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Unseen Work

We often mistake the job we see managers doing with the job they are really doing. We’ve all asked, at one time or another, “What does my boss do?”. We see them go to countless meetings, ask questions, or send around documents. We then equate those activities with the actual job of being a manager. Until my promotion into the role of my departing boss, the perception I had of what they did was totally different to what I found myself doing. All this unseen work going on behind the scenes led to the countless meetings that led to the questions, and that led to all the shared documents. On top of that, the un-seen time and thought went into ensuring the right questions were being asked, and the right documents were being created and shared. This is no different to equating Engineers to writing code. There is so much unseen work involved in writing the right code. It is knowing what technologies to use, what techniques, data structures and algorithms to use, and how to put it all together into building a functioning product.