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Talking with Tech Leads (Barcelona Meetup Jan 2019)

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As a software engineer, you will have learned that "naming things" will remain one of the most difficult tasks in our industry. This is even more confusing when it comes to roles and responsibilities for the Tech Lead role. After interviewing many people playing technical leadership roles, establishing a European-wide Tech Lead training program in his last company, and training 100+ Tech Leads around the world, Patrick will share his lessons learned about what exactly a Tech Lead is, and what it takes to make the role successful.

If you currently have or would like to take on a leadership role for an engineering team, come to this session to hear some practical tips that will make you a more successful Tech Lead.

With guest visit from Alina Denisenko

Published in: Technology
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Talking with Tech Leads (Barcelona Meetup Jan 2019)

  1. 1. Talking with Tech Leads @patkua { } …?? Barcelona Meetup (Jan 2019)
  2. 2. » N26 is the modern bank with 120+ deploys/week « enabled by a platform built with CD and Infra-as-Code
  3. 3. » $300M D-round with $2.7B valuation «
  4. 4. #leader #coach #architect #developer #life-long-learner #author We’re hiring in Berlin, Barcelona & NYC! https://n26.com/jobs/ CTO of N26
  5. 5. Tech Lead CourseBook Career & Training Programs What I have created thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/techlead-course
  6. 6. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  7. 7. Archetypical Story
  8. 8. Archetypical Story
  9. 9. 1. Want to be “Promoted” 2. “Ready” for promotion Archetypical Story
  10. 10. Archetypical Story
  11. 11. Archetypical Story ? ? ?
  12. 12. Lesson #1 The Tech Lead is not a promotion. It’s a role change
  13. 13. Behaviour Impact Position x x Position x x Position x x Position x x Role
  14. 14. 1. Not a complete checklist 2. Guide for conversation 3. Reduces systemic bias Tips for using a Career Ladder
  15. 15. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  16. 16. Individual Contributor Management
  17. 17. Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader Trident Model
  18. 18. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  19. 19. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead Engineering Manager [Specialist?] Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader
  20. 20. Trident Model Individual Contributor 70-80% time spent “Executing, doing” CodingTestingDesigning
  21. 21. Trident Model Management 70-80% time spent “Managing the system” Planning Supporting Organising Budgeting
  22. 22. Trident Model Technical Leader 70-80% time spent “Leading Technical Topics & Teams” Technical VisionAligning Team Tech Debt Management Technical Risk Management Growing Technical Knowledge
  23. 23. Top Tip! What got you here, won’t get you there Archetypical Story
  24. 24. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  25. 25. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  26. 26. What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD
  27. 27. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? “A Tech Lead is a software engineer, responsible for leading a development team, and responsible for the quality of its technical deliverables” @patkua’s Definition Source: https://www.thekua.com/atwork/2014/11/the-definition-of-a-tech-lead/
  28. 28. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Source: https://www.thekua.com/atwork/2015/06/tech-lead-circles-of-responsibility/ Developer Skills Architecture Skills Leadership Skills Tech Lead
  29. 29. Lesson #2 The Tech Lead role requires effective leadership skills
  30. 30. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Developer Architecture Leadership
  31. 31. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? How to shift? Source: https://www.thekua.com/atwork/2014/11/the-definition-of-a-tech-lead/ 1. Awareness 2. Training 3. Coaching 4. Practice
  32. 32. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Source: https://www.thekua.com/atwork/2015/06/tech-lead-circles-of-responsibility/ Developer Skills Architecture Skills Leadership Skills
  33. 33. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? At least 30%of the time with the team Amount of Coding Source: Geek’s Guide to Leading Teams
  34. 34. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? My Tech Lead Test Does the codebase look like it was written by a single person? Yes No
  35. 35. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Leadership Skills to Invest In Empathy Coaching Self-Awareness Communication Influencing Delegation Motivation Feedback Conflict Resolution
  36. 36. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead?
  37. 37. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”
  38. 38. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” - Bill Gates (2016) Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/fashion/bill-gates-gates-notes-books.html
  39. 39. Lesson #3 Benefit from many resources on leadership. Be sure to practice
  40. 40. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  41. 41. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  42. 42. GUEST VISIT Alina Denisenko @alinko__malinko
  43. 43. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  44. 44. Surprises & Struggles
  45. 45. Surprises & Struggles ? ? ?
  46. 46. ? ? Surprises & Struggles
  47. 47. Feeling Alone — “Outsider” — Different role — Shield/Filter Surprises & Struggles
  48. 48. ? ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  49. 49. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles
  50. 50. Uncertainty — No right answer — Binary habit — Imperfect information Surprises & Struggles
  51. 51. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles Uncertainty
  52. 52. Feeling Alone Uncertainty Surprises & Struggles
  53. 53. People are puzzling — Unique — Different Strengths — Archetypes, stereotypes Surprises & Struggles
  54. 54. Feeling Alone Uncertainty People are puzzling Surprises & Struggles
  55. 55. Lesson #4 Take comfort that others have been on the same Tech Lead journey
  56. 56. Surprises & Struggles Build a support structure Top Tip!
  57. 57. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  58. 58. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  59. 59. A Great Tech Lead
  60. 60. A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  61. 61. Tell Delegateor A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  62. 62. Situational Leadership Model Tell DelegateSell Participate A Great Tech Lead
  63. 63. Situational Leadership Model Skill Motivation Urgency A Great Tech Lead
  64. 64. A Great Tech Lead Tap into Diverse Approaches
  65. 65. People Strength in Diversity Intellection Woo Achiever Strategic
  66. 66. Source: The Mix That Matters: Innovation Through Diversity (2017) BCG Research (2017) Gender Age Country of
 Origin Academic Background Industry Career
 Path Positive correlation with innovation revenue A Great Tech Lead
  67. 67. BCG Research (2017) Gender Age Country of
 Origin Academic Background Industry Career
 Path Positive correlation with innovation revenue Source: The Mix That Matters: Innovation Through Diversity (2017)A Great Tech Lead
  68. 68. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  69. 69. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  70. 70. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Invest Time
  71. 71. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Eisenhower Matrix Invest Time
  72. 72. Lesson #5 Move from Maker to Multiplier mode
  73. 73. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  74. 74. KEYS TO GROWTH
  75. 75. Tech Lead is a role change It requires leadership skills There are many resources available Others have been on this journey Move from Maker to Multiplier
  76. 76. @patkua We’re hiring in
 Berlin, Barcelona & NYC! https://n26.com/jobs/ 
 What questions do you have? { }

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