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Craig Nicol (he/him)
Craig Nicol (he/him)

Posted on • Originally published at craignicol.wordpress.com on

Dear technical lead

I don’t know how you got your promotion, but I hope you’re a little scared. If you’re not, there’s a good chance that your arrogance will be your downfall.

If you got the job because you want what’s best for the team and the project, then congratulations and welcome to your new challenge.

Your job is still to produce the best product you can, but your toolkit has expanded. It’s no longer just about the code you write, it’s about helping the team produce the best product. It’s about developing processes, building a framework for everyone to work in, whether technical, social, procedural, ethical, anything that’s required.

You’re not doing it alone. You need a good relationship with your PM, your product owner, whatever role your company has.

Relationships are key to your new role. One-to-many when discussing the strategy for the project to the team, and one-to-one discussions with the developers and the stakeholders. Those relationships are the key to your expanding toolkit.

Learn about your team, what are their motivators, strengths and weaknesses. Give them autonomy to work, but be aware of what choices walk the trade-off between upskilling the team and delivering the best product sooner, because upskilling the team helps you deliver vNext, so your horizon has to be beyond this sprint.

Be a mentor.

Be decisive, even if others disagree. And stand by your decision until a better one emerges.

The next project you work on is likely to be the best learning experience you’ve ever had. Enjoy the opportunity. Seek and take advice.

Listen.

You got this.

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