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---
layout: markdown_page
title: "Eric J's README"
---

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This page was inspired by the recent trend of Engineering Manager README's. _e.g._ [Hackernoon: 12 Manager READMEs (from some of the best cultures in tech)](https://hackernoon.com/12-manager-readmes-from-silicon-valleys-top-tech-companies-26588a660afe).

## Eric J's README

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My name is Eric Johnson and I'm the VP of Engineering at GitLab.
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* [GitLab Handle](https://gitlab.com/edjdev)
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* [Team Page](/company/team/#edjdev)
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Here are some things about me that may help us collaborate effectively:
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* I'm the veteran of 5 startups (including GitLab). I've only ever worked for startups. I'm geared for growth.
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* I like learning. My previous startups have been in marketing technology, localization software, video streaming, and aerospace.
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* I believe in the [servant-leader](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Servant_leadership) model. Management is a specialty like Frontend, Backend, Security, or DevOps. And that means aptitude comes with an imperative to make others' around you better by this skill. There is no prestige in reporting lines: your manager should be whomever makes you most effective, regardless of level.
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* Emotionally, I never get too high, or too low. A strength is I never have 'hair-on-fire' moments. A weakness is that I could be better at the inspirational style of motivation that comes from stirring speeches, and whatnot. I commonly hear that I am 'difficult to read'. You're likely overthinking it: just take me at face value.
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* I value communication more than most engineering leaders. It's the mortar between the bricks that allows us to build massive projects
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* My email inbox is my to do list. Everything gets read, actioned, answered, and archived. 100% SLA.
* I always keep my promises. And I greatly value people that do the same. I sometimes wonder if those who gracefully let the tail-end of their backlog slip through the cracks are more effective and efficient, but I can't bring myself to allow that to happen
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* I come from a non-traditional engineering background. I studied Philosophy in college and programmed on the side. Nevertheless, I went back and painted in my skill set with computer science fundamentals. I recommend that all self-taught programmers do the same.
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* In addition to engineering teams I've also managed designers, localization professionals, and support staff
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* Besides the project and company we're creating, I think it's important to society that we figure out how remote-only work can scale because it's better for people and the environment
* Here is [my 1:1 meeting template](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vWm7-lmpqghoElckd02puqsKDNT6aCJInuZcfkdtvwQ/edit)
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  * Populate the agenda the day before (I set a 1 day email reminder for myself in my calendar)
  * Copy down the orange template and set text to black
  * Reports should drive 80% of agenda to allow me to scale (their reports should do the same for them)
  * Reports have edit rights to the 1:1 calendar invite and can just move it to a mutually free time
  * Use Google doc action items
  * “Priorities” is to list your top priorities. We can re-order and establish a cut-line together
  * Feedback is for real-time, bi-directional performance feedback (_e.g._ good, bad, try)
  * Let's memorialize decisions in-line
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* Here is how I expect to interact with my Directors in the form of [RACI](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Responsibility_assignment_matrix)
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  * **Informed:** I need to know of the decision or action in a timely way
    * GitLab.com Availability Incidents
    * An endangered monthly release
    * S1-2 Security incidents
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    * Likely underspends on budgets
    * PIPs about to be delivered
    * Likely misses on hiring targets
    * Likely hits/misses on skip-level OKRs
  * **Consulted:** I need to give feedback and contribute to the activity
    * Likely terminations
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    * New roles
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    * Changes to our development process
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    * Our org structure (stable counterparts, no-two-in-a-box, no matrices, spans of control)
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    * Upcoming promotions prior to submission and candidate expectation settings
    * Likely hits/misses on your own OKRs
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  * **Accountable:** I am ultimately accountable and have Yes/No/Veto
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    * Diligence on aquisitions
    * Changes to the career development framework
    * Shipping a release the 22nd of every month
    * Bi-annual Engineering Survey
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    * Approving work-related travel of my direct reports
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  * **Responsible:** I am performing the activity or doing the work and will involve the contributing person or group
    * Headcount planning
    * Organizing the OKR authoring and timely kickoff
    * Non-headcount additions to our budget
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    * Engineering Group Conversations
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    * Engineering 101's
  * __Note:__ Managers reporting to me should over-communicate more (inform), and expect more consultation on informational items
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* Outside of work I love travel, solving puzzles with code, and spending time with my wife and two young daughters
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* I type too fast and make spelling mistakes where there isn't a native spell checker. I'm working on it. 😁
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Do you know something about me that belongs here? [Create an issue](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/issues/new?issue) or [submit an MR to this page](https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/blob/master/source/handbook/engineering/erics-readme/index.html.md).