Should Team Lead continue to code?

Being promoted from Programmer to Team Leader is not unusual. Often it is a downright desired position for some. You were trying to show your best side all the time. This special day has finally come. Today you start leading the team.

A popular question asked by any manager with coding experience is whether they should continue to code. The hardest part is to understand that you are no longer a programmer. Now you also have other responsibilities. Your day is busy with numerous meetings, scheduling for the entire team, and planning rather than execution.

Therefore, an ideal role can suddenly become something you want to avoid doing. Before accepting a promotion in a company, think about whether it is something you really want. Think about the advantages, but remember the disadvantages.

Dual role

Your task is to combine the business with the more technical part. It is almost like working in two positions at the same time. You need to be able to balance your commitment to any topic. This can result in faster burnout as you work at high speed most of the time.

Most tasks, including planning, require strong focus and concentration. In a situation of constant meetings and questions, this may be difficult.

Take care of your team

Managing people becomes your job, among other things. While you will have time to do your old, typical responsibilities, you must also keep your new commitments in mind.

It would help if you still were involved in technical matters. Without it, you may lose the trust of your team. I know there is only one side - the company side, but if the tech team feels that you are only on the business side, they may be reluctant to make the changes you will submit.

Every good leader needs to monitor the emotional state of their team members. And it’s hard to do this if you’re too busy.

There is no space for conflict avoidance

If you’ve tried to avoid conflicts throughout your career, that ends now. Your everyday life becomes resolving conflicts between team members and even expectations from customers and other teams.

People will come to you with questions and doubts. You have to be able to decide what and how to prepare. For a team, a leader who cannot clearly define his position on a given topic is immediately pushed aside.

You don’t have to stop coding (completely)

You do not have to stop coding completely. Unfortunately, it will be less than before, but if you learn to delegate tasks well, it will be a good bonus for your job.

However, to delegate well, you need to know what you can assign to whom. You will learn this if you trust the team. Then you can hold the team accountable for what it was supposed to do.

As a team leader, you can still join a code review. You can still contribute a lot of help to your teammates with coding problems. It all depends on you.

Your new mission becomes: Consult solutions, set goals (lead but not impose) and support the team, your team!

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