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Team Lead 101: How to Manage and Grow Engineering Teams in Small Startups

This book is for software engineers who have been entrusted to lead their teams but haven’t received a guide on how to do this.

It’s perfect for engineering teams of 3-8 people in small startups, where the structure of startups is flat with at most 3 levels: developers, leads, and C-level executives.

Why this eBook?

In the book, I share the most useful knowledge, mistakes, tools, and techniques that I’ve acquired working as a Team Lead and Head of Department in a small consulting workshop, large telecom company, Hong Kong, and Silicon Valley startups.

We are given to lead a team in the hope that we will cope, but we do not always have answers to questions on how to motivate, arguing, build processes, and achieve goals. Being a leader means finding answers to many of these questions.

I did not have such answers when I started and was disappointed in myself because I didn't justify the expectations of the team leader assigned to me. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong.

This book is an attempt to answer all the basic questions that a novice team leader may have.

I put my efforts to disclose topics simply, short, and to the point, so you can acquire them in less time. This book is just 106 pages long and will take two evenings to read the book.

Sample Chapters

Read sample chapters. No email required.

Here’s what people have said about ‘Team Lead 101’

"I have read only half of the book and already realized how sad it is that I didn't have it 4 years ago when I was told that I'm tech lead! ... This book is a must-have [for tech-leads] ... Exactly what you need in small startups."

– Anton Kireev., Tech Lead at drom.ru

"I like how the book is written. It is easy to read without complicated terminology. I think not only team leads find this book useful but SCRUM masters and agile coaches."

– Slava Nikitin, Head of Corporate Development at Virto Commerce

"One will find not only valuable advice regarding strategies to implement to lead a small team effectively, but will be able to also understand the role a team leader plays in a deeper way, which will lead to team happiness and productivity."

– Alina Mihai, Life Coach and Front End Developer 

"An excellent resource for all budding team leads... I got a whole heap of tips to bring into my new gig."

– Daragh Byrne, Software Engineering Manager at Digital Creators

Table of Contents

1. Becoming a Team Lead

    1.1 What a Good Team Lead Does and Doesn’t Do

    1.2 How Much Does a Team Lead Code?

    1.3 Macro- and Micro-Management

    1.4 Importance of Routine

    1.5 Summary

2. Tools

    2.1 Teammate Cards

    2.2 1:1 Meetings

    2.3 Retrospectives

    2.4 Effective Meetings

    2.5 Agile Board

    2.6 Mini-Challenges

    2.7 Planning Poker

    2.8 Pair Programming

    2.9 Document Processes

    2.10 Team Journaling

    2.11 Summary

3. Leadership

    3.1 Five Stages of a Team

    3.2 Listen

    3.3 Nothing is Possible Without Belief

    3.4 Clarity of Goals, Roles, and Values

    3.5 How to Argue

    3.6 Happiness Drives Success

    3.7 Constructive Criticism and Influence

    3.8 Strict but Fair

    3.9 Purposeful Improvement

    3.10 Healthy Stress

    3.11 Summary

4. Achieving Goals

    4.1 First Mistakes

    4.2 Empower Developers

    4.3 Code Review Time

    4.4 Deep Work Time

    4.5 Team Productivity

    4.6 Summary

5. Increase Your Productivity

    5.1 Establish a Base

    5.2 Schedule Must-Do Activities

    5.3 Schedule Productive Activities

    5.4 Fix Broken-Up Days

    5.5 Execute and Measure

    5.6 Analyze and Repeat

    5.7 Summary

6. Technical Interviews

    6.1 Take-Home Challenge

    6.2 Code Review Challenge

    6.3 Pair Programming Challenge

    6.4 Assess the Candidate Through Their Best Code

    6.5 Summary

What if I didn't like the book?

No worries! If you didn’t like the book, reply to the download email within 30 days from the purchase, and you'll get a full refund. No questions asked.

Can I share this book with my team?

You cannot share an individual (single copy) purchase with others. However, you can buy a shareable team license version. The team license version can be shared with an unlimited number of people within a single team, class, or organization.

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  • You'll get a PDF, epub & all future book updates
  • Length106 pages
  • Launch dateAugust 6, 2020
  • FormatsePUB, PDF


Team Lead 101: How to Manage and Grow Engineering Teams in Small Startups

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