The role of Lead Developer requires a real mix of technical and soft skills. And it’s a vital role in the company; one that demands taking responsibility for technology, strong communication skills with team members, and a genuine insight into the world of big business.
A Lead Developer is charged with getting the most out of a motivated tech team but also spends around half of his or her time programming. This is particularly important as it gives an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of the technology and allows the Lead to look for new solutions and improve the application. The hands-on Lead Developer can also better assess how the software can bring genuine business value to clients. He or she is a communication hub, working with the team and client, but also with Project Managers and Tribe Masters and the Sales team.
Let’s dig into some details about how this crucial role looks.
Freedom, responsibility, and a great deal of satisfaction
“The role of the Lead Developer involves responsibility towards your team and the outcome. When all goes well, it is very gratifying, but the nature of some projects and clients can make it stressful along the way. Of course, as a Lead Developer, you decide what the project will look like in terms of technology. You make all decisions about architecture and then check that they are implemented. The great freedom is that you decide how you will lead the project, how it will work in the maintenance phase, and whether it will come to production.”– Jakub Płaskonka, Lead PHP Developer at Divante.
In Divante, unlike in some companies in which they only focus one code review and workflows, the Lead Developer is a technical liaison for the client. They attend meetings and keep the client up to date with the technical details that the Project Manager cannot cover. This can give a lot of satisfaction but might also be demanding at first.
“Liaising with clients is one of the most important competencies of the Lead Developer in Divante. Talking directly to people who use your solutions can be very satisfying but it’s a challenge, at first, if you have no experience working directly with clients. We try to work closely; there are projects where we meet on a daily basis. This also requires a particular way of working. You need to be open to compromise and understand a business client’s perspective. Fortunately, at Divante, it’s something you learn very quickly.”– Marcin Grzesiek, Project Manager Team Leader at the Custom Solutions Tribe at Divante.
When working with clients, the Lead Developer must be able to communicate technically complex information so that a non-technical person can understand. What’s more, when working with corporate clients, there may be a number of stakeholders on the client’s side, each of which will have a different level of knowledge and a different perspective on your work. In order for the project to be successful, you need them all on board, and that means understanding the motivations and expectations of each person and having the right arguments to convince them of the decisions that are being made.
“My role has helped me to learn how to communicate with different people at different levels. I’ve gained some valuable experience and an insight into the world of big business. Sitting at my desk all the time, only with my team and my code, I wouldn’t be able to develop myself in such vital ways.”– Jakub Płaskonka.
Excellent communication is key to being a good leader
Successful Lead Developers can inspire others to work productively and are an example of a good work ethic. They can solve complex problems, which often go beyond their competences. They make decisions but also help team members to grow and learn. All of this is only possible when you communicate well with others.
In Divante, a Lead Developer should be able to balance his or her role as a leader in the team. As the person who often has the most experience in a project, it’s natural for the Lead Dev to make decisions. It’s also important to involve others in the project so that the whole team takes responsibility for the result, for sprints, and for delivering tasks. Excellent communication skills are crucial to achieving success.
“While working on the project, we are doing two things simultaneously: delivering what the client wants and building our own competences as a team. We want to implement good practices and reuse them in future. Over time, candidates for new Lead Developers appear naturally. It is crucial for us that Lead Developers have such a perspective on human development.”– Marcin Grzesiek.
Is it worth furthering your career as a Lead Developer in Divante?
First of all, careers in Divante can move fast for engaged and capable people. Jakub Płaskonka started as a Junior Developer but, in just 18 months, he was promoted to Senior Developer and then the Lead Developer.
A Lead Developer in Divante has contact with every element of the project: from the sales lead to completion and production. Each contact point is an opportunity for self-development and learning something new.
Bruno Ramalho has been working with PHP for about eight years. He joined Divante just over a year ago.
“Before, I worked for product companies, so this is my first time in a software house. In my previous job, I was working with the same code for more than three years; I knew the project from one end to the other end. You have much more diversity in Divante. You can learn in different areas: from technology to contact with business clients. It’s exciting, inspiring, and demanding.”– Bruno Ramalho, Team Leader at Custom Solutions Tribe at Divante.
Last but not least, Divante works in the tribes model. It’s a structure that has helped the company grow and build an agile, modern organization, without losing its DNA and atmosphere.
It also brings a lot of benefits for employees. It combines all the good aspects of working in a small company, including a start-up culture, with the advantages of working in a large, stable organization. It gives greater autonomy, increases motivation, and makes work fun.
“We have a significant influence on how our tribe works. Even a new person can immediately propose an interesting idea on how to manage projects or our tribe. In just a few days, it can have a real impact on our processes and how our tribe develops. This is not possible in a corporation.”– Jakub Płaskonka.
We are hiring
Divante is currently looking for a Lead PHP Developer who will join the Custom Solutions Tribe—an extraordinary team of Project Managers, Developers, Testers, and Business Analysts. This bold crew works on projects with technologies like PHP, Symfony, Python, and Pimcore. They also plan to move into Machine Learning.
Do you want to use your technical and soft skills at the same time? Check out our offer and drop us a message.