Why is the secretary the most valuable resource in the team? / Hebrew

Why is the secretary the most valuable resource in the team? / Hebrew

I recently came across a post that struck a chord with me:

teamlead is the team’s most valuable resource. And when a team leader sits down to write code, instead of solving his direct tasks, he devalues ​​his work. For any technical things, the team has tech leads, and the task of the team lead is precisely to ensure that the tech leads have everything they need to implement these things.

Recently, more and more often I come across the idea that a team leader should not write code. And if 15 years ago it was just a joke, now this opinion is becoming almost mainstream in the industry. Therefore, I want to clearly formulate my view on this issue.

I have been working in the industry since 1999. Almost 25 years. And all these years I’ve been writing code, no matter what positions I’ve been in. And I don’t consider it something shameful. Moreover, according to my observations, a leader who does not write code very quickly loses the technological context and begins to make poor technical decisions. Basically, he loses his technical qualification. And taking into account the speed of industrial development, the process of losing skills is very, very fast.

Time to start calling a spade a spade. If you don’t write code, you lose technical skills. And if you don’t have the technical skills, you’re not really a team leader. I will try to prove my thesis.


You can say that you “manage people”. However, the essence of the people management process is the delegation of authority. And without the appropriate qualification, you cannot delegate technical tasks, because:

  1. You cannot hire an engineer because you are unable to assess his qualifications.

  2. You can’t give an engineer a task because you can’t articulate it.

  3. You cannot assess the quality of the task because you do not understand its essence.

  4. You can assess the adequacy of the terms of the task, as you can assess its labor intensity.

  5. You cannot act as an arbiter in disputes between engineers, because you do not understand the essence of these disputes, and you do not have authority among technicians.

  6. You can’t train the engineers you hire because you have nothing to share with them.

  7. You cannot identify technical leaders in the team to delegate to them the authority to develop certain areas.

  8. You can’t “fail-proof” your team because you can’t measure the actual contribution of engineers. You don’t understand who you should keep, and who you can calmly say goodbye to. You cannot adequately assess the risks of caring for a particular engineer. As a result, you cannot minimize these risks in a timely manner.

Hence the conclusion – you do not manage people. Therefore, you are NOT the team leader (i.e. team leader).


Maybe you want to say that you manage the development process? And this is also not true. Without a technical qualification you:

  1. You cannot decompose large technical tasks.

  2. You cannot prioritize tasks correctly.

  3. You cannot predict the deadline for tasks.

  4. You cannot assess the level of risk of the tasks being performed. As a result, you cannot predict and prepare for potential development crises.

  5. You may not even be able to decide on the most appropriate development methodology for your project.


Maybe you want to say that you make strategic technical decisions? This is also not the case. Because without a technical qualification you:

  1. You cannot design the architecture yourself.

  2. You cannot assess the quality of the designed architecture.

  3. You cannot choose an adequate technology stack to implement the designed architecture.

  4. Cannot assess architectural and technological risks.

  5. You cannot predict the long-term architectural and technological evolution of the project.

  6. And, as a result, you cannot formulate the qualification requirements of hired engineers.


So what can you do? It is good if you know the business for which you are developing a technical solution. But then you are not a team leader either – you are a business analyst. Or the owner of the product.

And if you don’t even know business… What you can do is prepare final reports on the work done. Well, you can draw slides. And with a stretch. You also cannot present the project. Since you do not understand the essence of the project and cannot answer any questions that require little technical knowledge.

But then who are you? But you are, in fact, just a secretary. But then I have a rhetorical question. Why is the secretary the most valuable resource in the team?

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