‘A’-level software development leads aren’t the people who write the best code.
That’s an ‘A’-level senior software developer.
No, the best development lead is someone who can take mediocre or junior developers and have them perform at a level that takes minimal effort, produces easy results and makes everyone look good.
How do you do that?
- Automation: Automate everything you can, whether is through programmatic scripts or documented procedures and processes.
- Documentation: Documentation is king. It’s how developers know those procedures and processes, and how to find solutions to problems that have come before. It’s hated by those who have to write it but loved by those who need it. But it’s not enough just to write – you have to write the documentation well (it’s usability for words).
- Time and effort: It takes both to do the work to automate and document. It takes both to learn the people you need to lead and manage.
- Mentoring: Everyone – everyone – needs at least one mentor to help them learn, understand and grow. If you can mentor those you lead then you’re not a leader.
- Dedication: If you’re not dedicated to the task then you will never get the most out of those you lead.
- Understand, acceptance, patience, empathy and reflection: These are not things you do, but they are things you need within yourself to be a leader. These allow you to grow as a leader and allow you to get inside the mind of those you are leading.
There are no shortcuts to either leadership or the ‘A’-level. If you’re not prepared to commit completely you will never be an ‘A’-level leader.
(The astute may notice something seems missing from this is: anything to do with coding and technical understanding. Those aren’t required by an ‘A’-level software development leader. They are required, but in the same way as reading and writing and breathing are required. Which is to say, they are not even worth mentioning.)
In a word: fucked.
Have you noticed that just about every website you visit nowadays shows a popup that either asks for your location or wants to push notifications at you?
Or you see an article in the Google suggestions feed only to find it’s behind a paywall?
That’s on top of the 5 million ads embedded in the page or popping over what you’re reading because you moved your mouse or it hit a timer.
I long for the 1990s when the worst you had to worry about was a page visitor counter and/or a subtle “guestbook” icon at the bottom of a page, and good old <blink> and <marquee> text just sitting there quietly doing its thing.
A few hours ago I deleted my Facebook account (an account I’ve I’ve diligently held on to since around 2006/7, before Facebook was the rage), Instagram (I only tried it to follow my wife), Twitter (for the second and I hope last time), and finally, LinkedIn (which is now as bad as Facebook in terms of trash feed, only it populated “so-called” professionals – mainly young recruiters – who also just SPAM you after keyword searches).
And I can say this about it: I feel a relief.
Nothing to follow. Less clickbait. Less distraction. More time for me.
And the people I really care about…?
Oh fuck… I still know how to talk to them.
The big questions is probably: why?
And the answer is simple. I don’t trust any of the big socials services. And I want to limit how much of my identity (my soul) I’m giving away. I’m still with Google and Microsoft, but I am paying both of them.
I’m taking small steps. Feeling my way. But I can already stay I feel much better for it.
Stop freaking spamming me on LinkedIn because your keyword search said: “I look like a good match”.
I’m a consultant and business owner. Look at my full profile! I’m not at all interested in the permanent full-time programmer positions that you think “I’m a good fit for”.
I’m so sick of this crap!
Either figure out how to do your job of actually connecting with people or go back to serving coffee at Starbucks or McDonald’s or whatever minimum-wage job you were in before you decided to become a database-keyword-searching monkey.
Because day-on-day that’s all you sell yourself to be. That’s all I see in the messages from you.
I struggle to have ANY respect for people in the recruitment industry today. You’re doing yourselves a disservice in every interaction.
I’m a business owner, and employer, ramping up and wanting to employ more people in the coming years – and I won’t be going to any of you.
Instead, I’ll continue to develop my own networks – through the “old-fashioned” way of actually talking to people.
At least I know I’ll find people who are an actual fit for me, not just a keyword match.