First-Time Managers – Story of Software S02E24

Stefan Avramtchev, a Manager and Coach with 20 years of experience, joins us to speak about coaching people entering a managerial role for the first time.


The Guest – Stefan Avramtchev, Agile Coach:

Stefan Avramtchev is a Leadership and Agile Coach with 20 years of experience in software engineering. He specializes in coaching software development teams, and individuals going through a switch in their careers. He joins us today to speak about coaching people entering a managerial role for the first time. 


From Individual Contributor to Leader

By this stage, we are well aware that a successful leader is someone who influences people to achieve their goals and continue to strive within their role in the team. 

However, it’s often the case that top-performing engineers find themselves being promoted to tech leaders or software development managers, and this transition doesn’t always go so smoothly. The transition from being the go-to person related to technical matters to all of a sudden starting off with step 1 of management can be incredibly challenging. 

So, what can people making that transition from an engineering role to management do to give themselves every chance of success? 

Some of the topics covered include:

  • What makes a good leader
  • The challenges of the initial transition
  • How to deal with ego
  • Feeling unsupported


It’s one thing being the best engineer on your team, and it’s another being someone who can help others fulfill their potential. When we think about the challenges around these transitions, what are the things that you’ve seen? 

“They have to understand that they need to grow, they need to develop, they need to tame their ego, and they need to start appearing as a leader. So, showing vulnerability and all these other things that we just mentioned is important. Another thing is the problem with authenticity, the fear and the lack of safety that they experience in the face of shortcomings and in the face of challenges that they haven’t tackled. Essentially dealing with questions that they don’t have the answer to…..

These people have invested heavily in their careers, they are used to being the go-to people for technical matters in the team, and now they have to abandon that. They have to go to square one of management. So that’s not easy and they need support and encouragement for that.”


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