May 22

My Dream Team


What is your dream team?

My company is the middle of a big reorg to make the engineering teams more autonomous and productive. A new role of “Technical Leader” has being created and I tried to apply. Unfortunately, I have not being selected for the interview as there were other candidates with more experience than me. I firmly believe that leadership is not a role and that everyone can be a leader.

If you was the technical leader of a team, what would be your dream team?

This is an extract from my cover letter of what is my dream team:

My dream is to create a team which embraces the vision that maximizing learning is the key to success. A team that believes collaborative working and knowledge sharing is the number one priority. A team that wants to learn more about its customers and the commercial needs of the business in order to find ways to deliver more value. A team where experimenting and challenging the status quo is the norm and where there is no punishment and no fear of failure. A team whose members feel safe to ask for help and talk. A team that values honesty, transparency, and respect in an environment where people constantly give feedback and motivate others. A team that is proud of the clean and simple code it writes and one which cares deeply about design, quality and testing. A team of disciplined engineers who reflect on what they produce, how they work, what tools they use and who want to become masters of their craft. A team that feels like a technical community with a shared and clear goal and which continuously grows. A team where everyone can be a leader.

What do you think?

What’s your dream team?



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  • Hi Karl, thanks to share your opinion. I totally agree with you about the importance of having a technical leader to make the ultimate decision especially when there are strong competing opinions and/or more serious personality problems. However, this is easy to be abused and it is easy to discourage individual explorations and learning. I still want to encourage experiments even if only a single member of the team is interested to do it and make sure he gets the support of other members (even if they disagree). If that turns out not to be a good thing, ultimately the team learnt something. I think that giving people that power, that trust that they can experiment and try to improve things is very powerful. People feel that there is no fear of failure, actually they learn that there is no failure. There is either win or learning. That’s the mindset I’d like to see instead of feeling guilty or worse pointing the finger/blaming.

    Anyway, specifically about the dream team…. Is sharing the same values/commitment to good code and practices and having a good team leader enough for you? or is there something else that defines yours “dream team”?

  • I think that a dream team is a team who share the same values and commitment to good code and practices. I am not sure that a team cannot have a leader. There are always personalities involved and these can bleed over into the team. To me a team leader is someone who is responsible for the teams progress and direction. Someone who has the final say in how things are done.

    For example: If a team wants to use a new piece of software, or use a coding solution, what happens if others on the team do not want to? If there is a team leader to make the decision, then the other team members who might not have been in favour of the idea will usually fall in line and do it.

    I have worked in teams without a clear structure and they quickly become fragmented if half of the team wants to go one way and the other half want to go another. In these cases a team leader can help to turn the individual developers into a team.

    However, it takes a good team leader to do this. A team leader cannot be assigned based on time in the company, age or any factor other than the best person for the role.

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