What is the difference between an engineering manager and a technical lead?

Are you trying to figure out the difference between an engineering manager 🧑‍💼 and a technical lead 💻?

No worries, we've got you covered!

While both roles involve managing people and projects, there are some key differences in skill set, experience, and daily responsibilities. Here's a breakdown:

Engineering Manager 🧑‍💼

  • An engineering manager is responsible for leading and managing a team of engineers.
  • They typically have a strong technical background, with experience as an engineer themselves.
  • Skillset: In addition to their technical expertise, engineering managers should have strong leadership and communication skills, as well as a deep understanding of engineering processes and best practices.
  • Daily responsibilities: Engineering managers might be involved in tasks such as setting team goals and priorities, allocating resources, mentoring team members, and collaborating with other departments. They may also be responsible for managing budgets and schedules.

Technical Lead 💻

  • A technical lead is a senior engineer who serves as a subject matter expert and provides technical guidance to a team of engineers.
  • They typically have a strong technical background, with expertise in a particular domain or technology.
  • Skillset: Technical leads should have strong problem-solving and communication skills, as well as a deep understanding of the technical aspects of their area of expertise.
  • Daily responsibilities: Technical leads might be involved in tasks such as designing and implementing complex technical solutions, providing guidance to junior engineers, collaborating with cross-functional teams, and communicating with stakeholders.
Tech Leads usually don't deal with any of the HR related task. Salaries, promotions, goal setting, etc. They do have influence on some of those items.

So, to sum up 🔍: both engineering managers and technical leads are important for the success of any engineering team, but they have different skill sets and responsibilities.

Engineering managers focus on leading and developing a team of engineers, while technical leads focus on providing technical guidance and expertise.

We hope this helps clear things up 😅!

You've successfully subscribed to Tech Dad - A Premium Newsletter for Engineering Leadership
Great! Next, complete checkout to get full access to all premium content.
Error! Could not sign up. invalid link.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Error! Could not sign in. Please try again.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Error! Stripe checkout failed.
Success! Your billing info is updated.
Error! Billing info update failed.