In order for a business to be successful, the engineers and the business must be able to work together. This is where the role of the technical leader comes in. A tech lead bridges the gap between engineering and business, guiding the team towards a shared goal. However, being a tech lead is far more than just managing people. There are unique skills that are required for a DevOps/SRE tech lead role.
As a technical leader, you will need to have strong technical expertise as well as non-technical skills. These non-technical skills include communicating effectively, fostering consensus, and thinking big-picture. With these skills, you will be able to provide on-keyboard impact and guide your team to success! If you are interested in learning more about the role of the technical leader, or if you are looking for tips on how to be a successful technical leader, then this blog post is for you!
Before considering promoting or hiring for the tech leadership role, it is important to mention that not every engineer may want to move into management. Many engineers prefer to stay close to the code.
There is also a persistent misconception that stepping into a management role is the only way to progress. As Camille Fournier states in this article, “[…], great engineers really shouldn’t need to manage large teams to get promoted, and companies lose out on a critical skillset when they push all of their good engineers into management.”
Critical Skills for Technical Leaders
The role of the technical leader is to manage engineers and business for success.
The technical leader must have a combination of strong technical skills and non-technical abilities. These non-technical skills include but are not limited to:
The ability to communicate effectively: The technical leader must be able to communicate with different stakeholders, from engineers to senior management. This includes the ability to explain technical concepts in a way that is easy to understand.
Technical empathy: The technical leader must be able to understand the challenges that engineers face on a daily basis. They must be able to put themselves in another person’s shoes and see things from their perspective.
Large-scale thinking: The technical leader must be able to see the big picture and understand how decisions will impact the team and the business.
Fostering consensus: The technical leader must be able to bring people together and help them reach an agreement. This includes being able to mediate conflicts and provide guidance when needed.
Growth mindset: The technical leader must be willing to learn new things and grow their skillset. This includes being open to feedback and continuously improving their abilities. The technical leader must be open to new ideas and willing to experiment.
These skills are essential for the technical leader role. With these skills, you will be able to provide on-keyboard impact and guide your team to success!
Do you have what it takes to be a technical leader? Are you interested in hiring for this role? If so, then connect with us here.