It’s hard to adapt to new things if you don’t let go of the old ones.
— That’s my reflection when developers are transitioning into a tech lead role and mention that they feel overloaded because they struggle to find time for coding and don’t balance the technical tasks with their new agenda.
How so? 🤔
Like almost everything in tech, there is no precise definition of what it means to be a tech lead. This role depends on many factors, such as the organization’s maturity, its needs, culture, and others.
However, based on my own experience and exchanging opinions with some colleagues, I could define the tech lead as an experienced software engineer responsible for leading a development team and ensuring the quality of all technical deliverables.
i.e., the tech lead continues dedicating part of his time to technical tasks but now has new responsibilities apart from leading, managing projects, delegating, and developing other skills that I will tell you throughout this learning pill. 💊
I consider the tech lead role is the mix of 3 key areas:
Skills such as empathy, communication, listening, and effective delegation are crucial.
You must integrate your team with the business side, ensure that everyone is on the same page and the project evolves coherently.
It’s important to mention that, depending on the company, this role may or may not include people management. — Camille Fournier
But if it does, running effective 1:1s, giving feedback, and mentoring are important actions here and will be part of your leadership and team development.
As I mentioned before, a tech lead spends part of the time on technical tasks such as opening pull requests, collaborating with the team to identify and fix technical issues to ensure quality, which means having strong technical skills is a must.
Part of your leadership is helping other stakeholders like the Product Manager. Basically, you are partners.
Tech leads need to have a product vision, not just to level up their technical skills but to understand how the digital product is built and how it works.
This vision can help the TL and the PM assess the technical feasibility, make decisions together, understand requirements, and translate them into software.
This role is essential within any tech team, but it requires a lot of challenges and effort!
It’s normal that a very new tech lead struggles to find time for coding and starts to let some tasks go, but once you get a balance among the new responsibilities, you will reach new highs in your career, and believe me, the process will be unforgettable and unstoppable. 🚀
Have you had the chance to take on this role, or are you transitioning?
If you want to dive deep into the tech lead role, find below some extra resources I’ve curated for you.
👀 …But if you are looking to ramp up your tech leadership career and accelerate the process, take a look at our Ignite Program.
🎥 Tech Lead Week | Free live online training for aspiring leaders in tech
Master the transition to tech lead and succeed. — Replay our Tech Lead Week and get to know the 360 vision of the tech lead! More than 6 hours of recorded content are there!
🔗 Go to the Tech Lead week • 6 hours.
📄 The Tech Lead rule: Management first, coding second
It’s important to recognize that you are now supposed to do a new type of work, that you have never done professionally before. It’s time for opening your mind for learning and practice new skills.
🔗 Read the article here • 4 min.
📄 A Project Manager’s Best Friend: The Technical Lead
Take a look at the Product Manager and Tech Lead alliance, and get some tips on how to cultivate an effective partnership.
🔗 Read the article here • 3 min.
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