The Role and Impact of a Technical Discipline Lead
Although the tech world evolves rapidly with new technologies emerging constantly, IT and software development is actually a long and complex process. The creation of technological solutions requires the efforts, skills and communication of innumerable people all layered together. This is why the list of members and roles involved in software development teams are actually quite long. Each member on a development team serves a crucial purpose, but this article will delve into the role and impact of a technical discipline leader.
To find out more, we went straight to a source: our technical lead, Andrei. Throughout this article, Andrei shares useful information about his duties and responsibilities as a Mobile Discipline Leader and the impact it has on the way we do business. How does his role help us to keep our high standards while delivering top solutions tailored to our customers’ needs? What is our advice for those who want to tackle similar roles?
What is a technical discipline leader?
A technical discipline leader, or Tech Lead, is the main contact and person responsible for leading development teams and aligning them towards a common technical vision or goal. In other words, they are experienced and knowledgeable developers that take on a management role.
Tech Leads are good communicators that guide teams, help to resolve conflicts or issues that arise, and have an in-depth understanding of product and customer needs. Their role is important to tech companies as they mediate technical or critical decisions, lead and empower team members, and ensure that successful products are delivered to meet customer needs.
What does the role of a technical discipline leader at Expert Network encompass?
The specific duties and responsibilities of Tech Leads can vary according to company needs. As a Tech Lead at Expert Network, Andrei’s duties and responsibilities fall into four main categories: internal management, mentorship, supporting others, and keeping up with tech updates.
1. Internal management
A part of Andrei’s responsibility as a Tech Lead is to conduct training sessions and align with other disciplines. He’s in charge of training front-end teams about React and also holds training sessions for our Full Stack .NET internship. For the latter, he presents interns with basic information related to front-end operations and introduces them to React so they can familiarize themselves with these concepts, their impact, importance, and more.
Andrei takes on a support and advisor role for most of our projects and remains constantly available to his teams. His impact as a Tech Lead is crucial here as he ensures that any arising issues are resolved quickly and products are delivered on time.
Another aspect of Andrei’s duties is to communicate closely with the company’s stakeholders. He ensures that we receive positive feedback from them and that he has a thorough understanding of their needs and requirements every step of the way. Besides this, he is also close to our teams. He supervises their activity, oversees their needs, and provides support when necessary. Through Andrei’s approach and guidance, his teammates are empowered to solve certain issues with their own abilities and he helps them to learn from mistakes so they can become autonomous.
Andrei isn’t limited to a tech role and he teaches others to do the same. Our line of work requires people skills, empathy, a global mindset and perspective on a project. In order to make improvements, we need to give business advice and provide solutions from beyond a technical standpoint. Ultimately, thinking outside the box and considering the needs of a project from multiple different angles is what separates Expert Network from other businesses. In this respect, one of Andrei’s duties is to single out key people within our teams that are capable of handling and providing both technical and soft business skills. As these members gain confidence and perfect their capabilities, they become autonomous, powerful, and efficient at what they do.
Andrei constantly interacts with his peers, observing their tech and soft skills. This enables him to conduct accurate and pertinent evaluations that help him to establish which projects, roles, and tasks are suitable to a particular person.
According to him, the greatest challenge here lies in identifying the right mentoring or teaching style to suit each individual. Everybody learns differently, so it’s essential to empathize with them and view things from their perspective in order to create a mentoring style that suits them. Although these aspects require time, they are incredibly rewarding. Andrei has been able to achieve incredible progress and results with individuals by dedicating himself to such tasks. Individuals open up more as he builds trust with them, allowing him to use the right method, style and approach to help them grow and progress rapidly. It has become a personal drive for Andrei and he dedicates himself 100% to bringing all his team members to a high level.
3. Supporting others
Our colleague emphasizes the importance of working together, being a team player, and learning from each other – working towards a collective well-being rather than for individual gain. We’ve seen the difference in how efficiently and effectively we work when we leverage the work of others because we have an impact through our shared effort.
By tapping into the knowledge and skills of our teams, we work together towards a common goal, drawing out the commitment to achieve clear results.
4. Keeping up with tech updates
Additionally, our environment encourages progressive and efficient automation, innovation with an emphasis on metrics and high-performance delivery. And DevOps incorporates them all.
But making the transition is no walk in the park, and it is an ongoing operation that delivers benefits and real value to us. Through its implementation, we save time, reduce human error, and ultimately, we bring more value to the customer.
From Andrei’s side, he is hands-on involved in planning DevOps pipelines and helping out with project automation on various projects. Even during our tech training sessions, various DevOps solutions are presented and explained so that everyone is enabled to broaden their perspective, becoming well-equipped to deal with various tasks.
Key challenges, rewards, and activities of a technical discipline leader
Based on Andrei’s experience, the key challenges, rewards, and activities of a Tech Lead at Expert Network can be summarized as such.
- Adapting to and identifying what works best for colleagues under his mentorship
- Being flexible and working on multiple projects at the same time
- Managing the Mobile Applications Discipline
- Awakening the talents and possibilities within individuals to deliver extraordinary results
- Watching others grow as they become masters in their craft
- Having his voice heard and a company-wide impact
- Helping businesses to succeed
- Mentoring, training, and workshops
- Building the front-end discipline
- Providing guidance on multiple projects
- Taking on a support and advisory role
Seven tips from the Experts
For those who want to tackle the role of a Tech Lead, here are seven tips of advice:
- Do your best to understand a client’s business so that you can grasp the needs and decisions behind a project. Sometimes the business decisions weigh heavier than the tech ones, so it’s important to be aware of them.
- Work on diverse projects. Gaining experience by tackling various new situations will help you to grow as you are forced out of your comfort zone. It’s the only way to improve and adapt. You will also identify best practices that you can apply to each future project and team.
- See the bigger picture. Being flexible is essential as you need to be able to zoom out and identify the best course of action on a project. This is necessary because the end goal is to advance the business and get the most out of a collaboration.
- Avoid getting too immersed in your point of view, or getting irritated when things don’t go your way. Communicate with management when you wish to voice your ideas or concerns, but be mindful of other points of view.
- Be patient and understanding, and learn to separate personal aspects of your life from business. This will enable you to help others fully since you will be able to actively listen to them, analyze their key strengths, discuss what is not acceptable openly and how to improve a situation. By doing so, you will know how to approach them to stimulate improvement on all levels.
- Focus on a core skill set. Rather than knowing a little about everything, be proficient at a core skill set before diversifying your tech knowledge. When you decide to expand your knowledge, focus on a basic understanding of new tech.
- Integrate with large existing codebases. Have a support system for your teammates so they can share their experiences with different integrations in projects. This way, they can learn from each other.