How to become a Team Leader in Merixstudio?

The world looks different when there are 10 people in your company and when there are almost 100 of them. In Merixstudio, we know both situations. We still have people on board who remember the very beginnings of its performance and a team able to fit in one room. But they are not the only ones who notice great changes taking place in front of them. From the last year, we doubled the number of our employees so we all feel the difference. Along with development, we had to reorganize the company's structure and create new work standards. We’ve got 6 departments now and - our internal product with a dedicated team that supports the portal and the blog. Since the beginning of January this year, each department has its own Head who works closely with Team Leaders of the specified groups. In June, within our standard, regular evaluation talks (we run them twice a year - in June and December) another people were promoted to the Team Leaders and so now, we’ve got 14 of them at Merixstudio. In this article, I would like to focus on the role of these people. Who they are? What are they doing? How did it happen that they are the Team Leaders?

Who is a Team Leader in Merixstudio?

The scope of tasks and responsibilities of Team Leaders will be different in different companies and it mostly depends on the company's business profile and organization solutions in the field of people management. In Merixstudio, every each of our Team Leader was selected from the team, not within external recruitment so employees are aware of the possibility to take a lead when their time comes. The main assumption of Merixstudio is that TL should be a real support for every member of his team. This means that teams can’t be too big - in our software house, it’s around 6-7 people.

Beside responsibilities connected to the position and projects, TL has an additional set of tasks related to the role. When you are our Team Leader - you don't work at full time in the project! A very important aspect is that the company provides people time on leadership. In Merixstudio this is how it works - each TL has time for management duties and organization support - about 10 hours per week.

What does a Team Leader do in our software house?

We divided the role and responsibilities of a TL into two areas - the main and the minor ones. The core tasks are related to the team and technical issues and consider close cooperation with the Head of the department to maintain proper communication. Side tasks are related to collaboration with the sales and marketing teams and general business support. Do you think that Team Leader must be the best technical person from the team and have a big business orientation? Not necessarily. In Merixstudio we appreciate the ambition, willingness to share knowledge and orientation for personal development. And this development we also try to support - this is why we have a Team Leader position in the career path.

What Team Leaders in Merixstudio think about their role?

I asked the Heads of some departments, about why they chose these and not other persons for leadership positions and also TLs about what helped them to be promoted :) Answers are below!

Mateusz, Head of Frontend Development, about promoting Paulina and Marcin to the Team Leaders of frontend teams:

Paulina and Marcin are very open, they connect people and are highly involved in their everyday work. They are able to listen, but also to speak - as they perform as the speakers and mentors on IT events. They always help others, take care of their development and know our company inside out.

What Paulina and Marcin think about this? I asked them, which skills helped them to take a lead.

Paulina said:

In my opinion, keeping good relations with people and being a real team-player. I am a responsible and problem-solving person, very committed to perform the tasks as well as possible. I also have experience as a mentor at external and internal workshops - and really I like running them!

What’s from Marcin? What does he think tipped the scales in his promotion?

Professional and work experience in the company. It's also not overlook that I am willing to help and I also engage in internal projects - helping not only my department but also other ones.

And what about one of our new Team Leaders on the backend? Miłosz, Head of Development said about Dawid Rdzanek that    

He has what every Team Leader should have - the ability to share his knowledge on a daily basis. He gives an example of a great work to others and never refuses to help anyone.

Dawid thinks, he is a Team Leader because:

I constantly develop my skills and try to be up-to-date with news in the programming world. I care about the quality of a code, architecture and good practices. I also keep good, friendly contact with my colleagues, help others to solve problems and gain the experience"

The last example comes from our QA Department and the Agnieszka's promotion to a Team Leader.

Dorota, first TL in QA said:

Agnieszka is a hard-working person and has a lot of technical knowledge. She is involved in the company’s life, organizes department integration meetings and she is experienced in internal and external presentations and workshops. Her communication skills are at a high level, both in relations with the clients and the team. She is helpful, independent, well-organized and often comes with initiative. You can not underestimate her professional experience related to automated tests and performance & security testing.

Piotr Diering, Head of Delivery, emphasized that Agnieszka:

has a very wide knowledge in the field of testing and more importantly - willingly shares this knowledge with other people from the QA team. Through her activities, she showed that she wanted to develop the team. She is a trustworthy person and she has already supported the current Team Leader by taking on some of the responsibilities  such as information meetings with potential candidates, project valuations and the onboarding of new QA team members.

What Agnieszka thinks about this? She believes that the key is to

show initiative, take an active part in the life of the department, support the preparation of standards, and be helpful to co-workers. You have to be proactive in events and workshops and also interested in the industry - develop and learn and then share this knowledge with others. It's also crucial not to be afraid to talk and discuss difficult issues - some topics may not be easy and you have to be prepared for it.

Do you see the key to success :)? Probably nothing more needs to be added. If you are ambitious, hardworking, helpful and you like to share knowledge and at the same time you are not afraid about difficult situations - check our job offers and join Merixstudio. Maybe you will be our next Team Leader soon?

Navigate the changing IT landscape

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