You’re the Team Lead—Now What?

Whether you’re a seasoned lead developer or have just been “promoted” to the role, this collection can help you nurture an expert programming team within your organization.

Get the Most Out of Your Developers

After reading this book, you’ll understand what processes work for managing the tasks needed to turn a new feature or bug into deployable code. But success is more than just slinging code when you’re in charge, and this book covers project management and people skills you’ll need to hone. These essays touch on a variety of topics.

This book collects almost two-years worth of writings based on Chris Tankersley’s experience leading development teams. He first wrote these in his column, also named “The Dev Lead Trenches,” for php[architect] magazine. Chris’ approach to managing a group of programmers comes from the experiences only another programmer can appreciate.

His advice is grounded in an authentic concern for bringing the best out people without treating them as interchangeable cogs. He recognizes the value of well-defined, shared workflows without advocating blind adherence to bureaucratic processes. Whether you’re a seasoned lead developer or have just been “promoted” to the role, this collection can help you nurture an expert programming team within your organization. His insight will help you get the most from your team members by applying practical, real-world advice.

Click here to Read a Sample Chapter

Reorganized by Topic

This book re-organizes his essays thematically, instead of including them in chronological publication order.

  • Chapters 1–3 touch upon what the Development Lead role should entail, how to interact with others, and also defines what you should not do.
  • Chapters 4–9 look at aspects of managing what your team is tasked with, from project management advice to a workflow for turning feature or bug tickets into deployable code.
  • Chapters 10–14 deal with the personnel aspects of finding new hires, assessing individuals, and handling poor performance.
  • Chapter 15–18 tackle topics related to your team, or company, culture with advice on what contributes to a positive one and the things to avoid to prevent burnout and toxicity in your workplace.

If you’re a newly minted technical lead, start with chapter one to get your bearings. Otherwise, each chapter can stand alone if you have a specific need for help or insight.

Topics Covered

  • An overview of the primary responsibilities of a technical lead role.
  • How to listen to and understand people and why communication is a critical skill.
  • The habits and problems to avoid in your new position.
  • Finding project management tools that work for you.
  • Simple approaches to project management to stay organized.
  • How to make useful estimates for new tasks.
  • What information to collect when creating an issue ticket.
  • Issue tracking workflows that don’t get in the way.
  • Using code reviews effectively with your team.
  • How to find new programmers to hire.
  • Streamlining your onboarding processes to bring new members up to speed quickly.
  • How to evaluate job performance.
  • How to deal with problematic team members.
  • How to encourage ongoing professional development within your team.
  • Cultivating a healthy organization culture to prevent burn out.