Who is a Teamleader

Who is a Teamleader

This specialist coordinates the activities of the development team, distributes areas of responsibility, interacts with the customer, plans and organizes the training of specialists. Please note, a team leader is not a profession, but a position. The leaders of development teams are programmers-developers. In this case, the programmer is a profession, while the team leader is a position.

Communicating with the customer and organizing development for the benefit of the business

The content of this item depends on the particular organization and even on the particular team. Generally speaking, a team leader helps the development team to solve tasks. This specialist both develops himself and manages.

The team leader organizes the team's work taking into account the interests and priorities of the client, ensures that the product is aligned with the interests of the business, and monitors the team's performance in the context of business processes. The team leader's area of responsibility here overlaps at least in part with that of the project manager.

HR processes: hiring, adaptation, and training of employees

Teamleaders are involved in HR processes: hiring, adapting, and training employees. The leader plans the team's staffing needs along with HR specialists and supervisors. Teamleaders conduct and participate in interviews.

A team leader's specific hiring role depends on the size of the company. In a small organization, this specialist can handle the hiring entirely independently: searching for candidates, conducting initial and technical interviews, and so on. In larger organizations, the primary selection is done by the human resources department, and the team lead is involved in the technical interview stage.

The team lead organizes the onboarding of a new employee. He introduces the new employee to the project, the code, the tools, and the accepted standards. The team leader helps the juniors understand the business processes and the role of the developer in them. In large companies and teams, the team lead involves other developers in onboarding newcomers.

Employee training is another area of responsibility of the team leader. The team leader plans the development of newcomers and experienced specialists, monitors their progress. The leader ensures that the team as a whole and its individual members professionally meet the needs of the business.

Note, the scope of a team leader's responsibility is not limited to hard skills. A good leader pays attention to developing the soft skills of team members.

Development: coordinating the team and helping employees

A team leader does not focus solely on managerial activities. He remains a development practitioner who knows the project code and participates in the work on the project. As noted above, the team leader ensures that the product meets the customer's goals. To do this, he coordinates the activities of the team, participates in the development, including writing code if he wants and has time.

Teamleaders help other team members accomplish tasks. This point is implemented in a variety of ways, from discussing code at general meetings to individual conversations, code reviews, pair programming, and so on.

Now you know why it is important for newbies to find a common language with a team leader: the effectiveness of interaction with this person determines how the junior adapts to the team and whether he or she will be able to develop and progress.

Intermediate summary: the team lead works at the intersection of development and management. He or she ensures the team's interaction with the client and participates in the HR-processes. The team leader coordinates the programmers' work and helps them to solve the tasks. He himself participates in the development.

What requirements employers place on the candidates for the team leader position

This section describes the hard and soft skills that a candidate for the team leader position should have. As you remember, the team lead works at the intersection of development and management. Therefore, he or she must have a good knowledge of the stack and be an experienced programmer. The team leader must also be a good manager.

Here are the generalized requirements for team leader candidates. :

  • strong expertise in their stack;
  • 5 years of experience, but one company considers candidates with at least 3 years of experience;
  • experience in management positions;
  • mentoring, code review experience;
  • in several job postings, employers cite an advanced technical degree as an advantage.

Where Team Leaders Work and How Much They Earn

Technically, not all IT companies have a team leader position. Nevertheless, almost every team has an employee who plays the role of a leader. Depending on the scale and internal structure of the organization, it can be the most experienced developer, the head of department, even the technical director or CEO in small startups.

In larger companies, developers are grouped into several teams. Each team may have a formal team leader position. Companies with many teams may have a formal or informal team leader. This person supervises the team leaders.

At the end of February, employers are offering teamleaders from $2,300 to $4,900 per month. Soft skills are mentioned in almost all vacancies. The most common is the requirement to be able to communicate and organize communication between team members. Here are other soft skills that candidates should have:

  • decision-making skills;
  • Ability to teach;
  • analytical skills;
  • ability to motivate employees;
  • critical thinking.

Intermediate result: employers see the team lead position as a specialist with strong expertise in their stack. The candidate should also have management experience and the soft skills needed to lead a team.


It is possible to grow, but juniors will have to be patient

The position of Team Lead is for experienced developers who know how to manage teams. This position involves working at the intersection of programming and management. If you want to grow into a team leader position, get your hard and soft skills up, learn how to communicate with other employees, immerse yourself in the business processes, and try to understand the products you are working on.