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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Describe the best manager you've ever had

Top comments (18)

devpato profile image
Pato • Edited

Her name is Karyn. I worked with her at CSX the rail road company. She had very cool ideas in mind, she knew how to listen to her employees, she protected us when she knew things weren't fair, she wanted us to keep growing and learn new things, she was flexible, she was thoughtful. One of my favorite things about her was that she trusted her employees. She knew our talent and she knew we will get things done. Also, She was ready to help us when we needed help and she never crossed the line that make her seem like a micromanager. While I was at CSX, she tried to make things better not only for her employees but for everyone! and she was 100% pro diversity and inclusion and I'm thankful that she gave me the opportunity to be part of her team. I don't even work for her anymore and she reaches out here and there to see what's up with me. She is awesome and I miss working with her all the time. She is not a boss, she is a leader.

nedimf profile image
Nedim F

We all need Karyn in our life

devpato profile image


helleworld_ profile image
DesirΓ© πŸ‘©β€πŸŽ“πŸ‘©β€πŸ«

Let's call him Jake. He encouraged us to the best practices and to question everything we did.

Why this solution and not others? Why choosing X over Y? Are we sure this will fix Z or T? Is this scalable?

He let us play with code. I'll remember always his first words to us, something like "it's cool to break the code, just break it. Make mistakes, be wrong, there's no other way to get to the right solution".

johnlukeg profile image
John Luke Garofalo

I've seen the best and worst managers.

The best manager:

  • She defines clear expectations.
  • She listens and asks questions constantly.
  • She defends her team members to other stakeholders in the organization.
  • Shoulders the blame when things go wrong.
  • She helps the team/individual learn from any mistakes.
  • She is a master of empathy and communication.
  • She knows when to get involved and when to back away.
  • She goes out of her way to consistently have one-on-ones with every team member.
  • She knows what drives each team member she's responsible for managing.
  • She uses a balanced combination of data, intuition, and empathy to back up her performance evaluations.

The worst manager:

  • She doesn't define any clear expectations.
  • She always knows what to do.
  • She is the loudest one in the room.
  • She doesn't have time for one-on-ones with her team members.
  • She is never at fault for the failures of her team.
  • She never listens or asks questions.
  • She only uses data to back up her performance evaluations.
  • She only uses gut feeling to back up her performance evaluations.
anwar_nairi profile image
Anwar • Edited

I remember my manager from my second internship while I was graduating.

I had to learn C#/asp.NET, and he was the CEO of a company that sell a popular accounting management solution as well as managing all the IT infrastructure for our customers.

Not to say he was not into programming, but had the required sensitivity to be able to understand the big picture and give me directions for the smallish ERP I had to develop at this time.

However, he had this ability to dig into a subject so far that he sometimes used to teach me tricks about a specific and complicated use case, and this was very eye opening for me.

But what I will always keep from this wonderful experience was his strong knowledge in database modelization. All I know today is because he insisted in teaching me best practices, and I feel today I would not have the same vision about how I solve problems if I would not had this experience back then.

So if you are reading this, thank you for your patience and your pedagogy!

terceranexus6 profile image

I had this very supportive manager in my first part time job in a tech company close to my university, who appreciated my job even though I was very noob. Even if I left and drove my career in another direction years ago, he keeps checking on me even now, from time to time, and follows my achievements.

scrabill profile image
Shannon Crabill

I've had several managers in my career and most of them have been good. But experience with the manager in my current role (let's call her Sara) sticks out to me.

I'll say that my manager before I came to this job, was not great and is a big part of why I left a full-time role with benefits for a contract one with no benefits. I was a few months into my new job, everything was fine, very different from my previous one (in a good way) and it happens, I made a mistake on launching an email campaign.

Oh no.

Mistakes happen. We're human, but I think we can all agree that making a mistake in a new role is especially nerve-wracking. In my old job, where I had been for 5+ years, a tiny mistake, one much smaller than the one I had just made, my manager made me feel horrible and it kept being brought up as opposed to any of my positive accomplishments. So, I was very concerned about what would happen here.

The experience was totally different.

