You might be considering stepping onto the leadership path, but like Shawn you may be unsure about whether you should or not. In this article, we’ll explore some good reasons to step into a leadership role and a few not-so-good ones.
The more universal a solution someone claims to have to whatever software engineering problem exists, and the more confident they are that it is a fully generalized solution, the more you should question them. The more specific and contingent the advice – the more someone says ‘it depends’ or ‘YourSQL works well in a read-heavy context with the following constraints’ the more likely they are to be leading you in the right direction. At least that’s what I have found.
If you are a leader, you have a responsibility not just to your firm but to the people who work within it. Help your colleagues to achieve their full potential, but do not allow yourself to exacerbate and exploit their insecurities. And remember that your ultimate “duty of care” is to yourself.
Often they have not even bothered to do basic troubleshooting, things like read the documentation on what the error message is attempting to tell you. Sometimes I don’t even get an error message in these reports, just a development saying “this page doesn’t load for me now but it did before”.
Different software development teams do things quite differently. Even within a single company, many of the variables can vary from team to team. As a software engineer, it is usually very exciting to start working with new people and on new software. On a personal note, I recently have started with a new team and on new (to me) software. Because this isn’t a regular or frequent occurrence, I took the opportunity to really think about things that I needed to learn in the short term.
Hygiene factors are essential for the existence of motivation in the workplace. They are extrinsic. If the job basics are not in place, employees are dissatisfied and frustrated. Hygiene factors are often associated with rewards or avoiding punishment.
To some extent nothing really changed in my daily activities: even before getting the title, I was already reviewing code, assigning tasks and taking care of supporting and coaching my team mates. On the other hand, a lot changed in the perception of my role in the team and in the expectations I had from being a Tech Lead.
What is common in just about every career is that making the jump from Manager to Director is really hard. In my experience it demands the biggest fundamental shift in skillset of any of the career levels.
Being held to account for our decisions, actions, and results can drive high performance. It helps clarifies our commitments, increases our diligence, and improves our self-awareness.
Stop normalizing stress, overworking, and burnout and take your vacation already!