How Do I Become a Development Lead?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 19 November 2019
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If you would like to become a development lead, then you should typically begin with a solid foundation in programming, computer science, and information technology in general. While you do not necessarily need a college degree as a development lead, it can certainly help you when trying to find a competitive position. In general, you should have a strong background in computer programming and software development, and indicate to your employer that you are interested in taking on more responsibility and leading a development team. While you can become a development lead by being hired on for that position, it is often easiest to work your way up to the position and gain lead experience before moving on to a new company.

One of the most important things you need to become a development lead is an understanding of the software development process. This means you should have a strong background in computer science and software development. You might consider a college degree in computer science or information technology; some employers may expect you to have a four-year degree to become a development lead. Most employers also expect a great deal of professional experience in software development, so you typically need to begin as a team member and work your way up to a lead position.


You are likely to need a combination of both technical software development knowledge and managerial skills to become a development lead. Most employers expect a development lead to understand the practical needs of software development to be able to complete a project on time and within a set budget. Programmers, however, often prefer a lead who understands technical language and the realities of software development, which is why you should focus your education on technology to become a development lead. Once you are working as a software developer, then you can develop your abilities as a manager as well.

To become a development lead at a new company, you should have a strong background in technology and previous lead experience. Most companies prefer to hire a lead who already has experience as a manager or team leader. Major companies often prefer that you have been the lead or manager on a project that was completely and successfully developed from beginning to end. This shows that you have the knowledge and experience to become a development lead for that company.


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