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Talking with Tech Leads (N26 Meetup August 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.

Slides from the N26 Meetup hosted in Bratislava and Vienna, August 12/13 2019

Published in: Technology

Talking with Tech Leads (N26 Meetup August 2019)

  1. 1. @patkua - Bratislava Meetup - 08.19 Talking with Tech Leads
  2. 2. #cto #leader #coach #architect #developer 
 #life-long-learner #author We’re hiring in Vienna, Berlin, & Barcelona & NYC! https://n26.com/jobs/ Chief Scientist of N26
  3. 3. thekua.io/evolarch thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/retrobook Chief Scientist of N26
  4. 4. Tech Lead CourseBook Career & Training Programs What I have created thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/techlead-course
  5. 5. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  6. 6. Archetypical Story
  7. 7. Archetypical Story
  8. 8. 1. Want to be “Promoted” 2. “Ready” for promotion Archetypical Story
  9. 9. Archetypical Story
  10. 10. Archetypical Story ? ? ?
  11. 11. Lesson #1 The Tech Lead is not a promotion. It’s a role change
  12. 12. Behaviour Impact Position x x Position x x Position x x Position x x Role
  13. 13. 1. Not a complete checklist 2. Guide for conversation 3. Reduces systemic bias Tips for using a Career Ladder
  14. 14. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  15. 15. Individual Contributor Management
  16. 16. Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader Trident Model
  17. 17. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  18. 18. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead Engineering Manager[Specialist?] Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader
  19. 19. Trident Model Individual Contributor 70-80% time spent “Executing, doing” CodingTestingDesigning
  20. 20. Trident Model Management “Managing the system” Planning Supporting Organising Budgeting 70-80% time spent
  21. 21. Trident Model Technical Leader “Leading Technical Topics & Teams” Technical VisionAligning Team Tech Debt Management Technical Risk Management Growing Technical Knowledge 70-80% time spent
  22. 22. What got you here, won’t get you there Archetypical Story Top Tip!
  23. 23. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  24. 24. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  25. 25. What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD
  26. 26. 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/
  27. 27. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Developer Skills Architecture Skills Leadership Skills Tech Lead Source: https://www.thekua.com/atwork/2015/06/tech-lead-circles-of-responsibility/
  28. 28. Lesson #2 The Tech Lead role requires effective leadership skills
  29. 29. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Developer Architecture Leadership
  30. 30. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? How to shift? 1. Awareness 2. Training 3. Coaching 4.Practice
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. 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
  34. 34. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Leadership Skills to Invest In Empathy Coaching Self-Awareness Communication Influencing Delegation Motivation Feedback Conflict Resolution
  35. 35. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead?
  36. 36. 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.”
  37. 37. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? - Bill Gates (2016) Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/fashion/bill-gates-gates-notes-books.html “Reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.”
  38. 38. Lesson #3 Benefit from many resources on leadership. Be sure to practice
  39. 39. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  40. 40. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  41. 41. Surprises & Struggles
  42. 42. ? ? ? Surprises & Struggles
  43. 43. ? ? Surprises & Struggles ??
  44. 44. Feeling Alone — “Outsider” — Different role — Shield/Filter Surprises & Struggles
  45. 45. ? ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  46. 46. ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  47. 47. Uncertainty — No right answer — Binary habit — Imperfect information Surprises & Struggles
  48. 48. ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone Uncertainty
  49. 49. Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone Uncertainty
  50. 50. People are puzzling — Unique — Different Strengths — Archetypes, stereotypes Surprises & Struggles
  51. 51. Uncertainty People are puzzling Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  52. 52. Lesson #4 Take comfort that others have been on the same Tech Lead journey
  53. 53. Surprises & Struggles Top Tip! Build a support structure
  54. 54. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  55. 55. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  56. 56. A Great Tech Lead
  57. 57. A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  58. 58. Tell Delegateor A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  59. 59. Situational Leadership Model Tell DelegateSell Participate A Great Tech Lead
  60. 60. Situational Leadership Model Skill Motivation Urgency A Great Tech Lead
  61. 61. A Great Tech Lead Tap into Diverse Approaches
  62. 62. People Strength in Diversity Achiever Woo Analytical Harmony
  63. 63. BCG Research (2017) Gender Age Country of
 Origin Academic Background Industry Career
 Path Positive correlation with innovation revenue A Great Tech Lead Source: The Mix That Matters: Innovation Through Diversity (2017)
  64. 64. 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 BCG Research (2017)
  65. 65. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  66. 66. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  67. 67. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Invest Time
  68. 68. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Eisenhower Matrix Invest Time
  69. 69. Lesson #5 Move from Maker to Multiplier mode
  70. 70. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  71. 71. KEYS TO GROWTH
  72. 72. Tech Lead is a role change It requires leadership skills Others have been on this journey Move from Maker to Multiplier There are many resources available
  73. 73. Questions We’re hiring in Vienna, 
 Barcelona, Berlin, & NYC! https://n26.com/jobs/ @patkua thekua.io/twtl

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