Tips to stay hands-on as Tech Lead/Manager

As you grow in your career from Software Engineer to Tech Lead/Manager, you spend more time in managing, reviewing code, mentoring someone so you get less time with coding.

So the question how do you stay hands-on with coding. Here are some tips you can follow,

  1. Always remember that as a hands-on manager you are suppose to solve tech debt and not ship features. Picking features would mean you end up being busy somewhere else and you risk delivery of particular feature.

  2. Instead you can pick the tasks that are not part of the core delivery of the product or do not require a consistent effort across weeks. It is almost certain you will not find that much dedicated time. If you do, your team might get blocked because of you.

  3. Don’t shy away from solving bugs, finishing documentation, fixing that typo is that code that everyone missed out on. The goal is to contribute to the areas which are easy to miss.

  4. Try not to be the 100x developer who you once were.

  5. Try to get involved in code pairing with the junior dev and let him lead the story. Guide him on better practices while you do. It will motivate him/her. He will thank you for all the guidance you will offer and you will thank him/her for reminding you how it feels to be there again. Learning and making mistakes. And how it is ok even now to just make those mistakes over and over again.

Written on January 2, 2022