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Talking with Tech Leads (Xpand Conference April 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.

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Talking with Tech Leads (Xpand Conference April 2019)

  1. 1. Talking with Tech Leads @patkua …?? Xpand Conference (April 2019)
  2. 2. 2 The first bank 
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  3. 3. 3 Banking, this beautiful
  4. 4. 4 N26 Spaces
  5. 5. 5
  6. 6. » N26 is the modern bank with 200+ deploys/week « enabled by a platform built with CD and Infra-as-Code
  7. 7. #leader #coach #architect #developer #life-long-learner #author We’re hiring in NYC, Berlin, & Barcelona! https://n26.com/jobs/ Chief Scientist of N26
  8. 8. thekua.io/evolarch thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/retrobook Chief Scientist of N26
  9. 9. Tech Lead CourseBook Career & Training Programs What I have created thekua.io/twtl thekua.io/techlead-course
  10. 10. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  11. 11. Archetypical Story
  12. 12. Archetypical Story
  13. 13. 1. Want to be “Promoted” 2. “Ready” for promotion Archetypical Story
  14. 14. Archetypical Story
  15. 15. Archetypical Story ? ? ?
  16. 16. Lesson #1 The Tech Lead is not a promotion. It’s a role change
  17. 17. Behaviour Impact Position x x Position x x Position x x Position x x Role
  18. 18. 1. Not a complete checklist 2. Guide for conversation 3. Reduces systemic bias Tips for using a Career Ladder
  19. 19. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  20. 20. Individual Contributor Management
  21. 21. Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader Trident Model
  22. 22. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead
  23. 23. Junior Software Engineer Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer Tech Lead Engineering Manager [Specialist?] Individual Contributor Management Technical Leader
  24. 24. Trident Model Individual Contributor 70-80% time spent “Executing, doing” CodingTestingDesigning
  25. 25. Trident Model Management 70-80% time spent “Managing the system” Planning Supporting Organising Budgeting
  26. 26. Trident Model Technical Leader 70-80% time spent “Leading Technical Topics & Teams” Technical VisionAligning Team Tech Debt Management Technical Risk Management Growing Technical Knowledge
  27. 27. Top Tip! What got you here, won’t get you there Archetypical Story
  28. 28. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  29. 29. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  30. 30. What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD
  31. 31. 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/
  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 Tech Lead
  33. 33. Lesson #2 The Tech Lead role requires effective leadership skills
  34. 34. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Developer Architecture Leadership
  35. 35. 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
  36. 36. 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
  37. 37. 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
  38. 38. 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
  39. 39. TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead? Leadership Skills to Invest In Empathy Coaching Self-Awareness Communication Influencing Delegation Motivation Feedback Conflict Resolution
  40. 40. Leadership Skills to Invest In TECH LEAD What is a Tech Lead?
  41. 41. 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.”
  42. 42. 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
  43. 43. Lesson #3 Benefit from many resources on leadership. Be sure to practice
  44. 44. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  45. 45. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  46. 46. Surprises & Struggles
  47. 47. Surprises & Struggles ? ? ?
  48. 48. ? ? Surprises & Struggles
  49. 49. Feeling Alone — “Outsider” — Different role — Shield/Filter Surprises & Struggles
  50. 50. ? ? Surprises & Struggles Feeling Alone
  51. 51. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles
  52. 52. Uncertainty — No right answer — Binary habit — Imperfect information Surprises & Struggles
  53. 53. Feeling Alone ? Surprises & Struggles Uncertainty
  54. 54. Feeling Alone Uncertainty Surprises & Struggles
  55. 55. People are puzzling — Unique — Different Strengths — Archetypes, stereotypes Surprises & Struggles
  56. 56. Feeling Alone Uncertainty People are puzzling Surprises & Struggles
  57. 57. Lesson #4 Take comfort that others have been on the same Tech Lead journey
  58. 58. Surprises & Struggles Build a support structure Top Tip!
  59. 59. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  60. 60. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  61. 61. A Great Tech Lead
  62. 62. A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  63. 63. Tell Delegateor A Great Tech Lead Develop Others
  64. 64. Situational Leadership Model Tell DelegateSell Participate A Great Tech Lead
  65. 65. Situational Leadership Model Skill Motivation Urgency A Great Tech Lead
  66. 66. A Great Tech Lead Tap into Diverse Approaches
  67. 67. People Strength in Diversity Intellection Woo Achiever Strategic
  68. 68. 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
  69. 69. 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
  70. 70. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  71. 71. A Great Tech Lead Invest Time
  72. 72. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Invest Time
  73. 73. A Great Tech Lead URGENT LESS URGENT IMPORTANT LESS IMPORTANT Do Delegate Delete Decide Eisenhower Matrix Invest Time
  74. 74. Lesson #5 Move from Maker to Multiplier mode
  75. 75. Archetypical Story What is a Tech Lead? TECH LEAD Surprises & Struggles A Great Tech Lead Lessons Learned
  76. 76. KEYS TO GROWTH
  77. 77. 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
  78. 78. @patkua We’re hiring in
 Berlin, Barcelona & NYC! https://n26.com/jobs/ 
 What questions do you have?

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