Q: What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?
Director of Engineering in Denver:
"Delivery is key."
In the under 100 people company, your fog of war is probably around 90 days. Understand how far out you can really plan. You need the long term vision, but the reality is that most of the people you interface with don't understand most of what you and your group do. Educate them but keep your deliverables to small things that you can pivot on if you need to.
Director of Engineering in Austin:
"Take care of yourself first."
If you are promoted from within, it is very likely that you will be significantly under compensated. Make sure that you don't place too much emphasis on the title; it's valuable, but it doesn't pay the bills. Know what the position is worth, because that is what you are worth. If your employer starts acting like your compensation expectations are a personal affront to them, start looking elsewhere.
If they had hired a competent Director of Engineering from outside the company, they would have had to pay a competitive wage, so don't undersell yourself just because you were promoted from within.
Director of Engineering in St. Louis:
"Stay ahead of your peers."
Computer science and programming skills are extremely helpful in QA. Knowing more, being more efficient than your peers, and working more makes advancement easy in this field.
Director of Engineering in Sterling Heights:
"The Behavior of An Organization Reflects The Top Level Manager."
If the President of a company behaves honorably, the whole company will behave with honor. If the President behaves questionably, then the company behavior will be questionable toward employees and customers.
This applies at all levels. You have the ability to affect the behavior of the organization at your level and directly below. Others watch you. Behave accordingly.