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Lucy Oleschuk
Level 31

What a Technical Lead Does and How Perspective This Role Is: A Quick Guide to the Profession

Published in the Random group
If you believe that at some point in your software development career, you may want to opt for more, a tech lead may be an excellent choice. Becoming a technical lead can help you showcase your passion for tech and your management skills while guiding innovation within your team. In this article, we give a brief overview of a technical lead position, salaries, and demand, as well as break down the responsibilities and requirements for this role. Also, we discuss the steps you can take to become a tech lead. What a Technical Lead Does and How Perspective This Role Is: A Quick Guide to the Profession - 1

Who is a technical lead?

A technical lead is a professional in the field of technology who takes on a leadership role within a team or project. Tech leads typically work within software development or software engineering teams, where they troubleshoot technical issues and supervise product releases. In addition, technical leads often make critical decisions related to architecture, design, and technology choices. That’s why they need to have a deep understanding of the technical challenges associated with the project. Beyond technical skills, a technical lead is responsible for guiding and leading a team of software developers or engineers. This involves providing mentorship, setting technical direction, and ensuring that team members follow best practices. So, we can conclude that tech leads work in both a technical capacity and a leadership position.
“Inspiring team members to grow and writing high-quality code — are the main requirements of a tech leader.”Najla Said, an IBM Cloud Data Science Team Manager

Key job responsibilities of a tech lead include:

  • Analyzing users' needs and then finding solutions.
  • Establishing project specifications and tech direction, and then creating end goals for the team.
  • Planning and prioritizing work.
  • Hiring and training team members.
  • Creating a framework of technical standards and procedures.
  • Collaborating with the team to identify and fix tech problems.
  • Checking software quality and system modifications.
  • Making sure software and apps are updated.
  • Supervising system modifications.
  • Analyzing existing operations to identify risks and bugs.
  • Conducting security audits to identify areas of improvement.
  • Guiding the team members through troubleshooting technical issues.
  • Conducting comprehensive assessments to develop solutions.
  • Communicating status updates to other teams.
  • Ensuring the team is performing well.
  • Mentoring team members.
In other words, tech leads set the technical direction of the project and make sure everything goes smoothly, tackling any issues that may arise midway.

With whom do tech leads work?

Team leads collaborate closely with product owners — tech leads focus on technical development, whereas product owners focus on overall product development. Together, they set the project's direction and end goals. Besides the team lead and product owner, the essential members of most teams are:
  • Project managers.
  • Software developers.
  • Quality assurance engineers.
  • Software testers.
  • UX/UI designers.

What are technical lead salary and demand?

The demand for including technical leads has been consistently high for the last decade. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for tech leads and similar managing positions is expected to grow by 15% between 2022 and 2032. This rate of growth is much faster than average, and we can expect approximately 46,900 openings for managing tech roles each year in the US alone. As for now, Indeed lists about 27,000 tech lead jobs in the US. According to Glassdoor, the estimated total pay for a tech lead is $171,540 per year in the US, with an annual average salary of $131,447.

What are the main skills tech leads need to possess?

As a tech lead is a team leader, developer, and architect all in one, they need to combine both technical expertise and leadership abilities.

Technical skills:

  • Programming languages. Proficiency in the programming languages relevant to the project or team, such as Java, Python, JavaScript, C#, etc.
  • System architecture. Understanding of software architecture principles and the ability to contribute to the design and implementation of system architecture.
  • Database management. Knowledge of database systems and data modeling.
  • Web development. Familiarity with web development technologies, frameworks, and tools will be an advantage.
  • Source control. Experience with version control systems like Git.
  • Testing and QA. Knowledge of software testing principles and practices.
  • DevOps. Understanding of DevOps practices, continuous integration, and continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipelines.
  • Cloud computing. Familiarity with cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure, GCP) and cloud services.
  • Troubleshooting. Strong troubleshooting and debugging skills.
  • Security. Awareness of security best practices and the ability to implement security measures.

Soft skills:

  • Communication. Excellent communication skills to convey technical concepts to both technical and non-technical stakeholders.
  • Team collaboration. Ability to work collaboratively with cross-functional teams and foster a positive team culture.
  • Mentorship. Ability to mentor and coach team members, fostering their professional development.
  • Decision-making skills to balance technical considerations, project requirements, and team dynamics.
  • Project management. Understanding of project management principles and the ability to contribute to project planning and execution.
  • Flexibility and adaptability to changing project requirements and evolving technologies.
  • Strong problem-solving skills, both in technical and interpersonal contexts.
  • Effective time management to meet project deadlines and priorities.
  • Strategic thinking to be able to align technical decisions with overall business and strategic goals.
In a word, a successful tech lead is someone who can seamlessly integrate technical expertise with leadership skills to boost the success of both the team and the project.

How can you become a tech lead with CodeGym?

Take note that a tech lead isn’t an entry-level role, and you can’t become a tech lead right after completing the course. On average, tech leads need 5+ years of experience in the field, during which they have the ability to hone their programming knowledge and build interpersonal skills as well. Building a robust technical foundation is crucial for future technical leaders, and CodeGym can equip you with knowledge in essential concepts like object-oriented programming, data structures, algorithms, databases, frameworks, and problem-solving techniques. The course covers fundamental programming principles and key development practices in Java.


So, what is a tech lead? A tech lead is a talented software developer/engineer who is willing to boost tech, communication, and coaching skills. Experience in tech and strong leadership skills are the top things that can help you progress in this role. By enrolling in the CodeGym course, you can not only gain practical programming skills but also develop the mindset required for effective technical leadership. Whether you're a seasoned developer looking to advance your skills or someone considering a future as a technical lead, CodeGym may provide you with the necessary tools and knowledge to pave the way for success.