The Subtle Dynamics Of Leading Without Authority As A Technical Lead

The Subtle Dynamics Of Leading Without Authority As A Technical Lead

Meritocracy: a political philosophy which holds that power should be vested in individuals almost exclusively according to merit.

If you're reading the above, nodding your head, wishing it was the case in your situation maybe I can help. I'd like to offer some ideas and tips for the struggles Technical Leads or Senior Engineers are facing:

* How can you leverage your skills to move the organization when you don't have the authority?
* What should you pay attention to when giving an advice?
* What can you do to get your concrete suggestions deployed to production instead of perish in the source control?
* How should you work with your manager to plan and execute an agenda you actually believe in?

If you enjoyed the slides, you'd probably like my "hobbies":
http://softwareleadweekly.com/
http://leadingsnowflakes.com/

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Oren Ellenbogen

October 07, 2015
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Transcript

  1. The Subtle Dynamics Of Leading Without Authority As A Technical

    Lead @orenellenbogen
  2. Lets Talk Tech

  3. “ My ideas are solid. ”

  4. “ All we need to do is to use micro-

    services ”
  5. (how it really felt like)

  6. None
  7. @orenellenbogen Head of Engineering at I also got hobbies: http://SoftwareLeadWeekly.com/

    http://LeadingSnowflakes.com/ http://lnbogen.com/
  8. TRUST ONE WORD

  9. BUIDLING ONE TWO WORDS TRUST

  10. [1] Willingness to build trust. [2] Good faith. [3] Mature

    people. 3 ASSUMPTIONS:
  11. BUILDING TRUST WITH YOUR TEAMMATES and get a cool t-shirt

    too!
  12. “Got a bullet stuck where? Lets talk about your diet

    first” PAIN LEVEL AWARENESS
  13. Before you enter your next meeting: What is your role

    in the discussion? CONTEXT AWARENESS <1> OWNER <2> CONSULTANT <3> PREACHER
  14. •  You’re responsible for the delivery & outcome. •  Lead

    the agenda and direction. •  Set an example. <1> OWNER
  15. •  You’re here to assist. •  Don’t steal their thunder.

    •  Be concise and pragmatic. <2> CONSULTANT
  16. •  You were not requested. •  You will rarely understand

    their underlying pains. •  Help them imagine how it can be like, step by step. Carefully. <3> PREACHER
  17. Before you enter your next meeting: What is your role

    in the discussion? CONTEXT AWARENESS <1> OWNER <2> CONSULTANT <3> PREACHER
  18. BE AVAILABLE If you’re communicating panic, don’t be surprised when

    people stop showing up.
  19. BUSY IS AN ADDICTION Block X hours every day, to

    have that mental capacity to listen and assist.
  20. Lift your teammates' skills. People want to be around others

    who make them better. Be that person. TEACH TO EDUCATE, NOT TO CONVINCE
  21. The only way to really scale something is to distribute

    it. TEACH TO EDUCATE, NOT TO CONVINCE
  22. KENT BECK: “ When you're the senior in junior/senior pair

    programming, the measure of your success is how much the junior learns ”
  23. Pragmatic vs theoretical balance? Overshadowing others? Stealing “interesting” work? Be

    sincere and people will open up. CREATE A FEEDBACK LOOP
  24. DEFAULTING TO POSITIVE Help them see how it can work,

    instead of only pointing fingers on the ways they will probably fail.
  25. “ $440b company just radically changed corp structure to advantage

    innovation while you debate whether your VP will like slide 14 of the ppt ” (on Google à Alphabet) HUNTER WALK:
  26. <1> PAIN AWARENESS <2> CONTEXT AWARENESS <3> BE AVAILABLE <4>

    TEACH TO EDUCATE <5> CREATE FEEDBACK LOOP <6> DEFAULTING TO POSITIVE RECAP: Building trust with your teammates
  27. BUILDING TRUST WITH YOUR MANAGER

  28. PROBLEM > SOLUTION(S) Figure out how you can help your

    manager and company win. Understand immediate pains vs long- term strategy. BUSINESS AWARENESS
  29. Reduce managerial load. Help estimate & prioritize Technical Debt. Own

    the backlog. OWN CODE QUALITY
  30. OWN CODE QUALITY “ The thing about coding is, there's

    always bugs. It's always semi-fucked. “ -- Stewart Brand
  31. •  Fighting instead of collaborating? •  Explicit assumptions. •  Ask

    for clarifications. ARTICULATE MISMATCH
  32. •  Why? •  Why now? •  What can go wrong?

    •  Milestones? •  Backup plan? •  Rough estimations? •  Can you own it? PATH > DESTINATION
  33. Organizational communication is built around estimations and milestones to create

    alignment. Don’t be a buffer. PUSH > PULL INFORMATION
  34. Writing is the best way to improve your thinking. Communication

    skills are underrated. WRITE MORE OFTEN
  35. •  Status & TL;DR •  Postmortems •  Internal Wiki • 

    Blog posts •  Quora / StackOverflow WRITE MORE OFTEN
  36. <1> BUSINESS AWARENESS <2> OWN CODE QUALITY <3> ARTICULATE MISMATCH

    <4> PATH > DESTINATION <5> PUSH > PULL INFORMATION <6> WRITE MORE OFTEN RECAP: Building trust with your manager
  37. PRACTICE WHAT NOW?

  38. PRACTICE

  39. THANK YOU WE’RE HIRING! @orenellenbogen oren@forter.com