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KPCB Engineering Meet-Up - Developing Leaders: When Do You Need to Add Managers?

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Published on Dec 11, 2013

At some point in the life of the fast-growing startup, your engineering team is going to need a new ingredient: managers.

The question is, what's the right time to insert full-time managers into your engineering process? This question was answered during a recent panel on building engineering teams hosted by KPCB general partner Mike Abbott at the KPCB offices in San Francisco. Participants included Abhi Khune, the head of infrastructure at Pinterest; Flipboard CTO (and Kleiner alum) Eric Feng; and Nest founder and engineering VP Matt Rogers.
Khune says Pinterest started adding managers when the engineering team reached 40-50 people; most of those managers evolved organically from internal positions -- those who showed leadership skills in their everyday work.

Still, Feng notes that managers have to understand that their primary role is in fact to manage -- and not to write code.

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