I’ve recently taken on a technical lead role at Twitter, looking after the frontend team of TweetDeck.
As an exercise for myself I wrote down what I expect from a lead and, using that list and other great resources, the behaviours and attributes I hope to exhibit.
To keep me honest, here there are. Team, if you’re reading: hold me to this!
What do I want from a lead?
- Clear explanation of why we’re doing something
- Ownership where necessary with clarity on responsibilities and expectations
- Team advocacy, selling us and sharing our work
- Documented processes with justification
- Space to become expert in something
How should I behave as a lead?
- Actively communicate with other teams about blockers
- Watch relevant mailing lists for changes that affect the team
- Be as explicit and transparent as possible about project dependencies
- Run focused, regular project meetings with a clear structure so people know what to expect
- Be explicit and transparent about project management process by documenting them
- Trust the team to deliver when responsibility and ownership are given
- Be ready to explain why about anything, and able to say I don’t know
- Sell and share the team and their work
- Advocate for open-source and external sharing
- Give the team space to become expert
- Challenge the team to solve problems in the way they want
- Encourage quantifiable, short and long-term goals
- Optimise for happiness in the team