I sometimes get asked if I do mentoring for engineering leaders - managers, directors or senior+ engineers. I cover topics relevant to these people in The Pragmatic Engineer Newsletter and share actionable advice. Sadly, I have no bandwidth for one-on-one mentoring on top of my writing.
Luckily, I both know several people who specialize in this type of coaching. I also asked around for more recommendations:
Who are some great coaches/mentors for engineering managers and senior eng managers / directors you know of? Asking about people who do external, paid coaching.— Gergely Orosz (@GergelyOrosz) December 8, 2021
I get asked about this every now and then and would love to point to more people who do this.
Below is a list of paid coaches for engineering leaders who come recommended - either by myself, or from other people I trust. As an engineering leader, investing in an external coach is a high ROI investment for your company to make. If you don't have access to experienced mentors or coaches within your company, I suggest you make the case for an external engineering coach to maximise your growth and impact.
A word of advice: finding a coach who "clicks" won't happen without talking to a few people. In the past, I've recommended coaches who worked wonderfully for some people, but there was no "chemistry" with others. Do an intro call, and if you feel you're getting on the same wavelength: this is a good sign. If not: it's not a big deal, and talk to someone else.
These are people I either personally know, or people I know well shared good experiences with.
- Anton Drukh - formerly VP of Engineering, mentor to several tech executives. Based in Israel.
- Paulo André - formerly VP of Engineering and HelloFresh alumni. Mentoring engineering leaders at all levels. Based in Germany (Berlin).
- Laura Tacho - VP of engineering and engineering leadership coach. Formerly at Codeship, Cloudbees and well-known in the Docker community. Based in Austria (Vienna).
- Lena Reinhard - engineering executive turned coach for engineering leaders and managers. Formerly VP Engineering at CircleCI and TravisCI. Based in Germany (Berlin).
- Pat Kua - formerly CTO of N26, author of Level Up Engineering newsletter, creator of Tech Lead Academy. Coaches VP/Director levels. Based in Germany (Berlin).
- Colin Howe - startup CTO. Based in the UK (London).
Further vetted recommendations
- Alvaro Moya - experienced CTO, founder of tech leadership training LIDR. Based in Spain (Barcelona).
- Aviv Ben-Yosef - mentoring CTOs and VPEs globally for several years. Based in Israel.
- Cate Huston - engineering director at DuckDuckGo, formerly at Google. Coaches managers. Based in Ireland/remote.
- Esther Derby - coach and consultant. Based in the US (Minnesota).
- Félix López - VP Engineering, formerly at Eventbrite and Google. Based in Spain.
- Jason Wong - leadership coach, formerly at Sr Director of Engineering at Etsy. Based in the US (NYC).
- Joel Chippindale - CTO coach. Based in the UK (London).
- Keith Adams - formerly chief architect at Slack, engineer at Facebook, senior staff engineer at VMWare. Based in the US (San Francisco).
- Kirsten Clacey - faciliator coach at Automattic. Based in South Africa (Cape Town)
- Lara Hogan - formerly VP of Engineering at Kickstarter, author of the book Resilient Management. Engineering manager coaching - more details. Based in the US.
- Raphaela Wrede - engineering leadership coach, formerly engineering leadership at Contentful and Travis CI. Based in Germany (Berlin).
- Rod Begbie - engineering leadership coach, formerly senior EM at Dropbox. Based in Spain (Barcelona).
- Saurya Velagapudi - engineering leadership coach, formerly tech lead manager at Google. Based in Singapore.
- Tony Piper. Mental fitness coach, formerly having worked in the tech industry. Based in the UK (London).
Coaching lists and groups
- A list of women in tech coaches curated by coach Lulu Cheng
- Best Practicer. 1:1 coaching from domain experts.
- CTO Craft. CTO coaching and mentoring.
- LIDR - a mentoring program and community.
- VPE Coach. Leadership coaching for engineers, by engineers.
Engineering Manager learning circles
An alternative to one-on-one coaching is joining a learning circle for engineering managers. Here are ones I know of, and can recommend:
- VPE Learning Circle organized by Will Larson and Uma Chingunde
- Down Left organized by Oren Ellenbogen
- CTO Craft learning circles
Other places to find mentorship
You can find free or paid mentors on sites listed in these mentoring resources.
Missing someone from these lists? Reply to this thread on Twitter - I update the list based on it.
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