How to establish office hours as a software engineer

Charles Stover
1 min readMay 30, 2024

As you level-up in your career, you are expected to exhibit a broader influence over your peers: from your team to your organization or even your entire job family. It can be challenging to provide advice to an ever-increasing number of cohorts; there’s only so much time in a work week.

“Office hours” are a time block reserved for meeting with peers. They solve many problems faced by Individual Contributors as their time spreads thinner across more teams and domains. The following processes will ensure a smooth and optimal use of your and your peers’ time.

  1. Create a recurring meeting to block a time slot on your calendar. If the office hours are for a team, invite the team.
  2. Create a mechanism for people to register their attendance. Attendees should be able to submit a document and/or a summary of their issues.
  3. Require registration be at least 24 hours before the meeting.
  4. Communicate the attendees’ documents and summaries with the team to determine who will primarily answer during the meeting.
  5. If an answer is not known, be transparent. Let the attendee know that you have written down their question, will investigate by [date 1], and will return to them with an answer by [date 2].