A Good Technical Leader


The most important thing a good leader does is to help the organization identify what it needs to do to have a large impact in a particular direction. They help the organization pick the right goals, develop a strategy to achieve those goals, break down the problem into actionable chunks by teams within the organization, mobilize teams and technology to help teams achieve that goal.


A good technical leader can deal with a high degree of technical complexity. They have good domain knowledge in their technical domain (CS, Software Design principles etc. for Software Engineers). They have the ability to understand new technical knowledge as they need it. They are excellent practitioners of this knowledge — they create systems that use this knowledge effectively and they can understand systems that are built using advanced technical knowledge.


As you grow in your career, the challenges you face become more amorphous. What to do becomes less obvious. The actions required to achieve your goals become harder to see. You see many different areas that require investment, but none of them might have immediate returns. As a leader, you need to be able to see through the ambiguity. Good leaders bring clarity so that the goals to pursue, the path to take to achieve those goals becomes clear and the team can actually deliver results.


All of us would like to invest a little and see a large return right away. You do sometimes encounter those situations. But this is not the norm. For complex problems, change takes time. Investing in an area and seeing little returns can be disheartening, but a good leader recognizes chain-linked systems and knows that completion of multiple objectives might be needed to creates good overall results.


Good leaders develop their team. They set up their team to succeed. They break down complex challenges into smaller problems that can be solved by the members of the team. They respect, listen to, understand, challenge and rely on their team members to solve particular challenges. If someone is having a hard time, they provide just enough support to help the team member solve the challenge on their own and learn. They build a strong team with strong members.



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Aishwar Muthuraman

Aishwar Muthuraman


Adventuring through life. Stories of software development, engineering, fun, and reflection.