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Talking with Tech Leads (NYC Meetup Feb 2019)

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Software engineers know that "naming things" remains one of the most difficult tasks in our industry. This is even more confusing when it comes to roles and responsibilities for the position of Tech Lead. After interviewing many people in technical leadership roles, establishing a Europe-wide Tech Lead training program in his last company, and training 100+ Tech Leads around the world, Pat will share his lessons learned about what exactly a Tech Lead is, and what it takes to make the role successful.

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Talking with Tech Leads (NYC Meetup Feb 2019)

  1. 1. Talking with Tech Leads @patkua …?? NYC Meetup (Feb 2019)
  2. 2. #leader #coach #architect #developer #life-long-learner #author We’re hiring in NYC, Berlin, & Barcelona! https://n26.com/jobs/ CTO of N26
  3. 3. Tech Lead CourseBook Career & Training Programs What I have created thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/techlead-course
  4. 4. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  5. 5. Archetypical Story
  6. 6. Archetypical Story
  7. 7. 1. Want to be “Promoted” 2. “Ready” for promotion Archetypical Story
  8. 8. Archetypical Story
  9. 9. Archetypical Story ? ? ?
  10. 10. Lesson #1 The Tech Lead is not a promotion. It’s a role change
  11. 11. Behaviour Impact Position x x Position x x Position x x Position x x Role
  12. 12. 1. Not a complete checklist 2. Guide for conversation 3. Reduces systemic bias Tips for using a Career Ladder
  13. 13. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  14. 14. Individual Contributor Management
  15. 15. Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader Trident Model
  16. 16. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  17. 17. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead Engineering Manager [Specialist?] Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader
  18. 18. Trident Model Individual Contributor 70-80% time spent “Executing, doing” CodingTestingDesigning
  19. 19. Trident Model Management 70-80% time spent “Managing the system” Planning Supporting Organising Budgeting
  20. 20. Trident Model Technical Leader 70-80% time spent “Leading Technical Topics & Teams” Technical VisionAligning Team Tech Debt Management Technical Risk Management Growing Technical Knowledge
  21. 21. Top Tip! What got you here, won’t get you there Archetypical Story
  22. 22. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  23. 23. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  24. 24. What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD
  25. 25. 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/
  26. 26. 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
  27. 27. Lesson #2 The Tech Lead role requires effective leadership skills
  28. 28. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Developer Architecture Leadership
  29. 29. 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
  30. 30. 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
  31. 31. 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
  32. 32. 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
  33. 33. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Leadership Skills to Invest In Empathy Coaching Self-Awareness Communication Influencing Delegation Motivation Feedback Conflict Resolution
  34. 34. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead?
  35. 35. 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.”
  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.” - Bill Gates (2016) Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/04/fashion/bill-gates-gates-notes-books.html
  37. 37. Lesson #3 Benefit from many resources on leadership. Be sure to practice
  38. 38. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  39. 39. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  40. 40. GUEST VISIT Ryan Cooke @RyanPCooke
  41. 41. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  42. 42. Surprises & Struggles
  43. 43. Surprises & Struggles ? ? ?
  44. 44. ? ? Surprises & Struggles
  45. 45. Feeling Alone — “Outsider” — Different role — Shield/Filter Surprises & Struggles
  46. 46. ? ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  47. 47. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles
  48. 48. Uncertainty — No right answer — Binary habit — Imperfect information Surprises & Struggles
  49. 49. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles Uncertainty
  50. 50. Feeling Alone Uncertainty Surprises & Struggles
  51. 51. People are puzzling — Unique — Different Strengths — Archetypes, stereotypes Surprises & Struggles
  52. 52. Feeling Alone Uncertainty People are puzzling Surprises & Struggles
  53. 53. Lesson #4 Take comfort that others have been on the same Tech Lead journey
  54. 54. Surprises & Struggles Build a support structure Top Tip!
  55. 55. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  56. 56. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  57. 57. A Great Tech Lead
  58. 58. A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  59. 59. Tell Delegateor A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  60. 60. Situational Leadership Model Tell DelegateSell Participate A Great Tech Lead
  61. 61. Situational Leadership Model Skill Motivation Urgency A Great Tech Lead
  62. 62. A Great Tech Lead Tap into Diverse Approaches
  63. 63. People Strength in Diversity Intellection Woo Achiever Strategic
  64. 64. 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
  65. 65. 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
  66. 66. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  67. 67. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  68. 68. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Invest Time
  69. 69. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Eisenhower Matrix Invest Time
  70. 70. Lesson #5 Move from Maker to Multiplier mode
  71. 71. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  72. 72. KEYS TO GROWTH
  73. 73. 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
  74. 74. @patkua We’re hiring in
 NYC, Berlin and Barcelona! https://n26.com/jobs/ 
 What questions do you have?

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