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Do You Need a Software Team Leader?

Do You Need a Software Team Leader?

30% discount for my eBook:

Do you think that your team or company could benefit from introducing a software team leader position? If you think so, you may be right. If you don't... Well, you may be right, either.

The truth is, there's no simple answer. It depends much on what you work on and who you work with.

In my presentation I'll try to show when you'd benefit from hiring or designating a team leader and when it would be nothing more than a waste of resources. I hope that thanks to my talk it will be easier for you to make a decision.

Lukasz Wrobel

April 07, 2014

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  1. Do You Need a Software Team Leader? Łukasz Wróbel

  2. About me • Architect; • team leader; • high-traffic websites:

    ◦ nk.pl; ◦ Gadu-Gadu. • author: “Memoirs of a Software Team Leader”.
  3. Getting in touch lukaszwrobel.pl @lukaszwrobel

  4. Agenda 1. Trying to answer the question. 2. What can

    a leader help with? 3. The cons of hiring a leader. 4. The second approach.
  5. None
  6. 1. Trying to answer the question.

  7. So, do you need a leader?

  8. The most honest and concise answer is: I don’t know

  9. Because I don’t know you. ? ? ? ? ?

  10. A more detailed answer would be a bit fuzzy: It

  11. • What do you work on? • Who do you

    work with? • What do you want to achieve? Clues rather than answers.
  12. 2. What can a leader help with?

  13. Strict requirements

  14. • Quality; • efficiency; • scalability; • security; • …

  15. Leadership should stem from experience. Experience is one of the

    ways of building authority.
  16. Coherent vision

  17. Everyone should participate, but… Subjective distortion. Democracy. Projection.

  18. How good bad are the team members?

  19. Maturity, responsibility. It’s good to learn those. Some people need

    to be taught. Some can be shaped. Setting a good example.
  20. Facilitation

  21. • Discussion; • knowledge exchange; • moderation; • mediation.

  22. Leader can reduce costs.

  23. Salary • Mediocre developer: x • Good developer: 1.5x •

    Team leader: 2x
  24. 6x + 2x < 6 * 1.5x 8x < 9x

    Even if leader doesn’t do anything besides making the team work.
  25. Team growth may be tempting, but: • Overgrowth; • communication

    overhead; • effective coordination.
  26. Five good developers together = not necessarily a good idea:

    • Quarrelling a lot. • Each of them may be right. • Either democratic or effective.
  27. Recruitment. Developers are in demand these days. A blend.

  28. • Avoiding problems to come; • expandability; • maintainability; •

    monitorability; • …
  29. 3. The cons of hiring a leader.

  30. Trust or protection?

  31. • Self-organization? • Achieving maturity? • Self-confidence? Not what a

    Scrum Master should do! Protection
  32. Building trust. Customer, other teams. A long-term process. “I don’t

    like it, but I believe you.” Trust
  33. A firm hand

  34. • No room for discussion; • here is the decision;

    • it should take you this amount of time; • lack of knowledge transfer.
  35. My precious

  36. I’ve got the power. And a sieve. Seems interesting? I’ll

    take care of it. Here are the leftovers.
  37. Favoritism

  38. I like you more, so… I have the power, remember?

    Not a robot, but: • Correct: judging by skills, attitude, experience. • Wrong: matters of personal concern.
  39. It already works

  40. Self-organizing team. Why should anything be changed? Change for change’s

    sake might be a good idea, though. Room for improvement?
  41. Wrong choice

  42. Incompetent leader. Seems good, but… Knows how to pretend. Affects

    everyone around. At best, is being ignored.
  43. 4. The second approach.

  44. To some extent, I meant it. Even more questions than

  45. Hire or designate?

  46. Seems more natural. It may be unfair, though. Sometimes it

    just can’t be fair. Designate?
  47. A new star is born. A sheriff? Expectations. Hire?

  48. Fresh air. Not a head start. A challenge. Hire?

  49. http://leanpub.com/memoirs-of-a-software-team-leader/c/DoYouNeed 30% discount for my eBook:

  50. @lukaszwrobel Thank you!