Reading list: on technical leadership
August 04, 2018
I’ve got a couple of great resources to share with those who eventually found themselves in a team lead / tech lead shoes (just like me).
Great write-up from a security expert and experienced techie leader Michał Zalewski.
But first, let me start on a somewhat somber note: what nobody tells you is that one’s level on the leadership ladder tends to be inversely correlated with several measures of happiness. The reason is fairly simple: as you get more senior, a growing number of people will come to you expecting you to solve increasingly fuzzy and challenging problems - and you will no longer be patted on the back for doing so. This should not scare you away from such opportunities, but it definitely calls for a particular mindset: your motivation must come from within. Look beyond the fight-of-the-day; find satisfaction in seeing how far your teams have come over the years.
John Riviello shares his story from being a senior engineer, taking the managerial route and then back to an individual contributor position.
In the best teams I’ve worked in, the tech lead role is a little like an invisible conch shell that gets passed around between team members throughout the hours, days, and weeks. One person often holds this conch shell most of the time, but other people also get the chance to hold the conch when it is appropriate. If you find yourself in the tech lead role, don’t be possessive of it. Recognize when it is time to pass the role to someone else, and when it is time to take the role back.
Trying to motivate a person to do a task that they’re procrastinating on due to anxiety is likely to have the opposite effect — it makes the task more meaningful, and increases anxiety.
These and other great articles appear in a great Software Lead newsletter.