I am working on an offer with a recruiter where the position is to have:

  • managerial responsibilities (firing/hiring recommendations, meetings)
  • software engineering function (lead a team of developers through software development life cycle)
  • being a coder (do hands-on development, keep up with latest standards)
  • other little things (being a tester, do budget and vendor management, etc.)

The position pays upper level salary ($80 - 90K), so perhaps they do expect you to wear multiple hats - attend to various roles.

I haven't "lead a team of developers" professionally before, so I am a bit concerned. I know that I probably can, but at the same time I wonder if the above responsibilities are a little bit mashed up together and if the company will use me as a work horse for too many different things. I know that this same company was looking to fill this very same position about 2 years ago, so I wonder what ever happened to whom ever they hired. Getting burnout is not something I seek to get into.

I am also wondering if it is better to find a more defined position maybe for less compensation, but with ability to keep my sanity in check.

I am trying to think about what kind of interview and pre-interview questions to ask. The position is not direct hire but extension only.

I'm just wondering if this is "normal and expected", and my alarms going off are for nothing, or if it's just a questionable position.

  • 4
    Ah those requirements. Take the job, all that's just marketing Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:12
  • 5
    How big is the company? At a small company that is completely reasonable. If it is a bigger company, I would ask for percent breakdown of when you would be expected to do each role.
    – Bowen
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 2:29
  • 2
    @Chris would I be correct in assuming that it's not a technology company? I could imagine that job spec if it was for a dev lead in a company which had over a thousand employees but only 20 of them were in the IT department. Commented May 14, 2015 at 3:35
  • 3
    You missed out dba-ing and infrastructure. You know developers do everything right?
    – Nathan
    Commented May 14, 2015 at 7:07
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    I think you need to do a little market research. Unless this is in a fairly rural / small town area, that salary seems a little low for ALL those responsibilities. For just lead developer, it's good, but budgeting and personnel management add a lot of "mental overhead." My opinion only. Commented May 14, 2015 at 17:46

2 Answers 2


Each of the requirements you listed is legitimate for the lead position. Whether they are going to work you to death in the lead position - that's something that we have no way of knowing. You should network with some of the team leads and ask them because they are in a better position to know than we are.


A lot of companies will cover their bases with including a lot of contingencies in the job description. They are likely not day to day things but stuff that could pop up occasionally.

From an HR perspective doing this is a trade off between muddying the waters regarding primary focus of the job VS preventing "That's not my job!" complaints.

The best way to set a realistic expectation is ask about a typical week in the interview and talk to others in the company in similar roles about their typical week.

  • 1
    Especially ask about how much coding they expect from you. If they expect you to be coding 70%+ of time, there is virtually no time left for the other duties. I would expect a job with those duties to have less than 50% coding and preferably less than 30%. Even with a small team, just teh meetings a manager goes to can eat up a lot of your time (and you really can't code during a meeting it is too hard to focus, handle emails maybe, code no) and then you work overtime to get the coding done.
    – HLGEM
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 17:34

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