As someone who recently made the switch from team specialist to team manager, I can say it is not an easy journey.
Seemingly overnight, you change from a role in which soft leadership skills take precedence over the technical excellence you’ve cultivated up to that point.
Software engineering transitions
This transition is even more pronounced in engineering environments, where the work is even more technical and analytical. A quick Google search reveals many resources to impart leadership skills on software engineers to help them reach that management level.
Plato’s goal is to take that education to the next level, by becoming a conduit for mentorship conversations between experienced engineer leadership and potential leaders.
According to their Product Hunt page, Plato, “gathered a community of almost 100 mentors. They are engineering leaders (VP Engineering, Director of Engineering, Engineering Managers…) from top companies such as Google, Facebook, Slack, Trello, Netflix, Spotify, Digital Ocean, Segment, [etc]. They all dedicated 30 min of their time per week to have calls with you and help with your engineering management challenges.”
When a new manager needs advice, they bring the question to the Plato platform.
Through a series of question prompts, Plato can match the needs of the mentee to a mentor with the right experience. Then, Plato schedules the date and time for the call, taking the hassle of scheduling off the shoulders or already-busy professionals.
The chats themselves can occur over the phone or over a chat app; as a bonus, Plato integrates with popular workplace chat app Slack.
The benefits are numerous
For new managers, Plato can be a powerful training tool, and managers with the right training are much more likely to stay in their roles for longer periods of time.
Mentors get to be a prominent leadership resource without the logistical hassles
This could be great for their personal brand and is great to leverage as a recruiting tool for their department.
Sound like something you could get into?
Thanks to the overall educational mission of the company, Plato is pursuing lots of exciting future opportunities. Based on comments from their Product Hunt page, the company is developing public-facing leadership content and long-term mentorship facilitation in addition to the problem-solve matching that currently makes up the bulk of their user’s needs.
So, if you’re looking to make that next step in your engineering career, or if you’re looking to share your leadership experience in a positive way, consider working with Plato!