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Be a techlead

How is to be a techlead, based on the work from Dan Abel, Gerald Weinberg and Sam Newman.

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Be a techlead

  1. 1. L A A w a y D a y 2 0 1 4 BE A TECH LEAD (Ricardo) Caval rcaval@thoughtworks.com
  2. 2. MY JOURNEY 䡦 Became tech lead o my first job 䡦 By accident, was a small startup (5 people, 3 devs) 䡦 At Thoughtworks 䡦 Dev and then Tech lead at a project for a Large Energy Company 䡦 Tech lead in a project for a Brazilian communication company 䡦 Dev at Large Retail Enterprise 䡦 Currently Tech lead at a project for the Large Retail Enterprise 2
  3. 3. She has the technical delivery responsibility of the project. 3 WHAT IS A TECH LEAD’S RESPONSABILITY?
  4. 4. Wait, wasn’t this a non-technical talk? 4
  5. 5. ROLE OF A TECH LEAD AT THOUGHTWORKS [1] Based on Sam Newman’s Tech Lead Manifesto [2] 䡦 Clear and consistent technical vision 䡦 Successful project 䡦 Team, proper understanding 䡦 Gain trust and build relationship 䡦 Unbiased technical decision 䡦 Resolve issues [where the] code deviates 䡦 Project management and risk management 䡦 Influence decision 䡦 Environment in which all members 5 can contribute 䡦 Cross-functional requirement 䡦 Maintain accountability 䡦 Bring pragmatism 䡦 Address skill gaps 䡦 Grow the next tech lead
  6. 6. HOW DOES A TECH LEAD ACCOMPLISH ITS JOB? 䡦 Leadership 䡦 Facilitation 䡦 Mentoring & Coaching 䡦 Empowerment 䡦 Removing Blockers 6
  7. 7. TECH LEAD SKILLSET 100% 75% 50% 25% 0% 7 Non-Tech Tech
  9. 9. 9
  10. 10. ENGAGING WITH YOUR TEAM 䡦 Ensure safety 䡦 Facilitate Technical Discussion 䡦 And address conflict 䡦 Defines and demonstrates ‘good’ 䡦 On boarding 䡦 Delegation & chorus 䡦 Leading and building people 10
  11. 11. DELEGATION 11 The Skill/Will Matrix Low Skill High Skill High Will Low Will GUIDE DELEGATE* DIRECT EXCITE
  12. 12. Problem-solving leaders are well aware that not every idea is useful for every problem, but they are even more aware that every person is useful. 12 FACILITATION
  13. 13. Leading the process is responsive to people, giving them choices and leaving them in control. They are empowered in much the same way a gardener empowers seeds—not by forcing them to grow, but by tapping the power that lies dormant within them. 13 LEADING AND BUILDING PEOPLE
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  15. 15. ARCHITECTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE 䡦 Governance 䡦 Think strategically, Set expectations 䡦 Draw the big picture 䡦 Back to the basics, SOLID, DDD 䡦 Coding 䡦 Peer review and Pairing 䡦 Ensure quality 䡦 Identify tech debt 䡦 Ask the team for pain points 15
  16. 16. ARCHITECTURE AND INFRASTRUCTURE 䡦 Structures emerging design 䡦 No-design --- Enough-design --- BDUF 䡦 Discuss design, gather tech feedback 䡦 Vision & Metaphor 䡦 Identify CFRs 䡦 Removes moral hazards 䡦 Prevent isolated rogue members 䡦 Raise the awareness of real world usage of the system 䡦 Release It!, by Michael Nygard 16
  17. 17. A TECH LEAD SHOUDN’T 䡦 Necessarily be the best at everything 䡦 Write no code 䡦 Write all the hard code 䡦 Tell everyone what to do 17
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  19. 19. MANAGING DELIVERY AND RISK 䡦 Risk Identification and Analysis 䡦 Spike the unknown, prove theories 䡦 Risk Mitigation 䡦 React quick and embrace change, rather than be protective 䡦 Continuous Delivery 䡦 KISS 䡦 Jidoka 19
  20. 20. MANAGING DELIVERY AND RISK 䡦 Prioritization 䡦 Manage Technical Debt 䡦 New debt is easier 䡦 Trust and Reputation High$ 䡦 Communicate and over communicate 䡦 Highlight successes 䡦 Don’t deny mistakes, talk about what is being done to fix 20 The$Urgent/Important$ Matrix$ Important Goals Critical Activities Distractions Interruptions Low$ Low$ Urgency High$ Importance "What$is$important$is$seldom$urgent$and$what$is$urgent$is$ seldom$important."$$ =Eisenhower$
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  22. 22. ENGAGING WITH THE BUSINESS 䡦 Technical Point of Contact 䡦 Reporting 䡦 Frequent Communication with Seniors 䡦 Peer to to Product Owner, Project Manager and other leads 䡦 Domain Knowledge 22
  23. 23. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 䡦 But I’m not a manager/appointed leader 䡦 Best working groups are those in which leadership comes from everybody 䡦 Appointed leaders is the most likely to break down, because of pressure 䡦 But I’m not the Leadership type 䡦 Lead by innovation, instead of by motivation or organization 23
  24. 24. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS 䡦 I’m loosing my technical skills 䡦 It’s hard to let go of coding and pairing 䡦 Leadership balances motivation, organisation and innovation 䡦 It is a trade-off: Technical/innovative skills give place to motivational and organisational skills 䡦 I don’t want to be all days in meetings 䡦 It also represents the opportunity to influence decisions and direction 24
  25. 25. OBRIGADO! 25
  26. 26. REFERENCES 䡦 [1] Role of a Tech Lead 䡦 [2] Sam Newman’s Tech lead Manifesto 䡦 [2] Dan Abel’s Well Rounded Tech lead series 䡦 [4] Becoming a Technical Leader, Gerald Weinberg