By Anaïs Feb 13, 2023
In collaboration with Mikaël and Catherine

Understanding the Role of a Team Lead | Full-Stack Developer

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: we’re a long way from the small company we were back in 2018. We started off with only 3 developers and now boast 45 in a team of 83 employees.

Such significant changes in just four years required structure. We needed to create new titles and responsibilities in order to keep growing without losing control. We began by splitting the team into various departments before introducing the position of Team Lead | Full-Stack Developer, a crucial role intended to keep our projects on track!

Mikaël LeBlanc and Catherine Gaudron have agreed to share their thoughts on the matter. After all, it’s always better to get the information firsthand!

What’s the difference between a developer and a Team Lead?

Normally, we wouldn’t need to explain the role and responsibilities of a developer. At Uzinakod, they’re instrumental in ensuring the successful completion of all projects by transforming the specific needs of our clients into code, thus bringing the preferred custom solution to life.

Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers are often trained developers who alternate between coding and coaching as part of their daily responsibilities. Often in charge of a team of several developers, their goal is to lead and accompany their colleagues to ensure that ongoing projects evolve as smoothly as possible.

This role relies heavily on interpersonal skills. Team Leads are focused on progress. They’re not expected to do the job themselves, but rather to support their colleagues and push them to learn — all while keeping their aspirations in mind.

Mikaël Leblanc, Team Lead | Full-Stack Developer

A day in the life of a Team Lead

It’s not always easy to describe the day-to-day tasks of a particular job. That’s also true when it comes to Team Leads; every day is different.

In concrete terms, Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers take stock of current projects every morning to determine priorities. To do so, they review the processes that are in place and the Agile organization of each project. Of course, this includes meetings to consult their teams and check on their progress.

Other than that, Team Leads are a lot like firefighters in that they spend most of their workdays putting out fires. It sounds scary when we say it like that, but we promise that no Team Leads were ever harmed while performing their duties! That said, they must stay on the lookout for possible hitches.

We probably don’t need to tell you that unforeseen events can occur at any moment of our personal or professional lives. At Uzinakod, these often translate into unexpected challenges or late (but important) responses from clients. As you can see, it doesn’t take much to disrupt a company’s daily schedule. Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers must take it upon themselves to assess the severity of each situation and review priorities based on their observations.

Sometimes, it’s best to postpone the resolution, and they’re the only ones who can make that type of decision. On top of this, they also need to support and reassure their team by providing the best possible advice on how to weather potential storms.

And since Team Leads are technically developers, they can also spend time coding. Our very own Catherine spends about a quarter of her workday doing just that.

Requirements needed to succeed

Leadership

Catherine and Mikaël both agree that leadership is a must. Good leadership starts with a keen understanding of the link between one’s own role, the client’s needs, and the company’s objectives. Next comes the ability to accommodate team members and keep them engaged, all while maintaining a healthy and pleasant work environment.

It’s important to show interest in your colleagues and support them in their development. Team Leads are expected not only to help them with tools, hurdles, and technical questions but also to ensure that they enjoy their assigned tasks. There’s a reason why Uzinakod is known as a great place to work! 😇

Objectivity and adaptability

Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers must also be objective and adaptable. They need to have a good overview of the project at any given time and be able to put things in perspective in order to identify and assess obstacles. Furthermore, they must be prepared to deal with changes in context that may occur throughout the day.

Advanced technical expertise: a considerable asset!

Mikaël and Catherine also hold the title of Tech Lead at Uzinakod. Their extensive technical knowledge allows them to support the developers on their teams.

Keep in mind that these skills aren’t normally required for the position!

Everyday tools and interactions

At Uzinakod, Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers have the opportunity to interact with various professionals. We’re not gonna lie; we envy them for that. They get to communicate with developers, Product Owners, and even business analysts and QA experts, depending on the context.

The project manager is also one of their best allies, especially when it comes to ensuring that the project is going in the right direction or addressing more delicate issues! Thankfully, that almost never happens, knock on wood! It goes without saying that the software manager’s opinion is always welcome. Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers aren’t robots; they don’t have all the answers!

Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers mainly work with standard developer tools, such as code editors. At Uzinakod, we mostly use VS Code and Visual Studio, not to mention all the other important solutions needed to carry out a project: Jira, Azure DevOps, Chrome and Outlook! When the going gets tough, Azure tools (like the portal) always come in handy!

Team Lead role: putting out fires

Key tips to remember

Team Leads should be able to contain multiple fires at once — just like firefighters — while also providing leadership and direction, allowing their teams to deliver on their promises. They have to give themselves room for error, learn to delegate and help others in their efforts without solving problems on their behalf.

If you’re a developer and aspire to become Team Lead, you need to be proactive: take charge and see projects through to completion. It’s also important to be open to feedback from superiors. After all, we all have things we need to improve.

Finally, never forget one of the main principles: mutual help and kindness. Being willing to help others whenever possible is part of a Team Lead’s DNA.

Conclusion

As you can see, Team Leads | Full-Stack Developers are essential to the success of our projects. With a perfect overview of all our current undertakings, they manage their team with attentiveness and rigour, ultimately deciding on the best course of action. Their days are full of challenges and surprises.

So, want to join our team as a Team Lead | Full-Stack Developer? We get it! Don’t waste any time and check out our Career page.

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