Teams Deliver Solutions, Leads Deliver Teams

Technical leads find themselves thrust into unfamiliar territory. As coders, their job had been to implement and deliver solutions using code. When becoming a Lead, they often have minimal guidance and little past experience, so they fall back into habits they know.

Maybe they place themselves on the critical path, overworking to deliver correctly while the rest of the team idles rudderless. Maybe they become petty dictators, micro-managing every pull request and nothing ships. Maybe they idealize and resolve to "do it right this time", belligerently arguing with peers while no one understands what the team should do. Maybe they rail against "the bosses", isolating the team while the project is quietly shelved.

In the past, I've followed versions of each of these paths. This talk explores that history so others don't have to repeat it. Through a dissection of these failures, I have realized that a lead works to build the team not the solution. They are no longer the lead actor in the team's production. This talk tells the stories of my failures and ultimate success.