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I have 1 manager and 1 tech lead. They are 2 connection people from stake holder. Manager has fantastic English writing skills then email to board will be very convincing, but no software skill at all then he deeply trust tech lead.

Tech lead has an average to poor skill on software, but one thing that keep him in place is he comes same company, and same country as manager.

I occasionally got wrong answers or wrong code review comments. Many time that I had pointed out with screen capture for him. However, he replied with no responsibility like "Figure out by yourself" since he does not know the answer. Point is "I don't know the requirement!" He is the one who is in charge

After work together for 1 year. He started to realized that he is under average. Then he let the manager change the tool from using framework to plain one or even DIY libraries since he will be the one who knows. But it is awkward for the rest of the team. Overall productivity under his lead is poor with his DIY stuff.

Question:

Manager and tech lead recruited me to this company.

Am I rude to report that my tech lead is under average to higher management(not his manager)?

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  • 2
    What exactly do you want to accomplish? Commented May 26, 2020 at 6:09
  • 1
    What do other team members think? Commented May 26, 2020 at 7:14
  • 2
    A lot of the times the present libraries do not fulfill the complete requirements. As you are not aware of the requirements, maybe you are not aware of some limitation which the library brings to the table. The decision might also be cost based. Have you tried asking your tech lead? There might be a method to his mischief.
    – Bhoot
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 7:54
  • The title of your "question" implies negative intent where I don't think there is any. It's more probable that the tech lead is trying to do a really good job, and the results may not reflect the effort. You are considering a very drastic action without having had the conversations necessary to determine what you actually know and don't know. As I see it from your question, the only thing you know is that you're frustrated with how your tech lead operates and communicates. Commented May 26, 2020 at 17:00
  • @GregoryCurrie The old and senior members are thinking same way as mine. Junior or fresh one they don't know whether best practice or not. Just blindly follow him
    – Sam
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 17:02

3 Answers 3

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You really shouldn't go over your managers head, because then you are suggesting that two people are under average.

If you think that there is someone, or something, holding the team back, then it is appropriate to go to your manager. You should give the manager a chance to rectify things.

It is always better to point to things and not people. If you are qualified to say your tech lead is under average, then you should have enough examples to be able to show it. You should not say things like "he started to realise that he is under average". Even if it is true, even if you know it is true, saying so does not help you.

Tech Leads do not always have all the answers. Tech Leads are not always in charge. In some business cultures, Tech Leads do not have the same type of responsibility you may be expecting. Tech Leads are also not infallible.

(Disclamer: I have had both Tech Lead and Team Lead roles in the past).

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  • Well said! Do not make accusations personal but focus on objective processes and practical steps. Often its not what 1 person did or did not do. Great advice!
    – Anthony
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 16:21
  • @Gregory Manager has no even basic skill to understand. Therefore he blindly trust Tech lead without any doubt. I used to explain this before when my team delivery the feature, but Tech lead does not understand recursion! Finally my team got dissolved! One of my member quit because of this
    – Sam
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 17:17
  • @Sam That's fine. They can always bring in someone else to advise them. If you bring specific examples to them, at least something can be done with it. If you just say "They are not good", how exactly are they meant to act on that? It comes down to if they trust you or the Tech Lead more. And it would seem like they trust the Tech Lead more. Commented May 27, 2020 at 1:21
  • @GregoryCurrie We did and later that contractor got terminated his contract
    – Sam
    Commented May 27, 2020 at 2:18
  • @Sam If you have already raised this with your manager and nothing got done, then yes, it may be suitable to escalate up the chain. Just note that this is a reasonably drastic option that may have consequences. Commented May 27, 2020 at 2:37
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Am I rude to report that my tech lead is under average to higher management(not his manager)?

I think this is the wrong question to be asking. As long as you have evidence of how you or the performance of the team is being hurt, letting your manager know and offering suggestions should be welcomed, rather than perceived as rude or presumptuous. While management may be ultimately making the decisions, ensuring they have a harmonious and effective team is to their own benefit. Employee empowerment through transparent communication and innovation is a good thing.

From what you have said, you are getting incorrect code review suggestions and your technical lead seem to be unwilling to help / uncommunicative. I am not sure what the expectations of a technical lead at your company is, but generally mentoring younger members of the team and ensuring they have the resources to be productive is a core function of their role. I agree with your concerns, but you should not skip your manager in the hierarchy.

I would suggest meeting with your manager and factually present how you feel you lead is hurting your performance, using examples such as the code review example you gave. Leave out how he feels as well as your opinions of him, as these will most likely make your technical lead defensive and is not helpful in being part of the solution. You want to make a objective presentation, and not have your interactions with the team lead be perceived as a personal row.

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"Concern yourself with yourself, not them."

They are not your concern. They do not work for you.

If you can point out a particular issue that is impeding your work in a way that you cannot compensate for, then feel free to point it out to your manager in some contructive way.

But: "anytime you point your finger at someone else, remember that there are four fingers pointing back at you."

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  • Downvote - The OP is being hurt by his technical lead's unwillingness to help and his response of figure it out yourself is not helpful. Mentoring team members is usually something that is a part of a tech lead's job role in all the place I have worked. Also covering up issues often only leads to those issues not getting solved and festering
    – Anthony
    Commented May 26, 2020 at 16:18

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