When filling out specialized tech roles, specifics can get muddy.
Companies often use tech lead and team lead synonymously, but today’s rapid digital transformation means companies need a tech lead to spearhead their technological development and point the team in the right direction. By recruiting vetted developers, companies get a jump start on building committed teams.
But tech roles can be confusing. There is usually a lot of overlap among many tech roles and positions as workers move from one role to the other, encompass several roles at once, or craft out a unique position within a very specialized or niche industry or company. When it comes down to it, what a tech lead’s responsibilities?
So, if your development team needs direction, leadership, and someone taking the reins, you might be looking to hire a tech lead.
Let’s dig into what the position entails and how to approach the process of hiring for a remote tech team.
What is the Role of a Tech Lead? — The Unique Position
The technical lead is not always considered a formal title or predefined position. Instead, it’s more of a role that has evolved over time based on the natural structures and needs of development teams. Tech lead skill encompass a wide spectrum. The tech lead is an experienced developer (often senior-level) that presides over a software development or engineering team. In broad terms, their role is to define and supervise the technical roadmap of the team.
At the same time, the role involves mentoring and guiding lower-level engineers and developers. Depending on the company, the tech lead may eventually be the one in charge of making hiring decisions for the dev team.
These responsibilities suggest that a good tech lead is not only technically competent and deeply embedded in software development, but that they also possess leadership and managerial skills that allow them to effectively communicate and lead an entire team.
Tech Manager vs. Tech Lead: What is the Difference Between a Tech Lead and a Team Lead?
These two positions are similar and often used synonymously. There is often some overlap. The tech world is not like, say, healthcare, where positions and titles are standardized. A cardiologist, for example, will not prescribe solutions for your orthopedic problems. Those roles are very specifically designed.
In tech, role titles are not standardized, so one company’s tech lead is another company’s lead developer. There is often a lot of overlap.
The role of the technological lead speaks to the unique nature of the tech industry and how the positions evolved over time as software development teams discover efficient ways to innovate and produce new products.
In the case of the tech lead and the team lead, the key distinction lies in technical expertise.
Generally speaking, a tech lead is a senior-level developer or engineer with considerable experience in the frameworks or tech stacks, as well as the integral aspects of the product. Their technical knowledge is profound and allows them the ability to understand the moving parts and the big picture.
In contrast, a team lead does not have to be deeply technical but does supervise the team’s productivity and workflow. Most tech leads, however, have a baseline knowledge of the software or technical aspects of the product, but they are not necessarily experts. They are also in charge of cultivating culture within the team, ensuring fluid communication, and resolving any issues between team members or developers.
The Main Roles and Responsibilities of a Technical Lead in a Software Development Team
The tech lead makes the big-picture choices surrounding frameworks, programming languages, timelines, collaborations, and the use of other technical tools. The technical lead will be intimately involved with the code and design the team produces and reviews its functionality and success.
In their role as mentor and guide, the technical lead is a valuable resource for every other member of the software development team. Engineers and developers can look to their technical lead to help them solve problems or fix a glitch they can’t figure out themselves.
Daily Roles and Responsibilities:
- Assessing a product or system’s overall functionality and viability.
- Overseeing and making decisions on technical aspects of a project including coding languages, architecture, servers, or frameworks used.
- Analyzing the performance of software and other products
- Setting a timeline, deadlines, or project checkpoints and milestones
- Acting as a motivator and central command for the software development team.
- Contributing to training and assigning tasks for projects.
How Do I Hire a Tech Lead for a Remote Team?
Hiring a tech lead for a remote team has its own special set of challenges. Many companies will hire their tech lead directly from their software development team. The reason is that up-training someone to take on the leadership roles involved in this position can be easier than hiring someone externally.
At the same time, a company may not be ready to hire a tech lead (as their development team may be small) but envisions that the company will grow to need this in the near future. In that case, hiring someone with a growth mindset and unique soft skills from the beginning can set you up for success down the line.
It’s why smart hiring is crucial to talent retention and company growth. Finding the right candidate begins with clearly defining the role and finding strong candidates.
The process begins with:
- Defining the role carefully
- Crafting well-thought-out job descriptions
- Looking in the right talent pool and starting with pre-vetted candidates
- Having an established interview process that is efficient but thorough
- Having a structured and thorough onboarding process
Remember that tech lead responsibilities vary from company to company, but the overarching skills needed to succeed in the job are relatively constant: Technical expertise, communication skills, leadership skills, etc.
Can I Hire a Tech Lead in Mexico?
As the Great Digital Transformation continues, companies have found that building remote tech teams is not only a viable option but opens them up to new and diverse talent pools. Latin America has become a tech talent hotspot in the past few years, showing that it produces high-quality developers and engineers.
Hiring a tech lead remotely is entirely possible. Not only does Mexico have talented developers, but thanks to efforts by their government and educational institutions, the country graduates a lot of qualified developers every year, many of which have acquired years of experience in leading companies throughout Mexico, Latin America, and the U.S.
Dig deeper into Mexico’s tech talent with our latest IT salary guide. Our Mexico Tech Salary Report 2023 is compiled with information from thousands of working tech professionals in Mexico. We cover average salary, salaries by role, and salaries based on region.
What is the Salary of a Tech Lead?
According to Glassdoor, the salary expectations of a senior tech lead in the United States range from $124,000 per year to an average of $155,364 but can get as high as 198 K per year.
In Mexico, seniority rates differ slightly from those in the United States, but Mexico has a diverse talent pool with highly qualified senior developers and engineers that have the capacity to lead technical teams. Salaries in Mexico can be significantly lower because of the cost of living.
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