What is a Tech Lead and why is it a key role in tech projects?

What is a Tech Lead and why is it a key role in tech projects?


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Have you ever heard of a Technical Leader? If not, we're here to tell you that you are overlooking a crucial role in technological development projects. A Tech Lead is, in most cases, a software developer with extensive knowledge in the field, who leads, manages, and executes tasks that allow redirecting a project’s path.



It's a position with highly valuable responsibilities. The first step is this role's technical contribution: a Tech Leader is in charge of guiding the development team until the final goal is achieved. This is a leader who focuses on decision-making, considers the good and bad side of integrating or adding features that complement a product, and maintains order during each work stage.


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Secondly, the Tech Leader's knowledge and practicality are innate virtues that allow them to contribute to the definition and scope of the team they lead. They are fundamental support for the Team Lead, since they are able to define the acceptance criteria that guide the development of a technology-based strategy.


The Tech Lead is multifaceted: in addition to managing and guiding the project, they also organize and prioritize the necessary actions to create a technological product. Simultaneously, and as a support to their team, they take over the execution of certain programming tasks and provide solutions to problems of great importance.


What are a Tech Lead's main skills?

The profile of a tech leader is quite complete. Technical knowledge in development and programming is not all it takes, it also requires leadership skills, management, accompaniment, resolution, and the ability to work as part of a team. From their position, they maintain the stability of any type of project and seek operational gear at all costs from start to finish.


The Tech Lead's capabilities include:


Technological process facilitator

This position is responsible for "paving" the way for the rest of the team to perform with ease, saving time in the planning and execution of the different phases of the project.


Strategic Delegate

The Technical Leader is a strategist in every sense of the word. They are experts in delegating tasks and organizing the work team according to their technical capabilities and development objectives.


Resolute by nature

This role is an open book. It is the most reliable source that a team of developers can have, and has a high level of technical knowledge, so it is able to solve questions and enhance each collaborator's skills.


Powerful visionary

Their experience makes them reach unexpected horizons. The Tech Lead is able to define which technologies to use for specialized projects, what is the ideal development methodology, and how to shorten response times.


Assertive communicator

Aside from the project's technical performance, the tech leader is an intermediary between the different parties that make up the project (the client, transversal areas involved, and external suppliers, among others), seeking fluid communication and feedback that contribute during execution.


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How to become a productive Teach Lead?

Don't feel superior or cling to power

This role is known for being flexible and inspiring so that another team member can fill it over time. As a leader, he/she must share knowledge and be concerned about the growth of those who follow in their footsteps.


Stay on top of time and maintain a balance

Passion for tech development cannot interfere with leadership tasks. The Tech Lead must understand that this role involves management and organization, and it's recommended they prioritize strategic tasks and operate 30% of the time.


They work within the reality of the tech project

The main responsibility is to define the reality of the project and answer questions such as: What needs to be built? What should technical management be like? What are the time and resource constraints? What is the project context in terms of technology? These are just some of the questions that must be answered before planning the stages of the project.


Is a Tech Lead the same as a Team Lead?

This is a question that is often asked in the tech field, and the answer is that these two profiles are completely different. A Tech Lead is a developer who is in charge of leading the team while it continues to operate. Their main function is to make the products work correctly and to finish them within foreseen timeframes. 


On the other hand, a Team Lead is in charge of giving instructions, developing strategies, training, and managing the operation flow, ensuring that a specific project complies with the conditions agreed upon from the beginning. His or her position is purely instructional, completely outside the operational area.

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