Continuing on from The Road to Team Lead it’s amazing to see all the different job descriptions out there for a Software Team Lead – some ranging from “Super Coder that leads the coding” to “Full Blown Manager”.

With so many confusing descriptions that differ from organization to organization, it makes it a little tricky to understand what you are getting into.

My thoughts on what the role of Team Lead encompasses;

  • 50% coding – the team still needs you to be contributing to code and let’s be honest, you still want to be contributing to code
  • Team Onboarding – this can be a time-consuming process and one where you might need to sit side-by-side with someone to help them out in those first few months of getting familiar with the company.
  • Product Matter Expert – you are deep in the code, working with the team to build the products, possibly doling out tasks and assignments, you should know the products the team is building inside and out.
  • Product Architect – note, I didn’t say, architect of everything, could be, maybe not, but at the end of the day, you are responsible for the architecture of the product area that you are focused on and working with your team on
  • Facilitator – whether it is QA, Product Owners, Customer Support, etc, you are the facilitator of these internal roles to your team to get things done.  You are the bridge to make sure your team is handling the right priorities at the right time.  At times, this might appear as a GateKeeper as you try to keep people off of your team, i.e., towards the end of a big release but what you are really doing is ensuring the good communication lanes stay open during that time for the necessary discussions, the rest can be turfed.

Is that more or less than what you are doing right now?  It would depend on your overall team configuration if you only have Team Leads and no Managers OR if you have multiple Team Leads for each Manager OR if you have some other crazy configuration – so take it as this – the minimum that a Team Lead is expected to do.

Want more? Check out my book Code Your Way Up – available as an eBook or Paperback on Amazon (CAN and US).  I’m also the co-host of the Remotely Prepared podcast.


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