Our IT & Innovation Specialist Hannah Jarvis works closely with many successful programmers across Sweden and has built strong business relationships where she helps careers go from strength to strength at some amazing companies. We took the time to chat with her about what it takes to be a great Lead Programmer. Below she gives her thoughts.
The lead programmer role is one which places experienced software engineers in charge of singular or multiple development projects.
With an average salary of £46,000 annually, lead programmers can find themselves managing teams ranging in size, from small groups working on maintenance projects, to teams of over 50 developers working on the biggest gaming titles.
Quite often, a degree in a relevant subject such as physics, maths or computer science is required, however, it is not always a necessity. While a formal qualification can help make a candidate appear more employable, it’s not uncommon to find self-taught programmers take up the role, especially in companies who emphasise internal recruitment.
While the right qualifications are useful, experience is a necessity to become a successful lead programmer. A robust insider knowledge of the industry is also vital.
Many lead programmer roles require candidates to have at least 5 years’ experience in either the same or a relevant industry. This time will give candidates knowledge of the platforms used throughout the various industries, as well as experience of working on the entire life cycles of multiple projects.
Skillset & Attributes
Firstly, lead programmers need to have an intricate knowledge of coding languages and must be able to utilise advanced coding skills along the entire project life cycle. Certain industries may however lean more towards one language. For example, the gaming industry often requires an adept understanding of C++.
In combination with essential programming skills, lead programmers need to be able to thrive in a managerial role. Leading a potentially sizable team requires candidates to effectively organise, mobilise and motivate each team member to ensure all projects are completed and all existing systems are maintained.
As programmers gain more experience and expertise they will be able to build themselves up to a lead programmer role. However, there are various other roles that can lead into this career, including software experts with a vast coding knowledge. Developers, software designers and software architects could all use their unique experiences and skills to transition into a managerial, leading role.
Sectors & Industries
Lead programmers are present in any industry that require teams of software and coding experts. Therefore, they’re present in almost every industry, from working on the back-end of e-commerce websites to working in bio-pharmaceutical companies.
Why does the position exist?
The lead programmer role offers those who are looking to take their experience to a managerial level the opportunity to lead a team of like-minded developers, programmers and other coding professionals.
The role allows candidates to apply their expertise to make a difference to the company’s internal and external services, ensuring that the maintenance, development and improvements of a company’s back-end code are handled to specification and on time.
If you are looking for a new role in this field or open to new opportunities, send your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.