Being a manager can be extremely hard, it can feel isolating at times especially if you don’t have a good support network of peers. But how do you cultivate this team of peers when your days are filled with 1:1s, meetings, code reviews and other things you need to get done?

Earlier this year I was struggling with this question. I needed to expand and nurture my peer group but was too busy with the day to day tasks of leading multiple teams to do anything regularly. That’s when I found this excellent post on starting an engineering manager book club by Daniel Na. I asked my peers if they’d be interested in starting a book club for engineering managers. They said yes and I got started thinking about what it could look like.

In 2019 I read 26 books. This was 9 less than the goal I set in 2018, this was due to a busy personal life (I had a second kid) and changing roles at my company. I also think I got a little burnt out from reading after a fairly quick start.

In 2018, I read 42 books. This was the first time in over 15 years that I really set out to read a lot of books. I used to curl up on a couch or hang out in my bedroom all day reading until my parents forced me to go outside or come to dinner. Then high school, university, work, parenthood and numerous other things got in the way and I never got back into reading.