Technical Lead

20 Jul 2016

In mid-2016 I became tech lead of the TweetDeck team at Twitter, so I spent some time thinking about what I expect from a lead and, using that list and other brilliant resources, the behaviours and attributes I hope to exhibit.

After that came tech lead (or maybe product manager?) of the GraphQL team at Twitter, with my name on some other internal projects in a leadership role. The teams are bigger; so is the scope for success or failure. This post was edited in 2018 to reflect that change.

This post is a sort of check-list: I return to it periodically to make sure that I have recently paid some attention to everything on the list.

I’m now a Principal Software Engineer at Bulb, working on our member-facing products and on security.

What do I want from a lead?

These are things I want or expect from someone I report to or consider a “lead” relative to me:

How should I behave as a lead?

Given that list, what behaviours should I exhibit? I can’t ask more of people than I am able to do myself.

Within the team…

Outside of the team…

And, at all times, optimise for happiness.

Tech Leads and Product Managers

The GraphQL team at Twitter was a product team and I did work that I perceived to be very similar to Product Management. This is what I found myself doing:

Of course, I was also on the hook for some code but where possible I tried not to be on the critical path, or in a position where my unavailability affects others.