How to Lead a Team of Software Engineers


When you become a manager, it takes a different skill set to thrive. Your expertise from your days as an individual contributor is certainly still valuable, but that alone won’t propel you toward success. Instead, you’ll need to adopt a new mindset, one focused on leadership above all else. Additionally, you’ll need to learn how to refine your approach, ensuring you are guiding those you’re leading toward being their best. 

Thankfully, a few core skills and certain steps can make a world of difference. If you want to make sure you’re ready to lead a team of software engineers, here’s what you need to hone. 

Craft Your Vision 

If you want to be a successful leader, you need a clear vision. This goes beyond simply understanding your responsibilities; it also includes have your eye set on the bigger picture and knowing your primary goals. 

By doing so, you can align your decisions with your vision. This not only facilitates better decision making, but it also makes your choices cohesive. You’ll have an easily identifiable focus, one that your team can use as a guiding light when completing their tasks. 

Continuously Offer Constructive Feedback 

Most software developers are familiar with the concept of continuous integration. The goal is to seamlessly bring code together as an ongoing process, ensuring everything fits and, if there is an issue, it is addressed quickly. 

The same approach should also be used for feedback. By offering input frequently, you’re creating opportunities. Issues can be spotted and handled as early as possible, making them easier to overcome. Your team becomes a source of constant evolution as their capabilities are shaped little by little over time. 

However, you need to make sure that you use the right approach. Instead of chastising your team for mistakes, focus on being constructive. Review the problem with the employee. Discuss the cause of the issue and the impact it had, concentrating on facts and evidence. Then, work together to find a workable solution, creating a dialog that boosts engagement and the likelihood of success. 

Embrace Delegation 

If you’re a new manager, you may be tempted to tackle critical tasks yourself. The issue is, that’s the mindset of a high-level individual contributor, not a team leader. 

Instead, you need to embrace delegation. Get to know your team so that you’re familiar with what they bring to the table. Trust in their capabilities and give them opportunities to shine. Keep an eye on progress, but offer a degree of autonomy. 

Remember, your team was hired for a reason. They likely have robust skills and are probably capable problem-solvers. Give them a chance to showcase what they have to offer. Not only is this good for them, but it also ensures you aren’t overwhelmed by tasks that should no longer be in your hands. 

Keep Learning 

When you become a manager, you’ll spend less time working on software and more time leading. As a result, you may incidentally let your technical skills slide, and that isn’t a good thing. 

Make sure you spend time keeping up to speed on trends and learning about the software engineering field. Develop your skills, read blog posts from thought leaders, subscribe to industry publications, and network with other tech leaders. By doing so, you’ll ensure your technical relevancy, and that can make a big difference in your career. 

We Can Help You Lead Your Team to Success

In the end, all of the tips above can make successfully leading a team of software engineers easier. If you’d like to find out more, the staff at Bayside Solutions can help. Contact us today.