Engineering managers should have 6–8 ICs or accept other tradeoffs.

With this number, they can fully adopt the responsibilities of an engineering manager. Fewer can lead to a tech lead manager, which harms both their technical and management growth over the long term. More reports reduces an engineering manager to a coach and safety net, dropping other engineering manager responsibilies.rL6


  1. Michael McIntyre, “Goodhart’s Law,” October 17, 2001, https://www.damtp.cam.ac.uk/user/mem/papers/LHCE/goodhart.html. (See notes.)