DEV Community

Discussion on: Help! I'm a Tech Lead

intricatecloud profile image
Danny Perez

Tech lead positions vary a bunch from company to company, and your experience will depend on one factor - whether you have managerial authority over your team or you don't. Both are tricky.

If you do, great. Your team is fully in your control. fire/hire the right people until your team is awesome. If you don't, well shit. Isolate and contain your problematic teammates until your team is awesome.

  • your main job is primarily to support your team first and foremost. This might mean fixing some process, facilitating discussions with multiple teams re: design decisions, or maybe someone on your team had a bad day and wants to talk.

  • you are the interruptable one. Since your main job is to support your team, your focus should be on letting them work distraction-free. The consequence is that people ask questions and need answers at many points in the day, and that's why you're there as the lead.

  • you can't expect to still code full time. You can no longer anchor important work, that's what your team is there for. While you still can code, you're not going to have 3 uninterruptible days to focus on resolving that issue because multiple other issues will come up. My balance was 3/5 days were interruptable and subject to discussions/meetings, the remaining 2 days I could code. This meant that I could only really work on small tasks.

  • mentoring is on you to facilitate. If you have juniors on the team, you or your team needs to show them how things are done. And it's on you to make sure everyone on your team has a similar answer to that question.

  • if you are a senior dev who became a tech lead, you are there to make your team as effective if not more effective than you were. It does not mean that you do all the hard work and farm out all the easy tasks. You won't be there one day (vacation, sick, or you no longer work there), and your team will be expected to continue delivering.

In short, make yourself useless on your team. Because that means that your team can do everything and doesn't need you anymore. At which point you can get back to coding 😁.