Promoted From Dev to Team Lead: 8 Things They Didn't Tell Me

Three years into my software engineering career (that I was loving), a freight train hit me. I was promoted to dev team lead. This is a common trend in the engineering world - where many times the sole paths to success for excellent engineers are through management paths. However, the skills that make great developers do not always translate to great management. In fact it’s usually quite the opposite, they often hold us back from succeeding in leadership roles, and I unfortunately learned this the hard way.

This talk will expose some of the surprises and common mistakes that developers transitioning into leadership roles often face. Over the years I have compiled a list of 8 tips that I wish my engineering lead would have shared with me before I took the job. This talk will focus on things like the “superhuman mode” fallacy and knowing your limitations, how to be data-driven without being a performance tyrant, and other mistakes I myself have made in my engineering leadership roles.

Developers, if you are considering pursuing a management role, this talk will help you understand what it takes to be successful. If you are already a team lead, after this talk you’ll walk away with my personal playbook and all of my best tips for becoming a more effective leader. CTOs, VPs and Directors of Engineering will learn how to set up new managers for success as they transition from individual contributor to team lead.



Dan Lines

Dan here. A few things about me… First of all, the only thing I find more awkward than writing a bio about myself is asking someone else to write one about me. So first person it is! I’m a software ...