Developer Advocacy
By: Tessa Kriesel
Recommended by the author themself…

Resource: Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard
By: Chip Heath, Dan Heath
Recommended by…

Recommended by Kevin Thorley

Resource: Flyless
By: @monkchips @katiereese317 @CarlaAtGG @tessak22
Recommended by Blaise Pabon

By: Michael Auzenne and Mark Horstman
Recommended by @balther74

Resource: The Effective Manager and The Effective Hiring Manager
By: Mark Horstman
Recommended by @zmuratguven

James Rosen gets a special shoutout for offering four resources that nobody else shared and oddly seem uniquely relevant to me and my particular needs because I need to advocate for the technical careers of my very talented and passionate employees…

Resource: No Hard Feelings: The Secret Power of Embracing Emotions at Work
By: Liz Fosslien, Mollie West Duffy

Resource: The Passionate Programmer: Creating a Remarkable Career in Software Development
By: Chad Fowler

Resource: How to Give Good Feedback (24 minute podcast episode)
By: Life Kit podcast interview with Massella Dukuly

Resource: The Coding Career Handbook

Resource: Lead from the Outside: How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change
By: Stacey Abrams
Recommended by: Me!

Find me on twitter.

If I had not read that book by Stacey Abrams there is basically no way I would have felt like I could pursue this chapter of my tech career.

Special thanks to all the wonderful coworkers, colleagues, and internet friends who shared their leadership recommendations with me! Hopefully this compilation of resources can be helpful to others as well.



Mo McElaney

OSS DevRel at @IBM . board @vtTechAlliance . my words don’t represent my employer. (