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Technically Human

Technically Human

By David Choe
Welcome to Technically Human, a weekly series discussing the most human elements of managing technical people by Staat. We interview engineering and product leaders and dive deep into the difficult and untold stories of management.

Technically Human is brought to you by Staat. Staat is the modern operating system for engineering managers. It's the easiest way to see and collaborate across busy engineering tools, without the noise.

We want to hear from you! Send us topics or if you'd like to be a guest reach out to us at or @staathq. Please subscribe, rate, and share!
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The Power of Effective Goal Setting for Engineering Managers w. Najla Elmachtoub, Senior Engineering Manager @ Etsy
On this week's episode of Technically Human we have Senior Engineering Manager at Etsy and Staat's Customer Advisory Board Member, Najla Elmachtoub talks about the power of goal setting. She dives deep into how self-reflection enabled her to create more clear goals and how that positively affects her team and her career. She gets into the realities of climbing the ranks and how career progression is not as clear as it once was and how important it is for folks to pave their own way. 
April 21, 2021
From Military Officer to Software Developer: Lessons on Influence
On this week's episode of Technically Human, we hear from Evans Wang, a senior software engineer at Area 23, an innovation agency based in New York City. Evans drops some incredible wisdom from his incredible experience as a military officer, a coding boot camp instructor, and a manager turned IC. He talks about the differences between influence and authority, what it really means to manage up, how teaching is a critical component of management, and many more lessons.   You won't want to miss this episode. Please share and comment below your thoughts!   Also please check out the various non-profits and organizations Evans supports and helps to lead:   Operation Code:  Veterati: Please also check out for many more episodes and content around engineering management.
April 14, 2021
How to respond as an engineering manager when someone quits
In this episode of Technically Human, Eric Gong and I discuss the complexities and realities of people quitting. Eric gets deep into practical ways to respond to someone quitting unexpectedly that is good for the person quitting, the team, and the manager.   He talks about the "Grand Exit", how to deal with unfair feedback, and how to manage up in these situations.   We hope you enjoy the episode, please let us know what you think!
April 6, 2021
How to Understand Engineer Motivation for Interviews
In this week's episode of Technically Human, Eric Gong, Founder & CEO of Eric Gong & Company, a technical recruiting company and former VP of engineering talks about how to uncover a candidates motivations during an interview and why that's so crucial to understanding if they are a culture fit or not. 
March 30, 2021
A connection-based approach to 1:1s for remote teams
Tim Whitacre, an engineering manager at New Story based in Atlanta, talks about how he and his teams have shifted their 1:1 structure and purpose while transitioning to remote work. He provides solid frameworks on how to think about 1:1s to be more effective and how he once had to do 1:1s while playing ping-pong.
March 25, 2021
Coping with Isolation & Burnout as an Engineering Manager
Eric Gong, former VP of Engineering, talks about his experience dealing with isolation as an engineering manager and some ideas on how to prevent burnout
March 23, 2021
Making Tough Decisions & Second Guessing Yourself as an Engineering Manager
In this week's episode of Technically Human, we talk with Eric Gong, former VP of engineering. He recalls one of his toughest moments as an eng manager where he wasn't sure if he made the right call and whether or not his actions caused his dev to quit.
March 18, 2021
Why management is just as much a learned skill as software development
In this week's episode of Technically Human we do a deep dive into some of the most surprising insights we've collected while building Staat, an alert and notifications system for software teams. 
March 12, 2021