Last Friday, I turned in my notice.
I have been given a great new opportunity at a new company. I am being hired on as the team lead. Only without a team. There’s no team, yet. Among my first tasks will be building the team I’m going to be leading. And then working with the CTO, my new boss, to establish the development environment, methodology, and structure moving forward — both internally and externally.
Needless to say, this is a very exciting opportunity for a guy who’s been a senior developer for years but a lead only for a few months. I’ve been serving since December as the development lead at my current company, since “Red”, the last team lead, departed to a job analogous to the one I’m moving into.
I’ve learned a lot in the last couple months about being a lead; not just the informal mentoring, architecting and collaboration things I’ve been doing for years, but also the formal planning and interaction with the project managers and business leaders, the encouraging my team to look to me for direction and support, and the surprising number of large and small things that come with the job.
Throughout it all, I’ve had the unwavering support of my boss, “Sparky”, the development manager. He’s been fantastic and I’m going to deeply miss working under him. But I’ve seen the frustration he’s been laboring under, the inexplicable, ADD-like business decisions, the rapid increase of bloat in product management, and especially the strongly combative nature of “Exidor”, my company’s CTO, which has pushed so many good people, some of the finest developers with whom I’ve ever worked in my fourteen years in development (including and especially “Red”), out the door in search of greener pastures.
It has been clear for a while that it’s time for me to move on. It’s just serendipity that this opportunity presented itself and that it proved to be so enticing.
So now I begin my journey of wrapping up my current job (and doing right by the people I leave behind) and transitioning to my new one (and doing right by my new company, my future team, and my own career).
I have little doubt I’ll make a lot of mistakes, big and small, along the way. But I’m going to learn from each of them, and also from my successes, to be the best lead I can be.
First comes defining what “the best lead I can be” is. Second comes charting a path to the goal of becoming that lead.