I have been working as a software engineer in a company. I love my company, my job and my manager. Outside my regular works hours, I have also been helping my team by developing some automation tools that have significantly improved productivity and quality of work we have been doing.

My manager and director liked 2 of the tools that I developed and think we need two full time employees to work on the tools in its enhancement and maintenance and they have initiated a hiring process. This new engineers will mostly be reporting to my manager which will mark the end of my association with the tools that I developed.

The director, whom my manager is reporting to, is aware of my work and she knows that I like to learn new stuff. She wants me to focus on AWS next as we plan to migrate our existing application to cloud.

I am hoping for a promotion this quarter and would like the new engineers to report to me and I will manage those tools. I would like to let my manager and director know what I want by sending an email before we hire new employee because a decision on who manages those tools might have an impact on the candidate we hire. So sending an email after hiring could be too late.

I need to know if sending an email is appropriate in the context or should I wait for the appraisal results to come for any further action. If email is a good idea, how can I write an effective email for this purpose? I have the following draft ready. Should I talk to my manager on phone before sending this ( he is in different location)?

Subject: Role in our_app Team

Hi XX, YY,

This is regarding my role in our team. From the recent meeting with YY and discussion with XX, I came to know that we are hiring 2 people and they will be working on the app_name_1 and app_name_2 tools. During my meeting with YY, She told that she would like me to be focusing on AWS. While I definitely would like to work on that, I also would like to express my (willingness / intention / wish / expectation ) to be able to lead and manage app_name_1 and app_name_2 as I am hoping for a level change.

I enjoy working on those tools and significant amount of time I have spent on these tools outside my usual regular support and development activity of our_main_app in conceptualizing, designing and developing app_name_1 and app_name_2 . I also have a list of things that we would like to add as future enhancements. I would like to continue to contribute to our_main_app while managing app_name_1 and app_name_2 .

I thought of just expressing my expectations as it might have an impact on our hiring decisions and it shouldn’t be too late me saying this. At the end of the day you are the ones to decide and I would like to hear the feedback from you on which I can improve.



  • So what happened after you sent this? – Solar Mike Aug 31 '19 at 8:17
  • I have not sent, This is just a draft. – Codeformer Aug 31 '19 at 8:33
  • 2
    Your draft looks fine to me, and I think if I were in your shoes, I had no objections to send something like this to my superiors. However, since I don't know your company, their written and unwritten rules, the persons involved and how they see you, I am not recommending for or against this approach. I guess you need to know for yourself if such an email is appropriate for your specific situation. Especially when you are unsure, talking to your manager before you send this is probably a good idea. – Doc Brown Aug 31 '19 at 10:15
  • Depending on your work culture, an in-person meeting might be much more effective. – Peteris Aug 31 '19 at 10:30

I need to know if sending an email is appropriate in the context

In most companies that would certainly be inefficient and could be perceived as inappropriate or at least tone deaf. Any good manager would have a conversation like this in person so you should do this as well.

First of all: congrats! You like your work, you like your company and you are ready for the next step. These are all great things.

Second: be aware what it means to be manager. Managers work more with people then technology. As a technical manager you still need the chops to lead your team but there is also a strong people component to the job, that has (for many engineers/developers) a steep learning curve. There is a lot to learn about communication, addressing and shaping behaviors, culture & mission building, dealing with problems, lots of paperwork, performance reviews, hiring&firing, etc. I once delivered the eulogy at the memorial service of one of my team members. I'm glad I did it but, boy, was it hard, and you don't learn this type of thing in engineering school. So make sure that that is what you really want to do: less technical, more people.

Third: once you said yes to question two: start thinking and behaving like a manager. So in this case, you should think about:

  1. What are the pro's and cons for me becoming a manager
  2. Who are the key stakeholders for the decision
  3. What matters to the key stakeholders. What is important to them? What are they worried and concerned about? What are the key metrics they get measured against and how does that relate to their decision?
  4. Create a communication strategy. You want people to buy into your proposal so figure out a way to have them buy into it.

Fourth schedule a meeting with the key stakeholders, start with your manager. Best would be person in person. If not possible, do a zoom or Skype call. If all else fails, use the phone. Talk them through your proposal and your results from point 3, step by step.

  1. Why do you want the job?
  2. Why do you think you would be a good fit for the job?

  3. What are your strengths and weaknesses (be honest). What would you need to learn? How would learn it? What help & support would you need?

  4. Ask a lot of open question and make sure you give your manager plenty of opportunities to talk and comment. Listen carefully and take notes. Good questions are "what do you like about this proposal?" "What are your main concerns?" "What are you looking for in a manager on your team?" "What do you think?"

  5. Be open to the outcome. This is typically a process, not a single meeting. Sometimes the money or req isn't there, sometimes there are follow up actions and conversations or home work. Be open and constructive: "what specific actions should I be taking next?", etc. Be patient (to a point).

The more you behave like a good manager, the more likely it is you get the job. Good luck!

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