What is a Tech Lead?

This isn't a new topic by any means, but some recent events at work brought this question to my mind. I started writing down my thoughts and doing some research on it and thought this might be a great question to ask here on dev.to!

So, what is a Tech Lead? How would you define it? What roles and responsibilities do they have? What skills should they have? Any recommendations on resources to learn more about this role?

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The list of things a Tech Lead can be is almost infinite. The list of things a Tech Lead is, in a given context, is almost always unique.

There's a great book by Pat Kua called Talking With Tech Leads that really helped me grasp the breadth and depth of the possible meanings of Tech Lead. It also really helps me in my transition from follower to leader as my career continues to unfold.

For a small injection of opinion: In my current context, a Tech Lead is a technical guidance counsellor, a conflict resolver, a crunch-time decision maker, and, above all else, an enabler for all members of the team.

Thank you for your thoughts! I've come across Pat Kua's blog and I like what he has to say about tech leads. I'll have to check out his book!

I agree that the list of what tech leads could be responsible for is almost infinite and what they actually do or are varies from company to company. Thank you for sharing your opinion on the matter! That's what I'm looking for. What do you think tech leads are? No right or wrong answers, really. Just trying to collect different viewpoints.

Thanks again for sharing!

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John Van Wagenen
Agile Development Manager at MasterControl. Undergrad from Utah State. Currently working on Master's from Georgia Tech.
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