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I realise asking a question like "How to be team lead" is of such a broad scope that it couldn't be answered here. I have a few narrower questions which can hopefully be answered.

6 weeks ago I joined a large company that has started a brand new digital development team to bring all their 3rd party services in house and to develop new apps and services for their business.

I joined the team as Senior dev and at that time there was only the Lead Developer and the Department Manager and Project manager.

Two weeks into my role the Lead Dev was fired (Late starts to the day and apparently toxic and inflexible) and then it was just me as the only dev.

I proceeded to take up the task of setting up the AWS infrastructure (LAMP stack basically) for an atrocious inherited website that needs to be up and running in 6 weeks.

So now I had to deal with dev technical issues as well as the previous Lead Devs issues and accepted the challenge.

4 weeks later things are proceeding ok, struggling to deal with getting 3rd parties to reconfigure their systems, dealing with new requests for new features as well as looking to getting issues on this website sorted.

Luckily, we are now joined by another senior dev and a medium level dev who are great people and I've taken the responsibility of acting as the Lead Dev, i.e. assigning tasks to the devs, trying to head off any issues and checking with devs/Project manager to se if there is any issues I can help with.

So, I asked the Manager if I could trial for the Lead Dev position, even though I have no experience as a Lead Dev. No decision was made but I was told that he would speak to the COO and shouldn't see an issue should the current site launch go fine.

Basically what I needed to find out was the following:

1) Should I be concerned that I don't have experience in certain areas ? (i.e. Infrastructure, API development, Dev management) even though I am keen for the challenge of lead dev.

2) The Senior dev that joined us is quite experience in areas I'm not and visa versa and was also previously a Lead Dev, did I jump the gun asking to try for the position (I had asked prior to him joining us)?

3) Any short words of wisdom for someone in my position ?

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    Must read for you: Peopleware by Tom de Marco and Timothy Lister – Daniel Jun 22 '18 at 10:13
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    Sounds like you are doing the lead job now. – Mister Positive Jun 22 '18 at 11:19
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    I think the fact that you know what you know, what you don't, and what the others now is a very important step and shows your ready (at least in technical parts, can't comment on the human part). – Mafii Jun 22 '18 at 12:07
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    What is your goal? What practical choice do you need advice on? You're asking about things that already happened where what you should be asking (yourself first, not us) is what you want to get out of this, where your ambition lies and what your future at this company looks like in the different possible outcomes. Without that this isn't really a practical question. – Lilienthal Jun 22 '18 at 12:23
  • @Lilienthal I was simply hoping for advice on wether I was getting ahead of myself when I asked to be considered for the role as I have never been in said role and neither was I sure that it was the correct way to go about getting it. Secondly, I am naturally introverted and was hoping of anyone in a similar situation to provide advice on anything which may trip me up that is a common issue for people entering this role for the first time. Its not like there is a "Lead Developer Advice" forum anywhere – user88493 Jun 22 '18 at 16:03
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1) Should I be concerned that I don't have experience in certain areas? (i.e. Infrastructure, API development, Dev management) even though I am keen for the challenge of lead dev.

Not at all. In fact, there will always be someone with better experience/skills in certain areas. Leading is a task of its own, that will divert part of your time away from coding. You need to know enough (or be able to acquire that knowledge fast, if need be) to judge a a good approach. leave the details to the experts.

Dev: That´s a topic I know nothing about. Please find somebody else to do it.

Lead: That´s an important topic. I´ll have to find the resources to deal with it. I think Marc know this stuff - I´ll have a chat with him. If he doesn´t know I have to go to management and request additional resurces.

2) The Senior dev that joined us is quite experience in areas I'm not and visa versa and was also previously a Lead Dev, did I jump the gun asking to try for the position (I had asked prior to him joining us)?

No. If you feel ready for it, go on and have a try. Everybody started sometime. It´s the only way to move ahead!

3) Any short words of wisdom for someone in my position?

Reserve some time for your leadership tasks and self-review. Work on your social skills. Don´t overwork yourself, Rome wasn't build in a day and you´ll become a great leader with time and practice.

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  1. Should you be concerned about a lack of experience in certain areas? Yes and no. Everybody starts with zero experience. You are aware of at least some of what you don't know, so you can work on addressing that. I wouldn't be overly concerned about it so long as you do actually start learning about those areas.

  2. Absolutely not - at the end of the day you have to do what is best for you. Putting other peoples' welfare ahead of your own is something you should only do for your own family members (if you have kids for instance). At the end of the day, this other guy isn't going to feed your family or pay your mortgage.

  3. Good luck, learn from your mistakes and take feedback and suggestions on board. Never take criticism personally, give feedback both positive and negative to subordinates, and don't be afraid to pull the trigger on a consistently underperforming subordinate.

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