I’m a developer, well at least I used to be. I love coding, I love analysing problems and automating and optimising things. I think it’s amazing the leverage that a highly skilled developer can have. You come up with solutions that can save hours and days of manual work, hundreds of hours of boring repetitive work all saved by the power of thinking. Or you can develop solutions or websites that inspire, excite or help users.
I used to think that the height of professional success was harnessing the power of a computer. Then I was accidentally promoted to team lead and got to see a whole new set of challenges. This change of perspective made me think, after looking back I now understand what the design, marketing, management and sales teams do and how important it is to get teams working together.
Software developers are in the unusual position compared to most other jobs. In most other teams the employees are fighting to get promoted. Most software developers want to minimise meetings and politics, at the same time the proactive and most knowledgeable and efficient developers quickly end up getting the respect of their peers and are often then pushed into management roles. While they have the technical skills they often need a bit more support on the soft skills side of things, after all die hard developers and management skills are often at the opposite end of the spectrum.
However there’s no need to worry. Like all skills, if you have the right support, are motivated and practice then you can master it. (I would always trust a slightly awkward techie rather than confident sales guy who is only blasting out giberish) This blog is designed to help new and aspiring development and technical team leaders, to give them tips and support to help them with the new challenges of leadership, internal politics, meetings, people skills, motivation, sales and moving from the black and white world of computer code to the varying shades of grey that lie in between in the real world. It should help you steer yourself and your team through the new challenges of leadership.
And don’t forget, techies can rule the world, but only if they get out of their basements and start inspiring and proactively managing and leading. It’s time to learn some new skills, please keep reading…