From IC To Tech Lead - Transitioning Schedules

Vishal Biyani

CTO & Founder at InfraCloud



"After six or seven years in an individual contributor role, I transitioned into being a tech-lead. The job wasn't entirely that of a manager, but it still involved a fair amount of management. Initially, I struggled a lot with how to handle problems that my team members had. I would spend hours trying to solve their problems, and because there were five team members, this quickly added up. As a result, I never had time to work on the work I had been assigned to do."

Actions taken

"I quickly realized that, if this continued, I would either become burnt-out or I wouldn't be able to deliver the work that I had promised."

"After reading an article by Paul Graham called 'Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule', I came to realize that a tech lead role consists of two different kinds of schedules and that I needed to learn how to manage each of them."

"Between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm, I focused on the individual tasks I had been set. I also made this clear to my team, so they knew when I would be free to discuss their issues. This also then gave me the rest of the day to work alongside them and collaborate with them."

"Initially, I still struggled as I got used to the new schedule. However, over time I got into more of a flow, and this approach ended up working really well for me."

Lessons learned

"The schedule of a maker is different from that of a manager. Different roles have different requirements for attention span, collaboration, and the focus required. It's important to identify the type of work you are doing and then work according to its requirements."

"It's crucial to then clearly set up these expectations with your team. They won't understand your schedule by themselves, but if you explain it, they will take it onboard and will adjust their expectations of you accordingly."

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Vishal Biyani

CTO & Founder at InfraCloud

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