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

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

107 pages of fundamental principles, tools and approaches to team leadership and project management

This book is a leadership road map for software engineers who have been entrusted to lead their teams. It’s perfect for engineering teams of 3-8 people in small startups where the structure is flat with three or fewer levels: developers, leads, and C-level executives.

Why do I need to read Team Lead 101?

I was so excited when I got my first assignment to team lead. I was a good programmer, I had proven my abilities and it felt great to be rewarded for it. Finally people were going to seek my advice and listen to it. The team would rally around me and function as a well-oiled machine to get the work done.

But it didn’t happen that way. My first three years as a team lead were fraught with frustration and disappointment. Mainly I was disappointed with myself. I was trying so hard but didn’t seem to be making any headway. Certainly not the progress I expected from myself.

Because I didn’t have good skills in place, I reverted back to ineffective behaviors like arguing, trying to prove myself right and grinding away to gain new hard skills that would make me more valuable to the company but did nothing to improve my management acumen.

Then I figured out I was lacking in soft skills. Empathy. Active listening. And I knew I’d have to develop these first if I wanted to make a true difference.

In Team Lead 101, I share the most useful tools and techniques I've developed working in management positions in small startups and large companies alike.

Our employers call on us to lead teams in the hopes that we will rise to lead, but they don’t always give us guidance about how to motivate, arbitrate disagreements, build processes and achieve goals. Being the leader means more than just being a good programmer in charge of the team. It means finding solutions to these challenges and more.

This is what you’ll learn from reading Team Lead 101.


Sample Chapters

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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


30-Day money back guarantee

If you’re not 100% satisfied with this book, just 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. The team license version can be shared with an unlimited number of people within a single team, class or organization. Buy a shareable team license version by choosing the `Team License` right to `I want this!` button.

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

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

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