re: What's The Difference Between A Senior And Lead Developer? VIEW POST


I think it's important to add additional items to senior engineer:

  • Self-starting. Will advance their work independently, once they understand the requirements. (Holds themselves accountable).
  • Helps identify and avoid issues with the requirements they are given. Won't build something that won't work just because someone tells them to.

One other addition I think is that a lead engineer doesn't have to be everything that a senior engineer is. I have less talented engineers managing more senior people who just want to do technical work. Obviously lead engineers can't be totally green but you box yourself in as a manager if the most talented people technically are the only ones who can manage a team of engineers.


Def. agree.

I agree that a lead developer doesn't necessarily need to be the best technically. But, usually, lead developers are expected to take on some pretty important fundamental architectural design up-front.

That implies a certain level of skill and experience.

It also helps if they are technically competent in order to build trust as a leader. No one wants to follow someone whose job is to direct the team in technical matters but himself isn't competent.

But that just qualifies your point a bit more.

Sometimes you have devs who are really skilled technically but wouldn't make good leaders. But I don't think the opposite would be true - specifically for a lead developer - since trust and respect need to be present. Part of that, again, is to be lead by someone who can actually make the right choices on technical matters and be a good mentor in technical matters.

Thanks for the extra points Steve!

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