A Guide to Becoming a Tech Lead Martin Konicek

The tech lead spends less time on the “why” and prioritization. Lastly, the technical lead must oversee all system modifications. In software development, developers will make both small and big changes to the system. The tech lead’s role is to minimize the risk of those changes and ensure they are done properly. The tech lead assists in hiring and training developers and other development roles. They are involved in the interview process in terms of assessing the technical skills of the candidate.

If you put yourself in DND mode for an entire day, you won’t be able to create an environment where people are willing to help each other. In such an environment, you’ll be able to step back from time to time, and nobody will notice. If you feel like you could probably be a tech lead of a project but it feels scary, you are ready. Before July 2019 I worked as an individual contributor. At the end of the summer I started tech leading a project.

Tech leads and coding

Capability building—of mindsets, knowledge and skills—becomes a critically-important area that leaders need to address. Any “really good developer” on the team who’s not a team player is more harmful than helpful. If you’re technically strong, then you should be helping others to get to your level. Pair programming, code reviews, presentations, open source or inner source projects are all great examples of how to get started in mentoring others.

Management tasks

I’m trying to help us ship this project together. ” After that my teammate opened up and simply said he’d like to have a better picture of how everything fit together. I made lots of mistakes and learned many lessons. It was not easy but I learned how to coordinate the team so the pieces built by different people fit together. We shipped on time and the project was a success. The rest of the article documents what I learned during the project as well as other projects since then.

It feels a little abstract sometimes and it feels like you’re far removed from the implementation, but on the other hand, you also don’t have to do the parts that feel boring anymore. This is a lot of work that we don’t need to do right now. If we flip the road map around, we’re going to get a lot more value ultimately faster, and we’re still going to get everything done in the end. And I personally find that a lot more fun than just banging on a keyboard and, you know, and, you know, arguing on the Internet about the best way to write a for loop in JavaScript.

If you’re in that room, you can help shape the roadmap and you can help with, you know, simple things like, hey, we have these five ideas. Which of these is actually achievable within a certain amount of time? And if you’re in that room, as a tech lead, you can say, hey, that would take, I don’t know, like maybe a couple of weeks. Team leaders may not have the software development expertise compared to tech leads, but it doesn’t mean they have lesser roles to play. They are responsible for setting the team’s environment and culture. Plus, these leaders manage the team’s productivity and quality.

Good Product Thinking

If you try to micro-manage them like you did at S1, they usually won’t like it! They might still need some help with technical discussions — just chat about solutions and see if you can provide ideas. Your help won’t be needed as much, but sometimes help is still needed. For example, you might identify an edge case or a dependency on another project.

Three other engineers from the React Native team would join a few weeks later. We had a hard deadline — our engineering director would announce React Native for Android in a conference keynote. In general, most product teams have a “trio” breakdown of product, design, and engineering. Additionally, https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ the engineering manager is concerned with the team’s morale and its ability to deliver outcomes and meet metrics, like velocity and code quality. In development, there are often unavoidable issues and roadblocks. The tech lead must collaborate with the team to identify and fix these hurdles.

Tech lead roles and responsibilities explained by a tech lead

You don’t have to give them all of those details. You don’t have to, and you shouldn’t give all of the details to your team for what they’re doing, because then you might as well just do it yourself. It’s more like, okay, you take care of the button, make sure it’s in the right place.

Leadership is not limited to one or two people, so don’t wait for permission, step up today. Be an expert in your field and start helping people when they are stuck. Work on your communication skills, even something minor like technical documentation. Build great professional relationships with your current and potential future peers. Make sure you manage your time wisely and be on top of your projects’ deadlines.

  • I learned that relying on project managers or business stakeholders to explain the project details isn’t working.
  • In a small team of developers, the tech lead would often be the senior developer.
  • From upgrading and streamlining business processes to creating awe-inspiring software products, technology is indeed shaping the future of business.
  • Hence, the lead must be able to relay messages clearly and concisely.
  • 60% said beating fuzzy problems into concrete solutions.

Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) is a framework that details the tasks required for each stage of the development process. The SDLC stages outline the processes that must be followed to complete the development process until the next iteration. You might think of a tech lead as a hybrid between an individual contributor and an architect. Microsoft’s stock had been on a steep rise for the past month after it reported a boom in profit in its most recent quarter. The company’s price per share at the end of the trading day on Monday was $377.44, beating its previous record of about $376.20 set on Thursday.

Tech leads and coding

But if they want to get their hands dirty and lead from the front every now and then, helping out junior devs with low-priority projects is a nice morale boost. Optionally you might also have a dedicated scrum master or QA engineer as part of your team, although the current trend over the last few years seems to be for those roles to be handled by the software engineers. Especially the time management is something that managers need to learn to be successful. There are endless amount things to focus so prioritizing the most valuable ones really makes a difference.

technical lead developer

An engineering manager has to understand the project and then explain it and sell it to the team. Being a tech lead allows you to shape the roadmap, help the team and company be more effective, and work on important projects. It’s a different challenge than just working on sliced-up stories. The best tech leads are engineers who prioritize getting the right work done and making a positive impact.

Tech leads and coding

The business can always hire developers and other roles as the project expands. Today’s tech-driven industry is highly competitive. Brands are innovating left and right and outdoing each other in all aspects.

As I learned the hard way, not having a weekly meeting was a very bad idea. The lack of the meeting meant it was difficult for us to stay in sync and “pull in the same direction”. Eventually the engineer told my engineering manager he wanted to see the project organized better. My manager set up a meeting for the three of us. I started and said “Look, I know I’m probably messing up here.

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