Being a technical leader kind of surprised me. I "had" this role once in a company I worked before but being a tech leader of only one person that was as senior as I was didn't really helped me to understand the nuances of it.
It's been one year since I accepted to wear the hat of a technical leader in my current company and it's been incredible and terrifying. I learned so much, about me and about my teammates that really made me a better professional.
In this post, I'll try to share some valuable lessons I learned along the way. The first and most important of all is:
Pay attention to each team member, to the process, to the tools you're using. Doing this will allow you to better understand how you can help your colleagues to grow, how to fix some process gap or how to improve the performance of your daily tasks. Pay attention to every matter that involves the team, even for a non-technical subject as business requirements (because TBH they are also technical).
It seems easy to stay alert but it's not. What is easy is to get lost in the endless tickets and meeting invites that you probably receive daily.
As a technical leader, you will be the focal point of communication in the team. More than receive information and take the necessary actions with it, remember to send information to the team and other stakeholders.
You can involve your team in technical decisions so you can all discuss and come to a conclusion together. This makes your team more synchronized and valued.
Communication with the stakeholders is important to assure that the team is in the right track about the expectations they had on them.
More than be responsible for the technical decisions in a team, the responsibility of a tech leader is to help it's teammates to grow their skills where necessary and wanted.
This one is a little tricky.
If your company doesn't have a career plan you can talk to your team (individually, of course), and try to understand and identify what they wanna learn. If it fits the team and company reality is another matter, it's up to you to decide if you can guide them even if they are not interested in learning about something you use in work.
If your company does have a career plan it's a bit easier because it's already defined (in general) what they should learn to grow in the company.
With all this information in hand, reunite with them and build a plan with subjects and links to material that they can use. Be careful to not make it a goal with some deadline. Make it more like a restaurant menu, with options they can choose to work on.
Mentoring them will help you and them to be better.
Nops. There are more things to consider when you are a technical leader but I believe these three are the most important, at least for this post.
If you're a new as a tech leader, don't worry, you will make mistakes. keep in mind that your work is helping your team to be better is a very good first step.
Thank you, folks!