The Role of a Dev Team Lead: What You Need to Know
6 min read
Table of contents
- What you need to know about being a dev team lead
- 1. Know Your Team
- 2. Create a Team Culture
- 3. Set Clear Goals
- 4. Provide Support and Guidance
- 5. Be a Problem Solver
- 6. Be Flexible
- 7. Be an Effective Communicator
- 8. Lead by Example
- Traits to acquire as a Dev team lead
- 1. Many of Your Skills Don't Translate
- 2. Keep Your Instincts, Change Your Behavior
- 3. Embrace Context Switching
- 4. Be a Good Listener
- 5. Be Transparent
- 6. Be Humble
- 7. Find a Good Balance
- 8. Embrace Change
Being a dev team lead is an incredibly important role in any organization. As a dev team lead, you’ll be responsible for leading a team of developers and ensuring that they’re working together to achieve their goals. You’ll be responsible for setting the tone for the team and making sure that everyone is on the same page.
Being a leader is a never-ending journey, and not everyone is lucky to have some great mentors. It’s a big job, and it requires a different set of skills than being a developer.
What you need to know about being a dev team lead
1. Know Your Team
The first and most important thing you need to do as a dev team lead is to get to know your team. It’s important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, so that you can assign tasks accordingly.
You should also get to know their personalities and communication styles, so that you can work with them more effectively. It’s also important to understand their motivations and career goals, so that you can help them achieve their goals while also meeting the team’s objectives.
2. Create a Team Culture
As a dev team lead, it’s your responsibility to create a team culture that will foster collaboration and creativity. This means setting expectations for how team members should interact with each other, and ensuring that everyone is treated with respect. It’s also important to provide feedback in a constructive way and create an atmosphere of trust and openness.
3. Set Clear Goals
As a dev team lead, it’s your responsibility to set clear goals for the team. This means having a clear vision for what you want to achieve and communicating it to the team. It also means setting deadlines and making sure that everyone is on the same page. This will help the team stay focused and motivated to achieve their goals.
4. Provide Support and Guidance
As a dev team lead, it’s your responsibility to provide support and guidance to the team. This means helping them navigate difficult tasks and providing honest feedback when needed. It also means being available to answer questions and providing resources to help the team succeed.
5. Be a Problem Solver
As a dev team lead, it’s important to be a problem solver. This means being able to identify problems quickly and coming up with creative solutions. It also means being able to think on your feet and coming up with solutions that are both practical and efficient.
6. Be Flexible
As a dev team lead, it’s important to be flexible and open to change. This means being able to adapt quickly to new technologies and processes, and being open to new ideas. It also means being able to manage competing priorities and juggle multiple tasks at once.
7. Be an Effective Communicator
As a dev team lead, it’s important to be an effective communicator. This means being able to communicate clearly and concisely with the team, as well as being able to listen to their feedback and respond in a timely manner. It also means being able to communicate with other departments and stakeholders in the organization.
8. Lead by Example
As a dev team lead, it’s important to lead by example. This means setting the tone for the team and showing them what it means to be a successful leader. It also means being able to stay calm under pressure and handle difficult situations with grace.
Being a dev team lead is an important and challenging role. It requires a different set of skills than being a developer, and it’s important to understand what it takes to be successful in this role. By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful dev team lead.
Traits to acquire as a Dev team lead
Let us warn you about some of the traits which will raise a conflict between being a developer and a leader and you should know before you became a dev team lead:
1. Many of Your Skills Don't Translate
As a dev team lead, only about 25% of the issues you face will be technical. The rest is all about people and processes. In fact, some traits that make a great developer can actually hold you back as a manager. For example, the "superman complex" (jumping in to fix every problem yourself) can make you seem like you don't trust your team. Instead, try to empower your team to find their own solutions, even if it takes longer and they make mistakes. Trusting your team and avoiding judgment will allow their creativity to shine and make them more self-sufficient.
2. Keep Your Instincts, Change Your Behavior
Great developers have great instincts, and as a dev team lead, you'll need to rely on them even more to figure out when others need help. But instead of acting on those instincts the way you used to, try changing your behavior. For example, if you sense that someone is struggling during a daily stand-up, try asking them how you can help instead of jumping in to solve the problem yourself.
3. Embrace Context Switching
As a developer, it's important to be able to lock in and focus on a single problem. But as a dev team lead, it's equally important to be able to switch between different tasks and projects. If you find yourself getting too deep into a technical problem, it might be a sign that you need to delegate more. Use your focused time to think about strategic initiatives, like proposing investments to your executive team or recruiting new hires.
4. Be a Good Listener
As a dev team lead, it's important to be a good listener and make sure you understand what your team is saying. Ask clarifying questions and try to see things from their perspective. And when you do have to give feedback, make sure it's specific, actionable, and delivered in a way that's constructive, not critical.
5. Be Transparent
Great leaders are transparent and open with their team. Share your thought process and decision-making with your team, and make sure they understand how their work fits into the bigger picture. This will build trust and help your team feel like they're a part of something bigger than themselves.
6. Be Humble
No one likes a boastful leader. Remember that you're part of a team, and that everyone has something valuable to contribute. Be humble and open to learning from others, and make sure to give credit where it's due.
7. Find a Good Balance
It's important to have a good work-life balance as a dev team lead. Make sure you're taking care of yourself and setting boundaries to protect your time and energy. This will help you be more productive and make better decisions.
8. Embrace Change
Change is inevitable in any job, and as a dev team lead, you'll need to be able to adapt to new technologies, processes, and team dynamics. Embrace change and try to see it as an opportunity to learn and grow.
Being a dev team lead is a challenging but rewarding role that requires a different set of skills than being a developer. Don't be afraid to seek out mentors and learning opportunities, and remember to keep your instincts, be a good listener, transparent, humble, balanced, and open to change.
In addition to these tips, set yourself up for success as a dev team leads with our smart analysis dashboard. We at the foyer make sure to build customized dashboards specifically for your team's needs for added support and guidance.