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At my current job (been here for 6 years). The VP of the company has decided he wants to make me the lead developer. I believe this is being done because my current boss who is a BA was pin holed into that position, its not something he wants to be doing. I asked him what the responsibilities are and he mentioned I will be dealing with bugs, coming up with estimates and also still involved in coding. Right now its myself another senior developer and a junior. The junior and the senior doesn't know nearly as much as I do about the company specific components and business rules.

I can't see myself doing both, to be honest it sounds like two separate jobs.

Bugs take time to research and figure out the validity, etc. Writing emails back and forth to the project managers. And I still need to be responsible for coding??

My question is do lead developers usually manage tasks/people AND also code?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Corbin March, Glenn Nelson, GrandmasterB, Florian Margaine, gnat Aug 8 '13 at 14:22

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. – gnat Aug 7 '13 at 21:27
As a note, there are many good, related questions that show up on the side which you may find as a good read. How do I succeed as a lead developer? looks useful. – user40980 Aug 7 '13 at 21:33
@MichaelT thank you for this, excellent question thread. – JimS Aug 7 '13 at 21:38
Unfortunately this question is too broad to provide a specific answer, as the answer is: it depends. I've been a "Lead Developer/Senior Tech/Tech Manager" for a number of years, and each team/branch/division I go to has different expectations of me and what they expect out of me. Currently, I mostly manage tasks, people, schedules and sprints - but occasionally code. In my previous team, 99% of my job was doing code. – Deco Aug 8 '13 at 0:37
possible duplicate of What is the main job of a team leader? – gnat Aug 8 '13 at 14:22

Sounds about right to me. I've been a lead on most of my projects for years. In my case the coding has been reduced to compensate for management time. I spend time on architectural choices, communication, and delegating. They come first and any time left goes to coding on those projects. Any work I know I won't have time to code myself I delegate to another developer on the team. I'm spending anywhere from 0 to 75% of my time on each project coding. One big plus is I get to decide what parts of the project I'm going to actively work on.

You're being handed much more responsibility. Therefore ideally it should include a raise.

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In my experience, lead developers not not manage people. They lead people, but that's a different thing. The difference I see is that you're not responsible for performance evaluations, signing time cards, handling personal problems, giving raises or bonuses, etc. You lead a team from a technical perspective, but don't manage individuals. They should still have someone else who is their manager.

Essentially you're a senior dev, with a little extra leadership responsibilities, a couple more meetings every week, and more involvement in code reviews and bug report triage. And, you're the one who interacts most with the product managers (though preferably face-to-face, not through email) and software architects.

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I have noticed all these responses are based on a project. Prior to this coming about I was a senior developer. Basically I will be responsible for every client and every dev project in the company. Currently about 20 projects (ranging for classic asp code, to .NET to SQL). Then ontop of just dealing with bugs and assigning them, testing and doing the typical management position job I am required to fully participate in development. I honestly think this is a nightmare scenario. Also no raise. – JimS Aug 7 '13 at 23:05

Your title and any comparison to what others do, is a moot point. You need to ship code. The major problem is the lack of skill, ability and knowledge of the other programmrs. If you can fix this, you'll have more time to code in the long-run. That leaves you with:

  1. Replace them
  2. Train them
  3. Write all the code yourself
  4. Ship bad code.

As the lead, you set the standards and are the best person to determine if your standards are being followed. If you don't do it, who is? Your team has 4 people. How many more managers do you need?

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It varies. A lot depends on the nature of the project, the team size, and the phases of the moon and three minor planets.

Many, many years ago, the lead programmer on my first outside-of-school embedded project mentioned that one of the things that caught him by surprise was that, as the lead programmer on that project, he didn't actually get to do any programming.

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