If you’ve been a software developer for a while, you’ve probably taken on the role of tech lead at some point. Perhaps not formally, but most of us have, at some point or another, been in charge of big projects or been the go-to person for a specific task.
Software tech leads, in my view, are “de facto” tech leads in every sense of the word, but without the fancy title. Other teams have numerous people who excel at different areas of the tech lead role, such as organization and vision, execution and day-to-day engineering, architecture, training, or getting things done.
Who is a technical lead?
Software tech leads are the specialists who manage a team of engineering professionals. They frequently lead the development of software technology with the assistance of engineering teams, as well as address technical difficulties as and when they arise.
Software tech leads must be familiar with the new software technologies to suggest improvements in the existing systems and provide strong technical support to the team members.
Responsibilities of software tech leads:
- Recruiting and training technical staff
- Delegating tasks and responsibilities to team members
- Collaborating with the team to resolve technical issues
- Identifying the needs of consumers and then developing applications as per the requirements
- Defining long-term and short-term objectives for the team as well as the company
- Verifying that all core software tech and applications are secure and updated
- Monitoring all the existing systems and their performance
- Conducting security audits to identify places for improvement
- Assisting their team with technological difficulties and obstacles
Top skills that will increase the productivity of software tech leads
- The ability to build and maintain trust
Software tech leads care about developing meaningful partnerships. Making things happen through other people is the fundamental meaning of leadership and management. To achieve team and company goals, IT leaders and team managers must build trust with both company leaders and the team members. Employees perform best in an environment of trust and respect.
- Communication skills that are exceptional
Most software tech leads seem to possess excellent communication skills. What does that imply? It entails being able to communicate project requirements to the team and its progress to the relevant stakeholders. The ability to communicate effectively and concisely with each of these stakeholders will determine whether or not the project succeeds. If a tech lead can’t effectively communicate what they want from their team, they’ve failed as a team leader before they even started. The goal is to first comprehend the project, then explain and sell it to the team in a way that drives people to want to work on it.
- A leadership style that reflects your team
Software tech leads should not assume what’s right for them will be right for the team. They may want to lead the team a particular way (for e.g, they might want to have a daily stand up where everyone talks about what they are working on) but if that doesn’t work with the team members (they are quiet introverts who severely dislike talking to a group) then this kind of leadership style could cause the team to become despondent. When tech leads match their leadership style with that of the team’s requirements, they become confident and successful software tech lead.
- A strong vision for the future
Software tech leads must be visionaries. Anticipating a company’s tech needs using available data, and adapting to the environment and economy when necessary will keep the company relevant, and competitive. Successful software tech leads are comfortable making changes based on industry trends and ideally have a natural ability to visualize the future of a company and motivate others to work and achieve tough goals. An appropriate vision keeps organizations heading in the right direction.
- Always question yourself, “Why?”
Even if they weren’t involved in the decision-making process, software tech leads must grasp the “why” behind everything they do, from product requirements to the various technologies used. Inquiring as to why a particular technology or design was picked helps their team become more accountable for their decisions and actions. It also implies that they can confidently and accurately respond to questions from other senior business leaders.
- Possess more than just the appropriate qualifications.
A software tech lead should have an engineering background along with practical experience. While qualifications and skills are unquestionably vital in the digital industry, business executives frequently advance for reasons that are not listed on their CV. To become an excellent software tech lead, one must ensure that they are a good fit for the company’s culture. They must be passionate about solving challenging problems and building innovative solutions.
- Possess exceptional managerial skills.
While it may seem self-evident that a manager should have strong management skills, it isn’t often a top priority when hiring an engineering leader. Management not only involves supervision of people but supervision of projects as well as crisis. It’s difficult to find software tech leads that possess all three qualities.
One of the most important roles of any team leader in project management requires completing projects on schedule. If a tech lead constantly misses deadlines or underestimates projects, the organization might lose its faith in his/her abilities.
- Possessing the ability to take charge
Competent software tech leads accept responsibility for their team’s shortcomings and avoid blaming others for blunders or missed deadlines. When a deadline is missed or a deliverable is faulty, fixing the problem takes precedence over pointing fingers. If there is a clear offender, a strong leader would summon them and explain the consequences of their behavior, as well as how to avoid it in the future.
Today’s technical professionals have the potential to become powerful and influential leaders. However, they will need to rely on more than just their technical knowledge to do so. Becoming effective software tech leads takes time and effort. It won’t happen overnight, and they’ll probably look back on their early days as a business leader and wonder how they got to where they are today in a few years. Human beings make mistakes, and the beauty of making a mistake is learning from it and not repeating it. Remember that leadership is about people, therefore honestly assisting others in growing and performing at their best will help them build a successful engineering career.
Shivam is a content writer who is also a nature-aesthete. He goes by the philosophy of “being humanitarian first, then a professional.”