About Me

I am a computer programmer. I do programming professionally and for a laugh.

Technical stuff on programming, java, DSLs, etc...

Friday, 1 August 2014

Traits of a good team leader

Having worked in quite a few teams and led some, here is my incomplete best of list;

Manage the team as well as the task in hand; Obvious but most overlooked aspect of team leading. Teams change and evolve. Work changes, people change, their opinions change. Leading the team means actively managing the team dynamics as well as the task in hand. Talk to people move them around, get involved.

Lead by example; Team leader should simply be a well respected programmer. It is not easy to get the best programmer in the bunch to lead the team. Some are simply not interested but team leading is not a job just for the asking or a matter of seniority.

Keep it real; Programmers are usually well educated and very clever. They have sophisticated bs detectors. Peep talks don't work. Timelines should be realistic, targets should be achievable. A solid plan is easier to deal with mentally. Lack of a plausible action plan leads to low mojo.

Be approachable; Team leaders should spend a good deal of their time to help/lead team members. When someone asks for help, be it code review or a bit of pair programming, it should be the first priority.

Delegate appropriately; Distribution of tasks is an important part of team leading. Agile environments make it a bit easier with user stories and tasks but every team member should mostly know what she is doing and should feel appropriately responsible for the outcome.

Don't just pass on; Filtering is a primary management function and works top down as well as bottom up. So don't pass on all the management pressure to the team members.

1 comment: