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Laurent Dumas
Laurent Dumas

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How i became a Lead-developer

I would like to talk about my experience to become a Lead-developer. In fact, I didn't see the thing coming. I went through many experiences and projects, and project after project, in a slowly way, i came to say my thoughts and tell people advice to handle situations. One day, project manager take me 'officially' on top of the team, and I realize it. The only problem, at the time, I didn't put a word on this role, so i kind just 'did' what i can about it.
At the time, I would have liked someone to give me some advice, because my first experience i made mistakes, and I wasn't conscious at the time that role could have influence on people. Since 3 years, someone else has the same role, and it's really helpful to daily discuss.

What about you? Did someone give you some advice? Or it was just a natural and logical thing to become a lead-dev?

Top comments (2)

juz501 profile image
Julian Chan

While being put into a lead dev role is natural for usually the most capable, being a good lead developer takes planning and commitment as with just another developer role. There are a lot non-development skills (CFRs if you will) such as listening, stepping back to reflect, delegation, setting standards, intentional mentorship. These are all a long term mindset and totally conflict with the day to day pressures of work.

From my experience, learning this balance and intentionally setting time for these other items is key and for me, I did not do this and saw my teams fall apart, "everything was on fire" so to speak. Although, sometimes what is needed is to put your head burried in the computer fixing that impossible bug, there is no continuity for the team on time spent, in the end nobody benefits from all those hours spent and the experience is not transferrable.

Everybody has to start somewhere and there are plenty of leads who had to learn it the hard way, just giving the wrong balance on either side (the work and the team). Hope all is still going well since last year.

laurentld79 profile image
Laurent Dumas • Edited

Hi, thanks for your reply and share your point of view. I'm totally with what you're saying. It's take time to grow these softs skills.
I managed to stay at that kind of lead dev role, but with more transversality in that I'm now in a support team, still help devs and teams (but differently because a little more far from them), and I have time for growing my tech skills, which is more complicated in a project team. While doing this, I'm a trying to do like a "lead-dev community" in my organization, which is not that easy !