Tech Lead vs Engineering Manager | Engineering Ladders

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2021-06-11 08:00:07

It is very common for companies to mix the Tech Lead and Engineering Manager roles. Although both roles have some overlap, their focus is different: the Tech Lead is in charge of the System while the Engineering Manager is in charge of the People.

If the team is small and/or the leader has a lot of experience as Engineering Manager and Tech Lead, the same person might perform both roles. But as the system and team grow in size and complexity, there might be an opportunity to have different people for each role.

The last point on each role highlights the fact that the lists are not mutually exclusive, and therefore many of the points from one side are also important on the other side too. An Engineering Manager that can’t understand the technical challenges that the team is facing won’t be successful at the role, the same is true for a Tech Lead that doesn’t understand the career paths of the engineers in the team.

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