Dipping Into Tech Lead

by Hannah Goodridge ~ 3 min read

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My Interim Tech Lead Experience: Thriving in Challenges and Discovering My Limits

Introduction

Stepping into a leadership role, even temporarily, can be a daunting prospect. When the opportunity arose for me to act as an interim tech lead for six weeks, I was initially hesitant. However, I decided to seize the opportunity, recognising it as a chance to grow both personally and professionally. What followed was a whirlwind of challenges, learning experiences, and moments of triumph, all of which were made possible with the great feedback and support from my team.

Embracing the Challenge

From the moment I accepted the interim tech lead role, I threw myself into the challenge wholeheartedly. Despite having previously declined a full-time tech lead position, I found myself invigorated by the responsibility and eager to make a meaningful impact. One of the most rewarding aspects of the role was utilising soft skills that I hadn't previously explored. Whether it was facilitating team meetings, resolving conflicts, or communicating with stakeholders, I discovered a newfound confidence in my ability to lead, thanks in no small part to the encouragement and assistance from my colleagues.

Dealing with Stress and Adversity

Of course, no leadership role comes without its share of stress and adversity. Two weeks into my stint as interim tech lead, our product owner unexpectedly left, leaving me to juggle two roles simultaneously. Compounding the challenge was the client's penchant for last-minute changes, which put additional strain on our already reduced team. However, in the face of adversity, I remained proactive, advocating for additional support when it became clear that we might not meet our deadlines. This decision ultimately proved to be instrumental in our success, highlighting the importance of effective communication and adaptability in leadership roles.

Lessons Learned and Personal Growth

Throughout my six-week tenure as interim tech lead, I learned valuable lessons about myself and my capabilities. While I thrived under pressure and enjoyed the opportunity to make decisions and take ownership, I also discovered my limits. The stress of managing competing priorities and navigating unforeseen challenges underscored the importance of self-care and setting boundaries. Additionally, I recognised areas for growth, particularly in honing my backend skills as a frontend lead.

Moving Forward

As my interim tech lead role came to a close, I took the time to reflect on my experiences and contemplate my future aspirations. While I relished the opportunity to lead and contribute to my team's success, I also recognised the importance of striking a balance and evaluating future leadership roles thoughtfully. As I continue to refine my skills and pursue opportunities for growth, I remain open to the possibility of embracing leadership roles that align with my passions and strengths.

Conclusion

My journey as an interim tech lead was a whirlwind of challenges, triumphs, and invaluable lessons. While the experience tested my limits and pushed me out of my comfort zone, it also reaffirmed my passion for leadership and my commitment to personal and professional growth. As I look to the future, I am grateful for the opportunity to have dipped my toes into the world of tech leadership and excited to see where my journey takes me next, knowing that I have the support and encouragement of an incredible team behind me.