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Leadership in Engineering: Insights from Kraków

By Damian Lukasik
Published on June 10, 2024

Wouldn’t it be great if our working environment—and the tools we use—were actually designed with people’s needs in mind? This is possible, and here at Dropbox, we’re connecting the dots by designing a more enlightened way of working.

As an Engineering Manager based in Krakow, Poland, I’ve seen Poland's tech scene rapidly grow and I wanted to share my thoughts on leadership in engineering and what skills we’re looking for as we continue to build our team in Poland.

The Visionary Engineering Manager

One of the core traits of a visionary engineering manager is curiosity coupled with adaptability. These qualities fuel some of the most impactful behaviors an engineering manager can exhibit: inclusiveness, human-centricity, high performance, and lifelong learning. Embracing different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences each team member brings fosters resilience within the team. Rooting leadership practices in years of research on human-centricity and psychological safety helps nurture high-performing teams.

Long term success belongs not necessarily to those with the brightest ideas, but to those who are lifelong learners. They transform both success and failure into growth. As we continue to operate in a Virtual First world, companies that actively embrace the latest changes in remote work, like we’re doing at Dropbox, will make the most significant impact on the work scene in Poland.

Qualities of Admired Engineering Managers

Guiding teams to become intimately familiar with the problems they tackle leads to the most impactful outcomes, and building empathy towards the users of our products is key. Continuous learning, both from past successes and failures, combined with a customer-first mindset, allows teams to iterate swiftly and deliver what people need, not just what they think they want.

Poland's tech scene is still relatively young, and as visionary engineering leaders understand this, they seek to empower excellent engineers to achieve results beyond their wildest dreams. Through a combination of humility and vulnerability, these leaders help their teams find purpose and empowerment through their work, leaving a lasting impact on their customers and colleagues. Dropbox leaders model this through continued transparency around how they navigate change or challenging times, and encourage creativity and ownership every day. Being a leader who says, “I don’t know (even if you do). Let’s find this out together!” encourages creativity and ownership.

The Importance of Effective Communication and Collaboration

Effective communication is paramount for building a psychologically safe environment. As Brené Brown, author of Dare to Lead said, "Clear is kind,"which references direct communication and embracing tough conversations with care and support for other person. Creating trust and belonging within a team can transform engagement and collaboration quality, and seeing this transformation is one of the proudest moments for any engineering manager. Staying curious and courageous in giving and receiving feedback—not just between managers and their teams, but among all team members—creates a vibrant workspace where everyone has the opportunity to care for each other and grow. I’m grateful to have this working environment at Dropbox.

Join Us

Poland's tech scene is dynamic and full of opportunities. If you're passionate about engineering and excited by the prospect of working in a supportive and innovative environment, consider joining our growing team in Poland. Together, we can achieve remarkable things and make a significant impact.

Learn more about working at Dropbox in Poland