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Discussion on: I'm Engineering Director at a Fintech(have experience creating apps using Django/Ionic/Docker/AWS(ton of it), Ask Me Anything!

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Peter Thaleikis 🍪

What do you experience are the main differences between being a Lead engineer/dev and Engineering Director?

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Levi Velázquez Ask Me Anything • Edited
  • as engineering director, you will have more responsibilities, you won’t be in charge just one team but many. Most cases Lead Developer leads one team. In my case, I needed to coordinate 4 teams ( development (backend-frontend), infrastructure, data engineering and data scientist ).
  • as engineering director you need to design the projects architecture considering a lot of factors, interdependencies between teams, business requirements, etc. As a lead developer you are focused on how to solve in a deeper way the task assigned to your area.
  • engineering director must have a better understanding of the business, you need to have a general knowledge about all technical teams/processes of the company. Lead Developer is the one with the most understanding but over his area.
  • engineering director isn’t focus only on technical part, he needs to be able to handle teams relationship as well, spot red flags ( bad performance due to several reason, some of them, personal ones, etc). Also , escalate team needs( equipments, better work environment, etc ). He is going to be the bridge between the company technical part and the rest of the organization.
  • Lead developer can do better performance measurements over his team and the report back to the director. Engineering director do the same but over the leaders.

In my case, I love to be involved as much as I can in the development process as well ( because I love to code ) but, sometimes, it’s not about working more but working smarter, sometimes giving the right guidelines for a project development process has more impact than any code lines you can write.

Most important advice, not matter if you are lead developer or engineering director, you always need to be sure to be a Leader not a Boss, the lead teachs giving the example. If your team needs to stay until late because a deadline, do the same with them, if your team has a difficulty solving any task, try to help them, that sends a strong message, then when juniors, seniors become leads, they will try to do the same.

Final comment: It is important to learn how delegated things, it could sounds obvious but isn’t. It is important trusting your people and give them the tools for being self-accountables.

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Peter Thaleikis 🍪

Hello Levi,

thanks for the detailed reply. Good points. Delegating things (and sometimes leading) is still tough. I guess I should get this sorted before I consider any other position.

-- Peter

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