This was originally posted in LinkedIn, what follows is a revised version of that earlier post.

I believe LinkedIn posts, in general, are pretty useless and mostly consist of such luminious pearls like “Leaders should listen to their employees.” These posts often receive an overwhelming number of likes and reposts with comments like “So true #wisdom,” and other similar nonsense.

However, I feel compelled to write this because I believe it is important.

If you’re an engineer, whether junior or senior, and you’re applying for a position that requires you to be in the office or is a hybrid role without a valid reason, you should challenge it.

Having worked in this field for over 15 years, I can confidently say that the only reason management insists on bringing employees back to the office is that they fear becoming obsolete themselves.

During the pandemic, we realized that the all-powerful paper-pusher was not as indispensable as they thought. In the best case, they stay out of our way, but in the worst case, they hinder productivity significantly.

With modern project management practices, careful planning, business process refinement, and the use of technology, it is entirely possible to have a clear understanding of the state of your project.

However, I must emphasize that direct managers still play a crucial role. A good manager not only oversees their team’s tasks but also provides training, guidance, and assistance in addressing any weaknesses. They are a combination of coach and advocate. Their role is to push you to deliver your best work while also protecting you from overworking or engaging in unnecessary conflicts with your peers.

These managers are essential, and I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly exceptional ones at IUGO, Kabam, and most recently at Unity.

Now, let’s talk about your manager’s manager’s manager. Who is this person, and what do they do?

Based on my experience, they are typically well groomed-individuals (at least compared to the average engineer in jeans, a metal t-shirt, and boots). They often have bright smiles that don’t quite reach their eyes, ask simplistic questions, and have numerous letters after their name, such as MBA, CFA, FRM, CRMA, PMP, CBE, and so on.

To be honest, I’m still not entirely sure what those letters mean, although I suspect they might come from the DSM-5.

Alright, enough fluff. Let’s get to the juicy points of this post: