The Best of 2022: Transitioning from a Developer to a Team Lead

Posted by Marbenz Antonio on December 29, 2022

Business team meeting, discussion of working moments - Vector 2923479  Vector Art at Vecteezy

As DevOps nears the end of 2022, they have compiled a list of the most popular articles, including team lead from this year. Below is the latest installment of our “Best of 2022” series.

Software developers who have been working in their field for a while may be wondering what career paths are available to them beyond coding. It’s important to note that taking the next step in your career is not required and some people are content remaining developers for the duration of their professional lives. However, there are many opportunities available for those who wish to explore other options.

If you are interested in pursuing other opportunities beyond software development, there are several paths you can consider, such as becoming a solution architect, Scrum master, or product owner. These are just a few examples of the options available to you.

Another possibility for software developers to consider is becoming a team lead. This role is often seen as the result of long-term dedication and passion for the field. But is it a good career opportunity for an ambitious developer to pursue?

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What Makes a Great Team Lead?

Unlike developers, who typically work on a specific aspect of a project and primarily communicate with other developers, team leads are responsible for coordinating the activities and collaborating with the entire team. They also spend less time dealing with technical issues. As the name suggests, team leads are leaders and managers of the team, and they are responsible for communicating with team members as well as stakeholders within and outside the company. Team leads serve as a representative of the team and are responsible for overseeing the team’s progress and success.

A team lead is the first point of contact for developers when problems arise, and is responsible for coming up with solutions. Team leads are knowledgeable and experienced in technical matters such as bug fixes, tooling and library choices, and how to approach specific code-related problems. This expertise is what led to their promotion to a leadership role.

The Go-To Point of Contact

The team lead is the person to approach if you wish to make improvements to an application or a test. They should be knowledgeable about technological solutions and capable of explaining to less experienced developers why one thing works and another doesn’t or why doing X instead of Y could be a good idea.

While team leads are expected to have a certain level of expertise and knowledge, it does not mean that they possess all knowledge and should not be afraid to seek input and advice from other experienced developers. In fact, seeking out the insights, opinions, and knowledge of others is a positive trait of a good team leader, as it demonstrates an openness to new ideas and a willingness to collaborate with others.

As a team leader, it is important to consider the bigger picture and take into account the entire team and the project as a whole. This includes directing the efforts of other developers, identifying areas for improvement, sharing best practices, and ensuring that the code infrastructure and project architecture are well-maintained. A good team leader should be able to guide their team towards success by focusing on these key elements.

When to Step Up

It is clear that a good team leader should possess a combination of experience, knowledge, passion, and strong communication skills. These skills are not acquired quickly, but rather are typically developed over time as an individual progresses in their career from a junior engineering or DevOps role to a leadership position. As they gain technical, social, and leadership skills, they become better equipped to guide and manage a team or teams effectively.

One’s personality and work style can sometimes lead to a natural progression into a leadership role within a team. The team may recognize that a particular member has a strong skillset or is a natural leader who is able to inspire and guide others. In other cases, a team member may assume a leadership role due to their technical expertise or because they want to gain experience in a leadership role.

As a developer, taking on a new leadership role can feel overwhelming. However, many of the skills that a developer has already acquired will be applicable and helpful in their new role.

For example, strong attention to detail, which is often a characteristic of successful developers, can be very useful for a team lead. The ability to carefully analyze and improve code, a skill that most developers possess, can also be beneficial in a leadership role.

The Importance of Soft Skills

To be a successful team leader, it is important to have a strong technical background, experience in the field, a passion for the work, a strong work ethic, and conscientiousness. Additionally, it is important to enjoy working with and collaborating with others.

A team leader’s role requires strong communication, collaboration, and people skills. They must work closely with team members and stakeholders within and outside the company, making them key figures in IT and business processes. While technical expertise is important, being a successful team leader requires a combination of knowledge and experience, as well as the ability to effectively communicate and share that knowledge with others.

Effective communication in English is another important skill for a team leader to possess. While it is common to use English for coding, communicating with clients and team members, who may be located in different countries, requires a higher level of fluency. While it is possible to improve language skills over time, it is important for a team leader to have a strong foundation in English in order to effectively communicate with team members and stakeholders.

While developing technical and interpersonal skills, a team leader can also work on improving their language skills. Strong knowledge of various technologies, frameworks, and functionalities, as well as experience using them, can provide opportunities for team leader to practice their language skills by communicating with colleagues, overseeing projects, and advising stakeholders within and outside the company. A team leader can also find ways to suggest changes and improvements, which can further require the use of language skills.

Making the Move to Team Lead

Team leads play a vital role in software development with their strong work ethic, and willingness to continuously learn and take on more responsibility. If you are someone who values personal and professional growth and is interested in taking on more responsibility, becoming a team lead may be a good fit for you.

Here at CourseMonster, we know how hard it may be to find the right time and funds for training. We provide effective training programs that enable you to select the training option that best meets the demands of your company.

For more information, please get in touch with one of our course advisers today or contact us at training@coursemonster.com

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