Tech Lead: Main Roles & Responsibilities Explained

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Tech Lead: Main Roles & Responsibilities Explained

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As you are now on the path to management, it is your job to mentor junior developers on the team. It doesn’t mean that a tech lead should hide in a dark closet for three days to outline architecture, then present it to the team and fight against modifications. They should help guide the team through technical decisions, not silo themselves and dictate solutions. What should you expect from a tech lead for a software team? LinearB dives into what tech leads do and more on tech lead responsibilities.

Hence, team leaders must properly evaluate their members’ competencies and capabilities. To augment deficiencies, they should provide solutions through personnel management, training, mentorships, and other programs. Because their focus is not on the technical side of software development, they are often not asked to code. Team leads are more concerned with managing and steering the project in the right direction. They ensure that their teams use the right tools and techs to fulfill the software project as a tech lead.

Tech leads and coding

First, we will discuss what each role entails—their responsibilities and duties, qualifications, and, finally, their differences. As a tech lead, I realised that having a deeper understanding of technology and being able to communicate that understanding with my team effectively was essential for our success. It helped me build trust and rapport with my colleagues, fostering an environment of innovation and growth. This collaborative atmosphere enabled us to work together more efficiently, breaking down barriers and encouraging open dialogue.

The Software Development Team

Tech Leads focus on the outcome, involve the team in decision-making, and make plans based on how different pieces will interact. The role of a Tech Lead is to focus on engineering and guide the team in figuring out how the whole system should fit together. Architecting can become problematic when it loses touch with the coding part, resulting in implementation issues. This reduced amount of time spent coding is a reason why some experienced engineers don’t want to be tech leads. A friend of mine switched from tech leading to being an individual contributor. He wanted to spend as much time writing code as possible.

technical lead developer

The technical lead (or tech lead) is a common role at software companies. One of the challenges in defining the tech lead job description is that the shape of the role varies widely from company to company — sometimes even from team to team. In short, companies are looking for tech leads that have both technical and soft skills.

Tech lead roles and responsibilities explained by a tech lead

Architecting can become problematic when it becomes too abstract and loses touch with the coding part, resulting in implementation issues. The definition or the job description of a Tech Lead kind of varies between different companies. Some companies think of this as one type of a staff engineer. Some people think of it as a stepping stone towards becoming a staff engineer.

Tech leads and coding

With our comprehensive recruitment process and offshore team management, we can guarantee that your software project is in good hands. Team leaders may not focus on the technical side of software development; having a background in it is a huge plus. Their experience will allow them to understand their team members better. Tech leads not only play a crucial role within the development team but also have a significant impact on client relations. Technical leaders help create strong, mutually beneficial partnerships that drive business growth and success by acting as a bridge between clients and development teams. I got into software development because I felt more comfortable working with computers than people.

In software development, a tech lead is especially helpful in overcoming problems in the technical process. You often hear this duality conveyed when describing the ideal tech lead. If you’re hiring from within your organization, should you expect your best coder to be the ideal tech lead? Conversely, a candidate for tech lead with a purely managerial background – no matter how awesome – won’t have the technical chops to make informed decisions around things like architecture or the codebase. They must also have the communication skills to lead these discussions and the awareness to involve fellow tech leads to ensure product strategy is supported by current architectural decisions. When talking about a tech lead’s responsibilities, one key thing to keep in mind is to remember that it’s a collaborative role.

Tech leads and coding

Reluctant leadership and a focus on what benefits the company and project are key traits. So the first lesson that I learned is that usually the person who becomes a tech lead is the strongest engineer on the team, or at least usually they’re a very, very strong engineer. So what you can do as a tech lead to kind of help the rest of the team and empower them is to be the clown. When some, when, you know, the manager or the product owner is asking for ideas. One of my favorite things to say is, well, okay.

  • It’s not a good time for full-day coding tasks.
  • The tech lead’s role is to do a lot of that breaking down, and less of the actual final implementation and coding.
  • It always involves doing code reviews on a daily basis and making sure pull requests don’t sit for too long without receiving attention.
  • The nuance here is that the first scenario has a high amount of churn, expected changes over time, and complexity; the second scenario does not.
  • Sending the elevator back down is a critical component of a tech lead’s duties.

If you don’t want to deal with “politics” then perhaps think again if you want to get into leadership in the first place. Take on more responsibilities during difficult projects. Help your peers by providing feedback in pull requests.

And, they must make sure that these technical issues have minimal effects on their project’s progress. Because no development project is the same, the scope and size vary. Hence, tech leaders need to evaluate the workload thoroughly.

With that said, behind every successful tech innovation is a hardworking team. The outcome is determined by how well a team collaborates and tackles issues. Managing metrics like rework, refactoring, and PRs merged without review can give a tech lead a solid overview of the potential tech debt. A good tech lead will understand that too often, short-sighted business decisions impair organizational health in the long run. According to some estimates, tech debt will cost businesses $5 trillion in the next 10 years.

Each week you will switch between many different tasks. You will write and review code but you will also do many other things like run meetings, maintain the Roadmap, coordinate releases with other teams and more. Don’t forget people move between these categories over time.

The same applies to the workflows and processes in the company. No one software library works for all development projects, and no one workflow fits every software engineering team. Usually, we learn the basics of management by watching how other Tech Leads and managers work.

Go beyond the technical interview, and get to know the person’s work ethic and professional values. As previously mentioned, leadership plays a crucial role in the success of a project. And in software development, a tech lead plays a key role in keeping the team in the right direction.

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