re: 11 Top Responsibilities and 10 Common Mistakes of a Technical Leader VIEW POST


Very interesting article. It really resonated with me.

Ultimately the cardinal sin, in my experience, of technical leadership is loving the code more than they love the team.

If you love the code and see where (say) some data-structure or some technique or some framework would be awesome to implement you have to smile, kiss that idea, and hand it to the report who's going to grow the most by doing that work.

If you're chasing the fun, engaging technical shiny-thing and your report comes and says, "Hey, can I talk to you about ..." and you don't happily shut your laptop, pull out a pen, and say, "How can I help?", you're not being a leader, you're being a selfish developer (ooh, here i can do shiny thing and I'm the boss so I can do it! muhahahahah).

So many developers and incentive structures are not set up to compensate the right behaviors in technical leadership and that's a damn shame: much turnover, systemic bias, and wasted cash result from not understanding the proper behaviors. You've done a great job at sharing how to get one's head into a "service mindset."


Thank you for the kind words, and thank you for sharing your views on this very important topic. I agree with you about the very real issue of focus on code vs. people. Leadership is about people, not code.

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