Home > Development & Technical, General .NET Coding > Technical Lead & Development Lead – What’s the difference?

Technical Lead & Development Lead – What’s the difference?

I get asked the question “What is the difference between a Technical Lead and Development Lead” frequently when I assign these roles on projects, mainly from resourcing or project managers. Some projects, depending on size, will have the same person carry both of these titles. Bigger projects (normally defined by the scope of work required and price) you will see these roles separated to allow for these responsibilities (listed below) to be managed effectively.

What I can say is this article is based on my personal experience in IT over the past 10 years.  Every Technical Lead or Development Lead you speak to will have their own opinion of these roles and their responsibilities.  I recommend that you use the roles and responsibilities that work best for your organisation and projects.

Below is my responsibilities breakdown for the Technical Lead and Development Lead respectively and how they differ between each other.  Feel free to take these on board when defining your development team makeup on your next exciting project!


Technical Lead Development Lead
Ø Delivering a relevant technical solution based on best practice / experience / similar projects

Ø Involvement in the Pre-sales engagement of the solution. This could include producing demo and/or Proof of Concept (PoC) or supporting Request for Proposals (RFPs).

Ø Provide technical review of the solution for Solution Review Panels (SRPs)

Ø Estimations of the development components required for the entire solution.

Ø Work with the project manager to support project plans and correct resource and time allocation.

Ø Support the project manager to keep the project on time and budget.

Ø Technical advisor to the project manager, test manager and/or business.

Ø Lead the technical best practices and principles and make sure they are adhered to.

Ø Identify project risks and assumptions

Ø Oversee the work being done by any other developers and work with the development lead.

Ø Support the entire development methodology process

Ø Responsible for the technical governance for the project

Ø Management of technical tasks required for the project

Ø Primary escalation resource for technical issues

Ø Conducting code reviews for the development team

Ø Lead the project development team

Ø Escalate any technical issues, roadblocks or project risks to the Technical Lead

Ø Meet with the Technical Lead on a regular basis to discuss the development quality measures for the project and assess that the best practices are being adhered to

Ø Provide the relevant development tools to the developers on the team

Ø Be responsible for the code being developed by the developers

Ø Manage the quality of the code being developed by the developers

Ø Conduct code reviews with the developers within the development team

Ø Develop the initial framework or platform of the solution which each developer will use to build the solution

Ø Mentor the developers on the development team

Ø Support the Technical Lead with estimations relating to the specialised areas or components

Ø Ensure code is documented where applicable or required

Ø Responsible for the health of the build server

Ø Lead the daily stand-up or scrum meetings

Ø Lead the deployments to each environment within the development lifecycle

If you have any feedback, feel free to post a comment and let me know.

Greg Olsen

  1. Ramesh Kuamr
    November 27, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Excellent Information

  2. December 6, 2015 at 1:24 am

    So much roles for nothing in a nowadays free mind spirit. Both are the same because with EVIDENCE all of that tasks are not a daily basis always. The terms are now bullshit cause the lead dev is doing in fact 90% development in reality. The proper role for both is now “Agile Architect”.

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