Jumping into Tech Lead requires having the best of both technical and managerial worlds.
There are IT jobs that have been in particular demand in recent years and one of them is a very important role that sometimes gets misunderstood: the Tech Lead. It’s not the same as an Engineering Manager, although some of the tasks overlap, and it’s a specific position that not everyone can do. That’s because jumping into Tech Lead requires having the best of both technical and managerial worlds. It’s a hybrid role in the IT industry with big responsibilities and exciting opportunities, one that has been growing as companies dive deeper into continuous digital transformation.
What is a Tech Lead?
The Tech Lead oversees a software team and focuses on improving the development process, code quality, innovation practices, and overall tech excellence. This professional provides technical leadership and acts as a go-between for developers, engineers, project managers, and so on.
Simply put, it’s managing the technical side of a project. This means that the most suitable candidates are professionals who have excellent technical knowledge, and sharpened people and management skills. Some managers don’t know how to code, and some developers don’t know how to manage. A Tech Lead is good at both.
A Tech Lead is also the link between the development team and the business area. Whatever the technical mission, it must be based on business needs and drivers. A Tech Lead inspires and mentors the team (increasing commitment and aligning expectations), manages tasks according to identified needs, and guarantees delivery quality – making him/her a key player for any project’s success.
How to become a Tech Lead?
An experienced software developer who exhibits great interpersonal and engagement skills is a good candidate for becoming a Tech Lead. The skillset for this role includes technical abilities, analytical capabilities (from the big picture to the smallest detail), a knack for leadership and multitasking, and a genuine communication power.
As a Tech Lead, you need to constantly cooperate with people to achieve a common purpose, ensuring that the work covers all the requirements and satisfies all stakeholders.
So, if you want to be one, gain experience, work on multiple projects, make your opinion heard, be proactive, expand your knowledge, get certifications and be a true team player.
What are the main responsibilities?
This is one of the most challenging IT roles. A Tech Lead is typically the most experienced member of a team handling a product release or software development project. He/She creates the technical parameters of the project and provides guidance to ensure everybody understands their duties and how to perform them effectively. A Tech Lead is also a problem-solver. The role requires the ability to detect, evaluate and resolve problems efficiently together with the team.
The job description includes a hand in recruiting team members, managing their workloads in each project, setting goals, assessing the deliverables’ quality, supervising the tools used in the development, and technical troubleshooting. There’s an important responsibility of avoiding what is commonly known as “tech debt” which pertains to low-quality code permeating a project and costing a lot to fix down the road. A Tech Lead must understand the trade-off between technical debt and speed.
This role also involves delegating efficiently and is very collaborative: the Tech Lead is expected to communicate often with the team members, keep them motivated and on track, celebrate excellence and know what impact any changes in parts of the project will have on others. The goal is to ensure the workflow is smooth and goals are met on time and on budget.
What to expect as a long-term career
As mentioned above, there’s high demand for professionals who can be effective Tech Leads and help mentor junior developers as companies compete for talent. There are long-term opportunities for evolution and value creation, as well as a premium on salaries. As a link between teams, management and clients, Tech Leads occupy an enviable, rewarding and privileged position that is worth exploring.
If you want to advance your career and feel strongly about your possibilities as a Tech Lead, take a look at what InnoTech has to offer as a fast-growing tech company. Let’s talk about your next move as a Tech Lead at InnoTech – check our job openings right here.