What in the World is a Technical Team Lead?

TeamIn a few months, I’ll be giving a presentation about what it means to be a professional, technical team lead. This post might be considered a bit of a teaser for that presentation. I think for now I’ll just focus on a definition.

First of all, there’s no single definition. The roles and responsibilities of a technical team lead vary greatly between organizations, so what you are about to read is purely based on my own experiences and opinions. I know you may disagree, and I encourage you to start a congenial conversation in the comments.

Since there is no one right way to define a technical team lead, I think I will communicate my point most effectively by description instead of definition.

A Professional, Technical Team Lead is…

  • …skilled and knowledgeable, so that they can guide and correct their team on technical matters
  • …experienced, so that they can quickly recognize preeminent concerns and offer tested methods of mitigation
  • …honest, open and reliable, to remove doubt from any statements or promises they make
  • …able to effectively communicate with business users, in order to offer technical advice and properly interpret business needs in the context of the implementation
  • …invested in delivering quality output that exceeds the business needs
  • …concerned for the individual fulfillment and long-term career goals of their team members
  • …constantly practicing and improving their skills
  • …many more things

This is just a partial list to give you an idea of how I would describe a professional, technical team lead. What are the attributes that come to mind when you think of a good technical team lead?

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