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Seven things to start saying RIGHT NOW to become a Tech Lead

    Standing out in the crowd in the post-apocalyptic paradise has made it increasingly difficult to do the sole thing every Tech Lead naturally has wanted to achieve since the advent of technology: climbing the corporate ladder.

    No more can you use the prior technique of staying unreasonably long hours at the office to convince others that you are working. 2020 has evolved the way that we work. You have two choices: evolve or falter.

    In this edition of Tech Lead Tips, I am going to give you ten things that you need to start slipping into every one of your Slack conversations and Zoom meetings. Applicable for anyone of any level, this will take you from Junior Engineer to Director faster than you can say, "Tracy, I'm taking sick leave."

    Hot tip: Do not share these tips. Sharing knowledge is a surefire way for your colleagues to leapfrog your career as they are all lifetime subscribers of Tech Lead Tips.

    Artificial Intelligence

    Starting with the mother of all bamboozling, nothing will get you promoted faster than dropping a few AI acronyms in your meetings. This umbrella has term has stolen the hearts and imaginations of people the world over.

    Are there benefits to learning and applying these technologies within your company? Sure. But that takes time. Start reaping the benefits now and leave the learning for others who wait years to be promoted.

    Hot tip: There is a strong correlation between saying "AI" in project kickoffs and your product manager advocating for you during performance reviews.


    There is no bigger hypeman/woman in this world than those that preach the promise of the microfrontend. In 2019 alone, using the word "microfrontend" during engineering meetings is estimated to have been the cause behind 63% of promotions across the globe.

    Here is the bad news: In 2020, using the term microfrontend is too late. The secret art of earning promotions is as stable as the web development ecosystem.

    Here is the good news: We are going one deeper.

    What is smaller than a microfrontend? The nanofrontend.

    If there is one thing science has given us, it is prefixes that we can use to describe smaller and smaller things. By sheer definition, a microfrontend is just a frontend multiplied by 10^-6. With a nanofrontend, we are taking this same frontend and multiplying it be 10^-9.

    Everyone wants smaller, we are giving them smaller. Ipso facto, we win.

    Stand out from the crowd and start introducing nanofrontends today.

    Hot tip: Bigger is not always better. Start using picofrontends in 2021.

    No Code/Low Code

    What is the best way to make friends with programmers? Start preaching that their job is no longer needed.

    People will tell you that No Code/Low Code will open you to "focusing on the more important tasks", but here is the trade secret that only Tech Lead Tips will tell you: you cannot focus on more important tasks when you don't have a job.

    Hot tip: You can not work a job if you do not have a job.

    Only those who can see the future are permitted to live in it. Be on the winning side as a thought leader in your company and start preaching the No Code revolution today.


    Have you ever understood how indexes work in databases? Do you understand the specific architectural impact behind placing one in? Did you throw one in the other day because you knew the long-term impact and because it was the correct thing to do?

    If you answered no to all of the above, then you have stepped on a gold mine.

    Leverage this opportunity to berate colleagues and speak endlessly about adding indexes onto all of your database tables and watch the positive feedback come flying through during your performance review.

    Hot tip: If you don't know something, who else would?

    If anyone starts questioning your knowledge on databases, link them to this Uber Engineering article from 2016 and nod your head from side to side (do this slowly so they understand what they're done wrong).

    No one will not be able to question you when you are higher on the hierachy, because everyone knows that titles mean everything.

    Event Stroking

    There is nothing more important when it comes to being a developer than working in technologies that begin with "event".

    Event sourcing, event tracking, event streaming, event bubbling, event propagation. The list goes on and on.

    "So what is event stroking?", you may ask. It doesn't matter. Do you think everyone knows all the possible "event-word" combinations there are in tech?

    To get that extra promotion, be sure to start combining event with other English verbs. In fact, Event Combining sounds pretty techy to me... that's mine. Don't take it.

    Hot tip: 10x Engineers started the "event-word" combinations to 10x their career.

    10x Engineer


    Hot tip: Never explain things. Explaining things opens you up to mistakes.


    Open-Source has been all the rage. It is a badge of honour for those who enjoy community initiatives and supporting their fellow engineers across the broader developer community.

    We are not here to do that. We are here to look down on others and sip piña coladas and add negativity into the universe via Twitter.

    If there is one thing that you should take away from today, it's that no one in the open-source community is up for promotion. They are an open book. Nothing spells "tech lead" quite like an air of mystery.

    Hot tip: Do not share knowledge, do not maintain open-source project and certainly don't tweet anything nice.

    So there you have it. Those are seven terms that you need to start introducing into each form of communication affilliated with your company. Tweet me your success stories.

    Tech Lead Tips is my satirical getaway series from writing useful blog posts and working too hard.

    Image credit: Markus Spiske

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    Dennis O'Keeffe

    • Melbourne, Australia

    Hi, I am a professional Software Engineer. Formerly of Culture Amp, UsabilityHub, Present Company and NightGuru.
    I am currently working on Visibuild.


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    Seven things to start saying RIGHT NOW to become a Tech Lead


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