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Tech Leaders are in charge of the development of their teams but, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of small details which you have to maximize if you want to be the best one and become a leader of leaders. Understanding every single level of the hierarchy vertically (Hard skills) and horizontally (Soft Skills) will give you a better vision of what your company needs.
It’s useful to have an overview of the different skills needed to stand out as a leader in tech.
The roles that any Tech Leader should understand
The requirements to have a good development of each role are different. That’s why having an eagle perspective will make you a better leader. Based on different job descriptions, you can define a growth path that requires each step to get there.
We used different filters to really understand what defines every role and what you need to be in the next one. The skills and responsibilities are in constant change, being able to develop yourself all the time will make you be ahead. The roles and some of the key skillsthat you need to have on each step of your career are the following:
Still technical: involved in development/infrastructure. You are a reference for the engineers: asking for best coding practices / agile methodologies. Training/mentoring/supporting the team, you need to spread the knowledge so communication skills start to become relevant.
Leadership: inspiration. Team management: you are now responsible for building and improving the team, hiring processes, and personal development. Accountability: KPIs. Cooperation/partnering with Stakeholders.
Head of Engineering
Decision-maker. Multidisciplinary teams. Leading leaders. Technical direction. Vision and strategy. Stakeholders are your team now.
Strategy: Good planning skills to go from A to B. Financial planning: Vision of future. Ownership Scale: how to grow the business faster.
Business skills to maximize benefits and minimize losses. Communication: Any CTO needs to have great speaking skills. Hiring, the best.
All the skills I mentioned are important, also we found that the great gap in the tech industry with the leaders is in how all these roles manage their Soft Skills and for sure to keep it, Tech Leaders need to keep motivated and inspired.
Do you need some inspiration? I let you here some exercises with questions that you can make to yourself:
- *What do you admire most from the managers that did it well in your career?
- What did they do differently that made the difference?
- What did you do that made the difference as a leader?
Answer them and see how you feel!*
The four big areas of any Tech Leader
These areas are not probably for entry levels, they are made for people who are already on the way to become CTO or Tech Leader. At some point in your career to accomplish this, you need to focus on more than one skill to get a balanced mindset, the more range of perspective you have, the better will be the views (and we all love views). Applying this Tech Leadership’s skills framework will make you be on the top.
These are the fields you need to take care of: 1.- Domain: Every single type of company has a different business logic. Understanding a domain will be crucial to make good foundations. The experience and your effort will give you an advantage over the rest.
2.- Knowledge: Being an expert in some software engineering areas is part of any good Leader. Being able to comprehend technical problems will make your company go from A to B Faster. Remember, knowledge is power.
3.- Hard Skills: To cover the whole life cycle of software development is important to have good planning, enough resources, and a business mindset that will make you adapt to any situation easier.
4.- Soft Skills: Without any doubt, the differential factor of a good company. Human behaviour is vital for good leadership. Understanding how any situation works will make your team feel safe, confident, and motivated.
Tech leadership Skill Framework built by Igniters (Second edition)
Domain: The bases of any building
Here is where you start your journey of the Tech Leadership’s skills framework to become an expert in a field that is really important to develop any company. The new engineers or web developers who want to become leaders need to understand that this part is important as well (like for example having good coding skills).
In this technology era, understanding the behaviour of a market is one of the keys to reaching the next level before competence. This will give you the experience but also your desire to improve. Having the philosophy of “never stop learning” will give you fruits in a long-term vision.
Knowledge: The solution to your problems
At the beginning of your career, this part will be the most intensive, every day you learn something new. While you are getting experience, you start realizing how fast you solve problems that were a nightmare before, solutions that can be teached to others.
This is where you start the journey. Loving teaches others to improve will be a good indicator of how good you can become later. It doesn’t matter if you are QA, Front-end, or Back-end developer if your mission is to make value.
In this part, you will know what are the Best practices for your daily problems and the Trends that are coming to the industry so you can know if that implementation can be good for the company.
At this point is where the processes make sense. Having knowledge about how it works, the meeting or the workflow business will be important to get a good vision.
Hard skills: The perspective that you need
The hard skills include all the technical skills that an employee needs to have to run correctly his/her task inside of the business. We differentiate 3 areas:
- Technical: Technical skills are important to understand how every situation should work. Starting from analyzing the project, knowing how the data modeling is done, or having developer skills will make you respond faster to problems of your team than in your early days you were solving by yourself.
- Business: Business skills will make a huge impact on the company if you know how to develop them. Learning languages (like English for example), how to think Agile, having a lean mindset (how to evolve fast and cheap), or knowing how to validate a product will put you and your team in a higher position compared to the market.
- Tools: In the technology world it is important to minimize the time of any task, having a good pool of tools will make your team live simpler. Using Git, The office package, Slack between others will simplify the environment. This section is where you as a Leader need to be aware of what others are doing and see if it fits in your team.
Soft Skills: The differential factor of good Tech Leaders
Soft skills are those that have to do with people.Those skills are related to sociability, they are improved with contact with other people.
For example, Leadership, Communication, Curiosity, Resilience, Critical Thinking, among others.
Soft skills are the most important skills if you want to be a good leader. Almost everyone can say what others have to do, but how many of them can motivate and inspire at the same time? A business is a constant interaction between human beings. Understanding what needs your team or having control of your emotions to even know what you want will be the key to success.
As a Lidr you need to have empathy, be creative, know how to delegate to others, even have humor (there will be times that having fun will destress your team). All these skills and more are what we discuss in Ignite Mentoring Program.
Soft skills can not be developed in just one day, they take time, patience, and a good mindset. We are the medium of the five closest people, when your team knows that you as a Tech Leader/CTO can understand their feelings and their goals will be without any doubts the engine to continue the marathon.
At Ignite, you will grab the reins of your career and give the next step. The program is made for those who want to be in the top 1%. The places are limited to assure that everyone has a good learning process. Right now there are only 11 available places.