Technical Leader — the position to solve your headaches
Not all budgets will afford this luxury and not all team sizes are needed it (less than 4). In that case, you should prefer a majority of mature personal (not necessarily seniors). That will decrease the need for a Technical Leader.
Introducing a technical-leader role into your team comes with many benefits:
Feed the starve for leadership
The desire to become a leader may be a known need of at least one of your team members. In most cases, offering a team leadership position is out of reach. Offering the technical leadership role may feed his need.
Employee’s unfulfilled need is a barrier to his motivation for offering a better and/or greater contribution.
A focal point for deep brainstorms
Yes, I am a fan of having all team members being involved in almost every concern. But I am also a fan of setting the number of large forum meetings into a minimum.
Some ideas are first needing to become ripen before sharing them with a bigger forum. First process them together with your technical leader.
Research like it should be
Most developers are more hands-on oriented and will tend to jump too quickly into code writing. Great results and great findings come after a well-designed plan and a well-done research.
Those are treats for the Technical Leader. Trust him/her with doing most of the research and design work.
Having an improvement-oriented member in your team will help you spot and tackle technical setbacks and to find new opportunity to improve your infrastructure, CI, CD, practices and tech stack.
Technical quality assurance
One of the Technical Leader responsibilities is to be the main person who is minded about monitoring and enforcing code quality.
Convinced? Here are the qualities that your potential team leader should considerably possess:
Tendency to doubt
It is easy for us developers to become blind to the hype and fashion. Ability to doubt the “obvious” is crucial to avoid implementing redundant technologies into your stack and for noticing the things that can and should be improved. Technical Leader should be a practical thinker that sees simplicity first, over adopting new/additional technologies and approaches. Else, the power given to him can be immaturely abused.
Innovation and creativity
Innovation and creativity should be clear qualities of this person. He should have a constant desire to read, discover, and to do some philosophical thinking.
Without being self-aware of his weaknesses and/or knowledge lacks, the title will blind the Technical Leader from keeping improving himself.
Skillful feedback provider
A technical leader is also an educator. The ability to educate and provide feedback without stimulating antagonism is the virtue for a successful long-term technical-leadership service.
Skillful feedback receiver
As a one who presents ideas to the mass, you should not only be able to receive feedback respectfully and constructively, you should also strive for receiving them.