Advice crafted for my former employer. Much of this advice is broadly applicable. Some of it is tech specific.
  1. DO encourage employees to go to conferences and community events
  2. DON'T try to make you employees take vacation time for professional development
  3. DON'T tell employees that conferences are a waste because they'll just get drunk without taking PTO
  4. DON'T use open source software and then say people who work on OSS for free are suckers
  5. DO ask your employees for diverse hiring recommendations
  6. DON'T say you're fine with hiring diverse candidates as long as you don't have to "lower the bar"
  7. DON'T be the white dude manager bragging about your diverse staff
    Our department was 40% women, 95% white, and no women or minorities held leadership positions. THIS IS NOT SOMETHING TO BRAG ABOUT. Also, white dudes bragging about the diversity of their employees is paternalistic and tacky.
  8. DO offer to sponsor and host industry events for women and underrepresented minorities
  9. DON'T tell your female employees that mentioning women in an event is reverse sexist and gender segregationist
  10. DON'T tell your female employees that you're a better feminist than them because you "don't see gender"
  11. DON'T tell your female employees that you "actually give women more of a chance in interviews because of the way people look down on them"
    I'm an excellent software engineer. I don't need your pity or your charity.
  12. DO provide clear and consistent deadlines and expectations
  13. DO provide deadlines well in advance
  14. DO consult with your employees to make sure that your proposed deadline is physically possible
  15. DON'T suggest that a way to deliver products on time is by not testing those products
    This is a real suggestion I heard from a real executive of engineering. I can't even.
  16. DON'T tell your employees that the project they've been working on for months could be replaced with a Random Number Generator so long as it goes out tomorrow.
    It doesn't matter if you're being flippant. This is never an appropriate thing to say. Never.
  17. DON'T tell your employees that the project they've been working on for months is an irrelevant vanity project for the executive team.
  18. DON'T gaslight your team when you fail to communicate deadlines in advance
    Coming up with last minute deadlines and then insisting they've always been there is a great way to make your employees drink. Which brings me to my next point.
  19. DON'T provide in-office alcohol to help employees deal with the stress of working for you
    You'd think this goes without saying. But no. I've seen day drinking seep into culture and it's not pretty. If working for you drives people to drink, consider what that says about you.
  20. DO provide occasional after work parties to let off steam
  21. DO reward your employees at the end of a long project
    Outings are nice. Root beer floats are nice. End of year bonuses are nice. Occasional drinks are nice. Mix it up
  22. DO encourage and promote employees who work hard and exceed expectations
  23. DON'T reward behavior like working 20 hours straight or sleeping at the office
    When someone works that much they're not actually being productive and they're harming their health. An presence like that actively hurts the team. Do not promote this person to a team lead.
  24. DON'T insist that all rewards take place during office hours and are also alcohol
    When alcohol is the only reward it starts to feel like alcohol is being used as replacement for better compensation (spoiler: it was). Also, turning your workforce into a team of high functioning alcoholics is bad for productivity in the long run. And the short run. And in general.
  25. DO provide constructive criticism and feedback when a project could have gone better
  26. DON'T craft long, meandering emails full of opaque metaphors and business jargon when a project could have gone better
    The "conjoined triangles of success" from Silicon Valley were not meant to be instructional.
  27. DON'T send out cryptic emails and bcc all the recipients
    It makes people wonder if they're being targeted and actively prohibits conversation
  28. DO encourage employees to take business value into account when building new features and products
  29. DON'T expect employees to make business minded decisions when you actively hide management goals and long term vision from the team.
  30. DON'T actively hide management goals and long term vision from the team
  31. DON'T constantly remind your employees that you're in secret executive meetings they don't get to know about
  32. DO salvage usable pieces of old projects to reuse in the future
  33. DON'T throw out one employee's work from a previous project and have it redone just to soothe another employee's ego
  34. DON'T tell an employee to their face that other executives wanted to give them a higher raise but you decided against it because it would be cheaper to replace them
    More real things said to me by real managers
  35. DO ask employees who have given their notice for constructive criticism to improve the workplace
  36. DON'T corner employees who have given their notice and demand they name other "flight risks" in the office
  37. DON'T ask employees invasive questions about the new employment terms when they give their notice
  38. DON'T tell your employee that they're an idiot for taking such a low offer, especially when it's significantly more than you're paying them
  39. DO offer to draft a counter offer if you genuinely want to keep the employee and think you can improve their situation
  40. DON'T bully employees for their last two weeks after they decline to look at counter offers