I can't remember if I realized my own mistake and brought attention to it, or if the client did, but eventually, me and my manager had a chat. Sara wanted to understand what had happened and acknowledged that while yes, I did make a mistake, there was room for interpretation on the client-side. In summary, the talk amounted to yes, it was a mistake, it happens but everything is ok. I wasn't belittled or made to feel like I was unskilled or flawed, it wasn't a blame game. It was a conversation where I left feeling ok and not devastation that one error would continue to follow me around and get brought up every 1:1, etc.

And that is part of what makes a good manager, in my opinion.

gayanhewa profile image
Gayan Hewa

I have had a few. First off, was someone I worked with on multiple occasions via a freelance contracting platform. He helped me realize my potential as a programmer. And where I can / should improve my self. The other one was a non-technical manager (somewhat technical) but the best thing with him was that he complimented my weaknesses. Mostly the introversion I had become non-existent to everyone else due to the fact that when we worked in projects things just clicked fine. And the manager would know exactly when and how to push me to make sure I got heard.

santoshyadavdev profile image
Santosh Yadav

His Name is Anand Bhushan, worked with him during my time at Loylty Rewardz where I worked for 5 years, I was a very short-tempered angry young man, and used to fight with everyone who is wrong, He changed me as a person, He thought me how to handle difficult situations, It changed me as a person as well. I become calmer and started thinking before talking to anyone. Even in my last job, my manager told me, he wants to learn how to handle difficult situations like me. All thanks to Anand :)

chathula profile image
Chathula Sampath

Still looking for one! Will see!

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Not too implicitly expose everyone who wasn’t the best 😬

sarahk profile image
Sarah • Edited

I've had a few great managers, they had very different styles but this is what they had in common:

  • Personable and approachable: I would say this is arguably the most important
  • Listen: leading is sometimes confused with dictation, but I've found the best leaders to listen more to their reports
  • Genuine interest in those who report to them
  • They can talk the talk and walk the walk: they lead by example
  • Patient and empathetic
  • Have enthusiasm and confidence in the team
gualtierofr profile image
Gualtiero Frigerio

I remember I wrote a post about my favourite boss
and it still holds true today, my best manager so far

xanderyzwich profile image
Corey McCarty

His name is Tim, and he had moved up from being a developer on the team into being their manager (with a bit of a stent managing elsewhere). He trusted the dev team with whatever they said (which was safe in that particular team). He would ask the important questions to make sure that we were considering the alternatives and so that he could understand our decision against those, but he ultimately knew that the team was going to do everything in their power to keep the products stable. He told me once that "If we can't get the work done without you here for a couple of days, then we are doing something wrong" and I really liked that mindset. We were a team that should be able to cover each other's work. He would also keep the developers out of unnecessary meetings as much as possible. There was also a really great quality that he had that you could talk to him about things that you still needed to look into, and let him know ahead of time what possibilities you were considering and he would just acknowledge and move on. The biggest issue that I've had with a less technical manager is their wanting to take immediate action on everything that they are told when it isn't necessary. It takes time to get on the same page as your manager.

coding_tom profile image
Tom Cafferkey

I've had a few really good managers

When I worked in marketing at a company that had just received investment, I had a strong desire to move into development and showed passion for it. Before the investment cleared he moved me into the development department and increased my salary. So as the company grew I was immediately surrounded by talented people that I was able to learn from. It was because of this act I was able to start my career in web development.

My most recent managers both encouraged self-development, best practices and I felt as though they put our personal growth on the same level as the companies. I can/could be honest about issues with them and there's no such thing as a stupid question. Great managers like this set the example and it's because of this they have a direct influence on company/department culture for everyone else.

lynnewritescode profile image
Lynne Finnigan

I'm 7 weeks in to a new job and I'm currently working under the best manager I've ever had. She listens to and trusts the team, checks in on us regularly, makes sure our work/life balance is ok, checks I'm not working too late if she sees I'm online after 5:30pm, defends the team when needed, knows when to get involved and when not to, and also notices and observes a lot of things that we talk about in our regular 1:1 meetings. She's a very good listener and makes it very clear that we can go to her with any issues we might have. Safe to say, I'm loving the new job and this is a big part of it!