Grow your own tech leads
Great technical leaders don't grow on trees - but they can be grown in-house all the same. This can be an important source of opportunity, learning and satisfaction for team members, and dramatically improve retention. However, there are specific things that can be done to make this process smoother - and a multitude of ways to make it fail. There is a real and underappreciated art not just to being a great technical leader, but giving new ones the tools, the space -- and the constraints -- they need to thrive.
We'll look at the ways that architects, tech leads and managers can succeed or fail to help grow new technical leaders without excluding underrepresented folks, and a raft of actionable ideas for aspiring tech leads to take on board.
Outline/Structure of the Talk
The talk will employ a two-pronged approach, to be useful to both developers hoping to grow, and senior types hoping to grow them. I'll drive the presentation from the point of view of the aspiring tech lead, exploring skills they need to develop, and then what senior people can do to foster them. Negative examples will also be given, where the aspiring tech lead has unhelpful habits, and what senior mentors can do to set them up for success.
These examples will also tackle unconscious bias throughout, and how the techniques discussed might encourage or discourage women or other minorities in tech.
I'll either use the ambiguous pronoun "they/them" throughout, or alternate genders in the case studies.
- Aspirational developers should leave with new ideas for how to grow their skills and careers
- Tech leads, architects and managers should leave with new ideas for how to foster the next generation of technical leaders.
Developers aspiring to grow, technical leads, architects, managers