Most of us perceive developers to be extremely analytical beings who code day and night, but there is more to the profession than robotically entering 0’s and 1’s into a computer. Inspiration, creativity, and innovation need to be added to a project to make it truly shine. Being a tech lead is no cakewalk, and the transition from developer to manager is often difficult for coders, who tend to have more introverted personality types. Instead of focusing on writing code, tech leads become responsible for the growth and production of an entire team. This essentially means that you now have to deal with all sorts of people- highly technical, non-technical and those who are somewhere in between.
The time and expertise a developer spends on designing code does not give him or her the relevant skills to effectively lead or manage a group. The ability to understand different mindsets, resolve conflicts, or the need to multitask can sometimes be overwhelming.
Here are our five strategic practices to bring out the best in your development team:
1. GIVE YOUR TEAM INDIVIDUAL TIME
The success of a team leader can be measured in terms of how well the team is which they are leading is performing. Therefore, it is essential for a tech lead to do everything in his/her power to make the team better. Team leaders should spend one-on-one time with individuals, in addition to collaborating with the entire team. This will help them understand the strengths and weaknesses, interests, mindset, and goals of each team members. As a result, there are higher chances of forming a better team that effectively works as a group. Allow your team members to take responsibility and ownership of all tasks that they are assigned. This will allow them to grow as an individual and professional in their respective areas. Overall, they will be contributing more to the team.
2. BEWARE THE TECHNICAL JARGON
As a developer, your only task is to code and to get the job well done. Once you transition to become a team leader of a development team, you have more, big-picture responsibilities. You will have to form positive relationships with not only your team members but other people such as customers, stakeholders, marketing managers, product managers, etc. Developers are traditionally used to speaking in technical jargon — abbreviations and buzzwords that everyone familiar with the industry understands. The problem with maintaining this language as a client-facing team lead is most stakeholders outside your company — department, even — will need things explained in layman’s terms. Therefore, if you use the same vocabulary which you use for your development team, you might confuse them.
As an effective tech lead, you will have to acquire the skill of bringing technical and non-technical people on the same business so that they work together for the benefit of the business.
3. MAKE YOUR COMPANY CULTURE OPEN
It is important to make your company culture open so that your team and other people can work freely. This will also allow them to generate more ideas which could be useful. Thus, let your team be creative problem solvers instead of taking charge all the time and delegating tasks like a sergeant. You will eventually allow them to grow and develop as a better team member.
4. VISUALIZE YOUR ARCHITECTURE
Almost every team leader has a visual representation of their system architecture while discussing with the development team. Why? Depictions of verbal cues help to engage employees and gather as many perspectives as possible to make the overall business processes more efficient.
An excellent way to do this is by arranging a whole-team whiteboard session where the entire team reviews the overall architecture of the system. Using this strategy, you can identify weaknesses and improve upon in the way you do business, as well as innovate with new ideas.
5. FREEDOM AND OWNERSHIP
Do you want your development team to be creative and work on their own? Give them the autonomy to perform tasks as per their abilities to get the best results. Making employees feel trusted, valued, and respected are the best ways to ensure hardworking employees who love what they do.
Contact KitelyTech today to discuss the details of how we can add value to you and your online business.
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