A Day in the Life of a Lead Developer

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Hi Peter, Pieter and Stef! Thanks for taking some time out of your busy schedule. Let’s get right to it.


Explain in one sentence what it is that you do.

Peter: As a lead developer, my main goal is to deliver features and improvements to our customers.

Pieter: My primary focus is to make sure my team operates in the best possible way.

Stef: I am the link between the product manager and the development team, translating user stories into technical requirements and ensuring my team is on the right track.

Do you remember your first weeks at Teamleader? How smoothly did you settle into your role?

Peter: Thanks to the many supportive colleagues I always got help when I was stuck. The organisational framework is excellent so I was up and running before I knew it. After a while, I was given the opportunity to become lead developer.

Pieter: Because of the smooth onboarding process at Teamleader, you immediately get a clear picture of how the entire organisation works and you meet a lot of people straight away. On a personal level, everyone is really helpful and positive, which helps to get through the first few weeks comfortably.

Stef: I started as a backend developer in teamleader and gradually grew into the lead role.


How do you typically start your day?

Peter: Checking my emails and the Scrum board. Afterwards I check which code reviews I need to do.

Pieter: I check Slack and mails. After that, I review Pull Requests, check relevant Looker dashboards and do the team standup.

Stef: I start my day by doing code reviews, which is the most important part of a developer’s job.

What’s the development team like?

Peter: There is a terrific team spirit and, besides myself, there is hardly any egomaniac, so teamwork makes the software work.

Pieter: As a development team, we are very cohesive. There is a shared drive to make continuous progress. We could benefit from interacting with other departments slightly more often, though.

Stef: The willingness to help each other and to learn from each other is great. There can be some heated discussions, but in the end we’re all on the same side.

Do you feel like there’s enough variety between your days? What is an annoying routine task you have to do?

Peter: My days are always jam-packed. Developing software is almost never routine. I almost kind of wish it was.

Pieter: Oh yes, my job is more than varied. We work on so many different aspects of the product, which keeps it super interesting and challenging.

Stef: From researching bugs, to talking with clients, customer support and actually writing code as well. I’d say this is a very varied job where you need to keep many different balls in the air at the same time.


Here's what an average day in the life of a Lead Developer looks like:

Do you feel like you’re involved in projects which benefit your department and the organization as a whole? Do you feel like you can make an impact in your role?

Peter: We have frequent meetings with the other lead developers and engineering management about how we can improve our processes and results. I feel like my opinions are important and valued, which is good because I dispense them liberally.

Pieter: As I'm working in the growth team, all projects I’m involved in are super impactful!

Stef: Yes, I absolutely feel like I can make an impact. And that I am making an impact.

How busy are you? Are you equally busy every day? Do you have a lot of meetings?

Peter: There is always more work to be done: optimise the codebase, prune the backlog, pre-groom a new feature... There is also never enough time. So time management is paramount to stay sane and keep delivering value. Choosing my, and my team's, battles is crucial. It's hard to complain about too many meetings if you're the one planning them.

Pieter: It depends, we have some busy weeks with a lot of meetings and other ones where we have the time to really get the job done. It really depends.

Stef: When we’re launching something or we need to put out fires it can be a very busy job. But it does vary from week to week. I do have a lot of meetings, but there are no meetings where I think I’m wasting my time. They are necessary to ensure everyone is on the same page. Communication is key when you’re working in a fast-paced company like Teamleader.

Which people (both inside and outside the organization) do you work closely together with?

Peter: My team members. The team's product manager. The engineering lead. The VP of engineering. The CTO. Also, and very importantly: internal support (technical support), Go To Market, the project team(s). And obviously developers that are not part of my team. And yes, that amounts to a lot of meetings.

Pieter: My team, the extended Team lightning & Team thunder team, other Lead developers, other developers, QA, OPS, .... A lot of different people!

Stef: I work closely together with the team and product manager. Other than that, I also work with Go-To-Marketing and Support. And with external parties if we’re building an integration.

Are you receiving adequate guidance? Do you get the necessary freedom and confidence to work autonomously?

Peter: There is plenty of formal training. I get a lot of freedom to do my work as I see fit, but if I ever run into an issue there are plenty of colleagues to help me.

Pieter: Short but genuine answer to both questions: yes.

Stef: Teamleader is constantly asking its developers if they have training needs and they are very supportive in providing such training.

Where do you get the most energy from? When are you a happy Lead Developer?

Peter: Getting shi stuff done. Working together with every layer of the organisation to launch a new feature is a great feeling.

Pieter: When I see that our team is making an impact on the company. Which we almost continuously do.

Stef: Launching a massive improvement or big new feature is obviously the most rewarding. It’s always a special feeling when the software you’ve worked on for months is finally being used by customers.

Thanks guys, now back to work!