Interview with iOS Team Lead:

remoteness, advice an jokes

2022/07/18 by Sergey L.
7 min read

How to create an atmosphere for each private team member to solve the assigned tasks independently

I have been with the company for over eight years. It sounds scary for an IT specialist to have been working in one place for such a long time, but it's true. It is interesting working for this company because I have grown to be a team leader, and projects are becoming more complex and challenging.

At the beginning of my journey as a lead, I read that there are three ways to manage:
  • The first way is to be controlling and forceful.
  • The second is laissez-faire.
  • The third is to create an atmosphere for each private team member to solve the assigned tasks independently.

I am a supporter of this path.

Requirements for newcomers: Six months after employment, they should merge into the overall pace of the team and project requirements. In six months, I expect independent decisions from them. Sometimes I can point out shortcomings—not correct mistakes—but point out the consequences of such decisions.

The main thing is that a person should develop and look for their own sources of information as well as existing and newly created approaches to implementation.
Personal Way of Leading
With the transition to remote work, the conduct of daily calls has changed. It takes more time for communication and discussions of details. We have no strict control for activities during working hours. If the developer misses our call he will notify me in advance and give a short report. I can tell our customers about the movement and development progress at our daily meetup.

Our work relationships are based on trust. If you have to leave during working hours, you can work another time—later in the day or on weekends. For me, honesty and transparency in communication are fundamental and include such things as work results or completing tasks on time.
Influence of Remoteness
Listen to people more, do not try to decide everything on your own, and do not rely solely on your experience.

In development, look for ready-made solutions from other teams and spend a little more time analyzing and adapting them to your needs. It is much more efficient than writing everything from scratch, because sooner or later we come to the same idea that already exists. But we spend much more time and effort experimenting and abandoning non-working strategies.

From the point of view of the lead position, I would advise you to listen to the team more often and be interested in working relationships.

There have been times when we lost good talent due to poor behavior or quality. A timely conversation here and there or a crucial decision favoring an employee could improve the quality of the work on the whole team.
Advice to Myself at the Beginning of Career
We have our own private joke: When a new employee comes to us and passes the probationary period, I say:

Guys, now is the time to tell you about one of our colleague and his "bisexual button." During mobile development, we were tasked to make a button that would mirror the screen. We had to localize the application in the American and European regions. Colleague created the button but didn't know what to call it. He eventually came up with the name, "bisexual button." We all got a big laugh.
By the way, he no longer works with us, but we have not renamed this button as an example and lesson on being creative.

The point of the joke is that we need to develop ourselves promptly so we will not name buttons with similar names.
Our Favorite Joke