In the first blog post of this series, we covered a broad overview of the Engineering Manager interview loop. One of the more popular formats in this loop is a situational interview.

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In this interview, the interviewer asks a series of questions to go over the candidate’s background in a particular area (eg. People Leadership). The questions can range from targeted ones like — “Tell me about a time when you had to let go of an employee” to vague, exploratory ones like — “What is your hiring philosophy”. …


Diving deeper into the People Leadership interview in the Engineering Manager Interview Loop

In the previous blog post, we covered a broad overview of the Engineering Manager interview loop. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into one of the most common rounds in the interview process — the People Leadership round.

Engineering Management is fundamentally a people-leadership role. Your job is to lead (and be accountable for) a group a people to deliver results. To lead people to deliver results, you’d need to be able to hire and retain the best talent, nurture and improve your team’s skills, and in…


Practical steps to prepare for and ace your next engineering manager interview

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Image credits: Nick Youngson

While coding interviews have become more or less standardized across the industry, there is still a big variability when it comes to hiring for Engineering Manager roles. What questions get asked in an EM interview, is a concern on many peoples’ minds. It certainly was on my mind during my recent job search a few months ago. I ended up interviewing for EM roles at several top tech companies and learned a lot through the process. …


Read about the counter-clockwise road to Hana here

Maui is a bizarre island. Bizarre because it’s a microcosm of all possible climates on a tiny volcanic blob of land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Having stayed in Kihei for about a week now, Maui to me was the land of dry and warm weather, sandy beaches, and gentle Pacific waves. But apparently, there was an entire section of the island which was lush tropical jungle, craggy cliffs, and a turbulent ocean. …


Read about the clockwise road to Hana here

Every Maui guidebook, youtube video, and tripadvisor review will tell you to take the road to Hana. It’s Maui’s #1 tourist attraction and it takes the top spot for a reason — it’s an adventurous drive through a rainforest paradise. However, what the internet and print media doesn’t agree on is — whether to take the more popular, well-established clockwise road to Hana, or to take the seemingly riskier, edgier counter-clockwise road to get there.

The good news is that you can approach Hana through either direction. Your choice purely depends on…


Tales from the Big Island: Part 2 (you can read Part 1 here)

We woke up to the sounds of the roosters crowing early in the morning. It was a relaxing feeling, reminding us of a simpler life, away from the stresses of the city. As I threw open the blinds and walked into the lanai, I was greeted by the scent of the fresh Hawaiian air, with a view of forests and ocean blending together in harmony.

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Big Island’s northern plateau — grasslands, farmhouses, and expansive views of the ocean.

Our Airbnb host greeted us and offered to take us on a quick tour through his fruit, vegetable, and animal farm. It was an offer we couldn’t refuse, so we put on our flip-flops and…


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Image courtesy: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/11984559914

Why writing matters

Writing is a big part of our jobs as software engineers. It may not be very apparent, but we write a LOT. Slack conversations, code, code reviews, documentation, design docs, meeting notes…they’re all artifacts that we put forth to convey our point of view for another person to consume, interpret, and react. In our present COVID19 era, as most software engineering work goes remote, sharing ideas via writing has become more important than ever.

The goal of writing in this professional context is for your reader to take away exactly what it is that you’re trying to communicate. …


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Image courtesy: dm.af.mil

What comes to your mind when you think of a high-performing team? Perhaps a sports team that continues to win season after season, year after year? Perhaps a project team that achieves the impossible and sends a human to the moon? Perhaps your community volunteer group that continuously raises people from poverty into comfortable living situations? High-performing teams amplify the impact of each individual, making the overall impact larger than the sum of its parts.

I personally find working in high-performing teams exhilarating and love building them as part of my professional career as an engineering manager. What I’ve learned…


For the vast majority of us working as a cog-in-the-wheel in large organizations, becoming an entrepreneur can sound like a pipe dream. Something only business-minded people take on. Or folks with money and connections. Or folks with some mystical quality of entrepreneurship that gets passed on to their genes from their parents.

Search for “are you an entrepreneur” on Google and you’ll find a variety of results that attempt to make definitive judgments about your future — 10 signs to show that you are destined for entrepreneurship, 7 indicators that prove that you can never be an entrepreneur, or take…


Tales from the Big Island: Part 1

Go to Google Maps and search for Hawai’i. Now zoom out. Keep zooming out. What do you see? An unending stretch of blue with no other land mass anywhere in sight. Honolulu, the capital of Hawai’i, is the city that’s farthest away from any other city in the world. The Hawaiian Islands are so remote that it took humans thousands of years to discover and settle them. Yet modern times have made it incredibly easy to get there. …

Srivatsan Sridharan

Engineering Manager. Part-time novelist. I write about travel, food, engineering, books, movies, and life.

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