When we talk about the team roles it seems that one person needs to be always a step ahead of others.

The lead developer is, in most cases, a senior developer. He or she has to be the navigator in the team and a strong decision maker. Proactive, responsible, and a true leader.

Knowing what a client wants situation

From understanding the workflow and clients demands and requirements to answering the questions clients didn’t even have time to ask  – that’s how lead developers guide the team.

OK, this person does seem like a superhero. So, who are you?

We asked our CTO to give us a few tips and walk us through the life of a lead developer. Vladimir Mladenovic has over 10 years of experience and many successfully launched projects in his career,  including our start-up OrganicNet.

We’ll discover you a small piece of his everyday activities.

Lead developer
Vlada (with grey&white shirt on) at his workplace

How do you start your day?  

Every day usually starts the same way. In the kitchen. 

We get together in the kitchen to test our coffee making skills (laughing).  I love this ritual because it usually turns into a fun contest in which we test whose coffee is smoother and creamier.

Good start of the day is always filled with laughter. A piece of small talk comes next. It is not rare that we often talk about project backlogs and unsolved tasks early in the morning, and come up with good solutions.  For the rest of the day, we use our internal chat to make sure we solve all dilemmas regarding the projects.

Who makes the best coffee in our kitchen? :)

Who makes the best coffee? Well, you are welcome to visit us and check for yourself :)

Our kitchen – where ideas turn into action

Who’s the most serious person in the team?

When it comes to work, we are all serious about our responsibilities. Instead of seeing our teams as serious, I would rather use the term – responsible. We rely on Scrum and use Agile approach, which makes the work more organized, flexible and on the right track. From daily meetings to retrospection, every method has its advantages for the team.

For a lead developer, this perhaps means less free time and more time for researching and coding but this is what you sign in for.  If today you have to deal with a complicated and unpleasant problem, tomorrow you will see many benefits, for you personally and for the client.  It’s worth the effort.

What’s your secret recipe for solving problems on a daily basis?

Keeping up with your work when the deadline is approaching can be challenging. It normal to feel pressure. The secret is to see it as a normal process.

When the team puts quality work first, the challenge turns into an opportunity.

But, there are other challenges we face. The biggest might be staying up to date with news in the industry,  new technologies, and trends. As a team leader, you always have to be ahead of the game. Be prepared to invest your time.

What is the most enjoyable part of your job in Eton?

I love how every day is dynamic. With every new functionality or a piece of code, you are creating a new platform, an app, a website or a network. Every day you are closer to feeling the satisfaction of getting the job done and yet every-days you are enjoying small benefits.  We are a middle-sized company where people are close personally and always in the mood for hanging out after work.

When you have an opportunity to make friends from your co-workers, you can make and create great things.

The more you know each other privately, the better you can be synchronized at work. Friend and family moments in here are the things I appreciate the most.

The best recipe for happy employees are hard work and fine dosage of fun
The best recipe for happy employees are hard work and fine dosage of fun

Do you have any secret tips for devs who want to lead?

My job described in one word – responsibility. Led developers should be flexible and oriented on the results. Even when you’re on a holiday, there’s a small part of you that is thinking about the team and the project.

It’s not a job for those who don’t show initiative.  If you are willing to deal with all responsibilities and expectations the leader has, this job will reward you with amazing lifetime experience.

Great lead developers are not only competent and ready to learn, they also have the capacity to foster relationships, encourage team members, and build a sense of unity.

I can  underline the following most important facts for every lead developer:

#1 Lead by example
Don’t tell people what to do, show them. Be the person who other developers can up to.

#2 Take responsibility
Fine lead developer stands up and protects his team.

#3 Empower communication
Not only does a good lead developer take responsibility for the actions of the team, but also frequently acts as the mouthpiece of the team to other teams, managers, business people and whoever else the team needs to interact with.

#4 Helps others do their best
If you want to be a team lead, show that you are not only technically competent but “people competent”. The benefits of having a good lead developer in the team help other developers to perform at high levels. 

Are you a lead developer? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.