Tech Lead Workshop

What is it?

This Tech Lead workshop is a course for Tech Leads by Tech Leads. This course focuses on technical leadership skills​ for Tech Leads through discussion, theory and practical exercises opposed to general leadership skills​ for Tech Leads. We explore the unique combination of skills and experiences that distinguish a “Tech Lead” from a “Leader working in a technical environment.”

Who’s it for?

A combination between a developer about to lead their first development team, or a Tech Lead for an existing team. This course will be most useful for those with the opportunity to apply their learnings immediately, or to experiences they can relate to.

What will participant’s learn?

  • What the breadth of the Tech Lead role encompasses
  • Why the Tech Lead role is necessary
  • What makes the Tech Lead unique from other leadership roles
  • What a Technical Vision is and how to shepherd a team towards a Technical Vision
  • Why Cross Functional Requirements matter
  • How to identify and manage Cross Functional Requirements
  • How to manage path to production tasks and resources
  • How to manage technical risks
  • Why relationships matter and how a Tech Lead builds and maintains good relationships with technical and non-technical people
  • Different influencing styles
  • How to navigate conflict and find a way forward

Participants will leave the course with a clearer understanding of the role, new tools and mental models for handling Tech Lead responsibilities, experience applying some of these tools with feedback and a network of other Tech Leads to connect with.

What background should participants have?

Participants will have had some experience working on a variety of teams, possibly tried facilitating several meetings and has had some experience with different parts of the software lifecycle (e.g. story writing, build and release infrastructure, development and test, release and/or iteration planning and production support). Ideally they have played a leadership role for at least one team, however even experienced Tech Leads will learns something from this course.

What have other’s said about it?

  • “Information was very relevant and useful” – QCon Tutorial Attendee, San Francisco
  • “The course really helped me develop in my role as a Tech Lead” – J. Thoenes, EU4T Attendee
  • “I found you and your course both engaging and inspiring, and I would recommend any potential – or current – tech lead to grab the opportunity to attend if it becomes available to them.” – G. Crawford, Glasgow Attendee
  • “It was great to attend the session and some of the tips shared are very helpful and I use it during my regular work” – P. Fernandes, London Attendee
  • “The training together gave me a better understanding of the role.” – L. Minudel London Attendee
  • “The positive for me was meeting and connecting with people [in a similar role].” – J Gumbley, Attendee
  • “Today was as awesome as expected!” – C. Cintra, Head of Learning and Development, Brazil

How it will be delivered?

The course runs over two full days using a combination of training techniques that includes presentation, discussion, video, interactive exercises and storytelling. It is assumed all participants will be co-located to maximise the discussion, storytelling and relationship building opportunities and learning experience.

Alternative formats are also possible in consultation including a shorter/less comprehensive 1-day session, or a half-day (over actual days) format​.

Below is an indicative timetable of how the course runs.

Day 1 Day 2
9:00 Introduction
Hopes & Concerns
Your view of a Tech Lead
Tech Lead Models
Geek’s Guide to Leading Teams
Learnings from Day 1
Path to Production
Technical Risk Management
12:30 Lunch Lunch
13:30 Cross Functional Requirements (CFRs)
Technical Vision
Influencing
Conflict Resolution
Action Plan Exercise
Hopes and Concerns Recap
Retrospective
17:00 Wrap Up Wrap Up

What do you require to run the course?

The course requires a training room complete with:

  • Projector + Screen or Large TV/Monitor
  • Sound system (e.g. Portable Speaker or Stereo System)
  • 2 x Flip charts (with at least 30 pages – 3M sticky flipcharts preferred)
  • Space to hang flip charts around the wall
  • Moveable tables/chairs (ideally Cabaret-style table seating to facilitate group discussion and group work) or as shown below
Cabaret Style Room Layout for 15 people

Anything else I should know?

  • Size – This course is best run with 10-20 people. 10 people recommended minimum due to interactive and discussion format. 20 people is recommended maximum. Group work, discussion and role play form part of the training, and is less effective when the group is too small or too large. If you have less than the recommended size, you may want to look at the Tech Lead Course Availability page for public workshops where individuals can join.
  • Background – A mix of experiences is best to share lots of different stories (inexperienced + semi-experienced Tech Leads). Even those who have been a Tech Lead for a long time has been very useful for them because they rarely get to think and reflect on this
  • Project – People from the same/different project/company doesn’t make a really big difference between to the course – both options brings different perspectives.

I’m interested. What next?

Right now, this course is offered to companies who are interested in having this training run on-site. If you are an individual, looking for this content, please raise this with your management and HR/People team to see if you can organise this for your company.

If you’re looking at organising this for your team/organisation, please get in contact with me, tell me more about your situation and what you’re looking for. For current availability, please look at Tech Lead Course Availability for the latest updates.

Can I join as an individual or small group?

This workshop includes many discussions and exercises that require a minimum number of people. Most courses are organised on-demand for a particular company. However a modified version is sometimes offered as a public workshop where individuals or a small group can join in. Please look at the Tech Lead Course Availability for the latest updates.