Developing software takes a team, but a bunch of engineers without a leader is like a flock of sheep in front of a wolf pack. The role of a leader does not stop at writing and designing code and being the custodian of software quality; it also involves representing and directing the technical team and requires adopting a new bunch of nontechnical skills.
When you think about the things that you need to do if you want to lead a development team, you may wonder how to get started. The first thing you need to do is to define the role of each member of the team. This way, you will know exactly what you need to do for each person, and you can easily make decisions regarding their duties. After defining the roles, you need to assign different tasks to different members of the team. As your team of developers grows, you may start to delegate other responsibilities as they become competent in their own right.
However, before you can do that, you must make sure that each team is on the same page, with clearly defined expectations. There are several ways to do this. It would help if you talked to each team member individually to find out their role and set realistic goals for them. You should also be open and honest about your expectations for your development team.
Be involved in every meeting and activity of your development team. If you are not, it will be difficult for you to foster leadership among your employees. Don’t give your members too much freedom but give them space and let them make decisions according to their skills and expertise (there’s a thin line, you see).
You also need to be a good team player. This does not mean you always have to be correct, but you should do your best to keep everyone motivated and making the most of their individual talents. Be careful not to spend too much time blaming somebody else when things go wrong. The first thing you need to do is to create a good team atmosphere. Encourage your members to share their ideas. This will make them feel like they are part of something big.
You also need to keep your developers motivated and make them do their best. Give them regular feedback on how they are doing. Make sure you check in often to make sure they are on track. It is also a great idea to assign some members to be the team leader and make them responsible for making sure everybody is doing their best. By doing this, you will be able to monitor their performance and make quick feedback adjustments if needed.
Communication is also an important aspect of the success of any project. Your team members must feel that they can communicate effectively with you. This will help them be more involved in the process and work smoothly with others. It would be best if you were open to having good communication with your team. Try to make your meetings as transparent as possible so that your members are comfortable communicating with you.
One of the most difficult things about being a leader is that you need to give leadership at the right time. You need to take care of internal issues that might distract you from your main tasks. How to lead a team of developers is also about leading the unit yourself. Nobody knows the code as well as you do, and it is your responsibility to make sure that your developers are working productively. It would be best if you also made it a point to check on their progress from time to ensure they meet your deadlines and achieve the goals you have set.