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I was recently interviewed in a multi-national company for the post of senior software engineer. I got through the interview process and selected for the post. However, upon receiving the offer letter, it is mentioned that I am selected for the Tech Lead position which I think my skill sets will not match. I did extremely well in the interview and the employer was so impressed with the skills. They've agreed to pay me whatever I asked.

However, I never thought I would be chosen for a tech lead role which I don't think I will be able to meet their expectations.

I have been working for a mid-size company as a single iOS developer for the last four years. I never had a tech lead in my career. I never had any technical buddies to work along with me. So, I don't really know where I really stand. StackOverflow and Google are only my friends so far.

Now, the question is should I accept this tech lead offer and try to learn things along the way?

or

Should I approach the employer and tell them upfront that I may not be the right person for the post and ask for one level lower position which is senior software engineer? Is this the right approach? Will approaching them for this create a negative impact?

I am really confused at this stage. Could someone please throw some light on this?

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    Being in a leadership position is difficult and being overwhelmed by a new job is common. However, either the people who have offered you the job are desperate, or they really believe you can do it. If you did not lie through your interviews and got selected based on merit then you should be able to handle your new position. Be sure to voice your concerns, but don't be afraid to evolve and learn the skills necessary to do the job right. – TsSkTo Jul 6 '16 at 17:37
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    Technical Lead has different meanings in different companies. In some companies, it could be called eg. Project Lead, or maybe Lead Developer. I have also seen it simply tagged to the first person who started the project, who was "just" a normal Developer by work title. – Juha Untinen Jul 6 '16 at 19:31
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  • "Tech lead" is the most-technically-adept developer on the team. "Team lead" is the role with management / supervisory responsibility. So you don't necessarily need management skills for the former. That said, offering Tech Lead to someone who's only ever been a solo dev seems bold. – AakashM Jul 7 '16 at 9:17
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    @AakashM That's what puzzling me. As I mentioned above, I have never had a Tech Lead in my career. I've been an indie dev since I started my career. So, I have no clue as to how one would act on the job. I've read a lot of posts on Google about a Tech Lead's day-to-day activities. Having said this, I am not sure that alone would help me. – Genie Wanted Jul 7 '16 at 9:23
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I would voice my concerns if I were you, but in a diplomatic manner, and not before you have a chance to try the role on for size.

After all, you might find yourself rising to the challenge, and taking on the responsibilities of the role quite well. You don't want to make these people nervous about having hired you!

Instead, try to get through the first few weeks and then address any concerns you might have in a meeting with your manager. If it doesn't work out then you might get "demoted" to a non-lead position.

Keep in mind that the difference between "senior developer" and "tech lead" is often only a play on words, and that anyone paying you "whatever you ask" is going to have high expectations regardless of your title.

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    I second this opinion. Do not get hung up on the verbiage of the title. You are being offered a senior level position and expectancy to deliver will be high. Tech Lead might mean management of other people but it may not, unless you made them believe you managed teams in the past, during your interview. So, start working and see whart is not working for you. At that point you can address them. – MelBurslan Jul 6 '16 at 18:26
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Before signing the offer letter I would have a conversation with them. "The position we discussed was Senior Software Engineer but the offer letter is for a Tech Lead position. Is this the same position that we discussed during the interview?"

It could be something as simple as the title they assign the role. It is never a bad idea to review your position expectations with them to make sure they are in line with theirs.

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