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Mike Rouse
Mike Rouse

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10 Traits of Highly Successful Developer Leads

To lead successful development teams, leads must also transform themselves. Consider these traits that differentiate successful development leads.

Those who are most successful exhibit ten standout characteristics. After serving as an IT developer lead for the past seven years, here are the traits that I admire the most.

No. 1: Development leads fail, but fail fast

Failing makes you human and if you’re pushing your boundaries then that’s a good thing! It means that you’re growing. Fail but don’t break down mentally so that others can support you along the way during your failures.

No. 2: Development leads communicate, communicate, communicate — especially before coding

Re-work is never good! That leads to number three.

No. 3: Development leads don't get too attached to code

I learned this one fast! After a good number of years, everyone gets attached to their code.

However, that feeling that someone's stealing something from you — let it go!

Coding is an iterative process that involves writing code and throwing it out the window. Embrace that.

No. 4: Development leads walk alone on their path

That’s how it should feel on a daily basis! This is about what you want, not what your friends or significant other may think. Get comfortable with your own thoughts.

Don't let any personal demons, fears, insecurities, or envy stop you from making intentional, and strategic choices. There is enough success for everyone to go around!

Read more: Steps I Took To Become a Developer

No. 5: Development leads keep up to date on up-skilling

Reach out to others! Whenever you need a spark then find something to drive your focus, and start learning something new!

YouTube, Udemy, and Pluralsight are some great resources. (There are many others as well). This will keep you engaged for the future and keep up-skilling for your career.

Make sure that you enjoy it today and are having fun! Tomorrow, may come the burnout and then you will have to build yourself back up again.

No. 6: Development leads choose great mentors

Choose your co-workers and mentors wisely. These are the people that will push you and give you advice for future success! Find mentors both inside and outside your company.

It’s amazing the advice that others can give that’s walked in your shoes and moved on to something more successful. Your network equals your net worth and their advice will help forge your future.

No. 7: Development leads know the start doesn't determine the outcome

Period. It doesn’t matter where you started from. I started on a farm growing up in a poor community. Developers don’t care as long as you bring value to the team!

Please keep moving and learn from others along the way. Certificate, degree, it doesn’t matter but just choose you and keep moving!

No. 8: Development leads need some positivity

For those times when you fail. Find those people who can be a beacon of light and those to whom you can give positivity to in return. They will be your rock during your career.

No. 9: Development leads know their self-worth

This will help make the imposter syndrome go away. Most software developers have two years or less experience and everyone is on their own path.

No. 10: Development leads aren't afraid of being different

Be yourself and let your light shine through. Be an authentic version of yourself and bring value to others! Help someone else succeed!

Setup a constant feedback loop and always accept constructive criticism. Share the small wins and even the defeats.

I have worked for two different Companies in my tech career. If you find a Company that gives great value personally and professionally then don’t jump just for the sake of jumping!

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