Beyond Coding Episode #83

A Career as Tech Lead or Engineering Manager with Patrick Kua

Xebia Wave Long Background


Engineers can get promoted to leadership positions without knowing what is expected of them. It’s less of the same and more of a sidestep.

Pat Kua and I discuss the tech lead and engineering manager roles and what makes a person effective being in that role. On top of that we give perspective for people interested in those positions.



  • Full episode on YouTube ▶️
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    Big shoutout to Xebia for making this episode possible!



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    • Visit Pat Kua’s Official Website
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    • Outline

      00:00:00 – Intro
      00:00:42 – Different problems in coaching CTOs
      00:02:08 – Problems when it comes to team structure
      00:03:47 – Coaching aspects
      00:06:14 – The tech lead and engineering manager paths are sidesteps
      00:08:21 – Mismatch in expectations
      00:10:05 – Skills a tech lead requires
      00:12:54 – Dealing with people
      00:16:44 – Communication challenges
      00:18:13 – When is the right time to step into a leadership position?
      00:20:51 – Leadership positions are not for everyone
      00:23:42 – Learning from others
      00:26:21 – Relationship between tech lead and engineering manager
      00:31:58 – Pitfall of splitting tech lead and engineering manager
      00:34:27 – Conversations about roles and responsibilities
      00:36:51 – Leadership teams
      00:37:43 – Who is responsible for team effectiveness?
      00:40:23 – Pat’s favourite role in the past
      00:43:47 – Figuring out what you like and dislike doing
      00:44:46 – What do you want to do?
      00:46:54 – Growth mindset