When we think about project management, we usually think about software managers or team members who manage communication streams. We rarely speak about the life of a technical project manager or technical lead – the one who rose through the technical ranks and acquire the wit and skills to effectively communicate to non-technical audiences.
A technical lead is a combination of various conflicting roles that include: a technical product expert, a coding genius, and a fluent communicator to determine the project timelines based on their technical experience.
Wavecell speaks to Hirantha, our Technical Lead, to find out what his job is all about!
Wavecell (W): What are the different responsibilities you juggle in your role as a Technical Lead?
Hirantha (H): My main responsibility is to make sure that our software products are technologically bulletproof. Bad software practices, decisions leading to non-scalable systems or even not enough R&D can penetrate the spirit of a good software product. Therefore, continuous evaluation of technical decisions is essential.
The interesting part though, is that I am also responsible for the individual growth of my team members. This means allowing my team to take ownership of various parts of our projects, and giving them opportunities to be vocal about their aspirations.
W: What are some of the challenges you face in your work?
H: The Engineering team typically works hand in hand with the Product team, and this requires continuous communication and close collaboration to get things going. To help us with this, we employ a collection of cutting-edge communication and collaboration tools. Our Engineering team is spread across the globe, making timezones a bit of a challenge for regular communication and sprint planning. But, diversity being a core value for Wavecell, we embrace this challenge!
As software engineers, we all love to code. But as a Technical Lead, I also have to evaluate new software frameworks, help my team members, coordinate with project stakeholders, etc. So it is a challenge to give up coding full time, and instead settle with coding for 50 – 60% of my time.
I enjoy paying attention to everything, down to the smallest detail in our software. However, it is important to keep this inner-perfectionist in control, so we do not lose focus of overall project goals, deliverables and timeliness. As challenging as it is, it is also very fulfilling when we are able to achieve a good balance.
W: What is your advice to those who aspires to be an engineer or technical lead?
H: For an engineer, the most important trait is that he/she is driven by a high interest in problem solving. As a Technical Lead, you will learn how to plan and organise your chase for the perfect solution with your team.
It is crucial that a Technical Lead enjoys challenges and is meticulous in nature as adopting the best solutions means having the determination to plough through multiple options in the engineering process. Every task completed in the technical field is like finding a solution to a problem, and eventually the end-product helps enhance people’s lives, one way or another!