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Making the Leap to Tech Lead

Making the Leap to Tech Lead

You’re a solid developer. You’ve built software people use, and it works well for them. Now, you want that next step—to lead a team that builds software.

Over nearly 20 years in this industry, I’ve acted as a Tech Lead many times, mentored dozens of developers towards technical leadership roles, and regularly worked with companies to hire and develop technical leaders.

In this talk, I’ll share the traits, skills, and experiences that shape a successful Tech Lead. We’ll talk about how a Tech Lead empowers and unlocks a team through communication, leadership, technical skill, and impact. We’ll look at what it means to manage yourself and the vital role a Tech Lead plays in building the right thing. We’ll also look at opportunities to grow your Tech Lead skills before you make the jump and how to show your boss that you’re ready.

Ryan Cromwell

October 01, 2019

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  2. Disclaimer: Framed by Sparkbox, our business, the culture we've developed,

    and my own background.
  3. Making the Leap to Tech Lead A TECH LEAD IS...

  4. A tech is the right hand to the project manager.

  5. A tech lead is measured by the success of the

    team. https://randsinrepose.com/archives/the-new-manager-death-spiral
  6. A tech lead is regularly describing the technical vision.

  7. A tech lead is a model of "how we work

    together". https://seesparkbox.com/foundry/successful_tech_teams_and_projects
  8. A tech lead empowers and unlocks the team through communication,

    leadership, technical skill, and impact.
  9. Making the Leap to Tech Lead TECHNICAL SKILL

  10. Go-to expert in at least one area of the codebase.

    Technical Skill
  11. Perfect person to debug some of the most opaque issues.

    Technical Skill
  12. Finding and building seams in your architecture to enable the

    team to be productive and collaborate effectively. Technical Skill
  13. Advocating for and building a robust build and delivery pipeline

    using the tools at your disposal to create feedback loops. Technical Skill
  14. Making the Leap to Tech Lead COMMUNICATION & LEADERSHIP

  15. Clearly and convincingly presenting ideas, vision, and architecture is a

    skill. Communication & Leadership
  16. Mentor and teach other developers with grace. Communication & Leadership

  17. Making the Leap to Tech Lead MANAGING PROJECTS

  18. Give our customer/client, project manager, and team the ability to

    navigate to success. Managing Projects
  19. Decompose work to avoid a single, large release. Managing Projects

  20. With budgets and reasonably achievable iterations in mind, you'll be

    expected to provide forecasts. Managing Projects
  21. Making the Leap to Tech Lead MANAGING SELF

  22. It's essential that a tech lead deal effectively with pressure.

    Managing Self
  23. Maintaining healthy relationships with users, clients, and team members. Managing

  24. Making the Leap to Tech Lead IMPACT

  25. Makes others better through code reviews, thorough documentation, technical guidance,

    and mentoring. Impact
  26. Opportunities to evolve the architecture and open seams for the

    rest of the team. Impact
  27. Making the Leap to Tech Lead GROWING

  28. • Have a plan • Talk to your manager •

    Brag sheet (aka resume) • Partner Growing

  30. THANKS! @cromwellryan ryan@heysparkbox.com