5 Whys is a blog about technical leadership in the software world.

5 ways to grow great developers instead of desperately looking for them

One of the most common phrases you hear from managers about lack of agile adoption in their team is 

We don't have that kind of 'super' developer here. We just have ordinary day folks - they can't handle it. And We can't seem to find anyone who can fit what we look for.

The real key to being a great leader is that if you do your job right, than you'll make your developers better and better  - you will grow them until they become the developers you wish you had

Grow your developers into their full potential and you won't have to seek anyone from the outside


I'm not saying it's easy.

As a team lead, helping people grow was one of the toughest things I've had to do. It got me way out of my comfort zone, and i had to do things I'd never imagined doing, but that means that I also  grew personally as a lead while growing other people.

Today I feel more confident than ever that given a team I can start my way to making the team a better team, instead of always looking to the outside.

How do you grow people?

 Here are the the headlines (i'll blog about each separately)


  1. Give them "Homework" about things that will make them better
  2. Take them (and yourself) out of their comfort zone
  3. Ask them to come up with multiple solutions to problems
  4. If you're not happy with someone's current state, be assertive about not accepting it and ask them to commit to be better (management by integrity)
  5. Implement code reviews and teach them to do them on their own


Of course, to get all these things going there are several simple conditions that have to be met first:



Growing developers: Ask for solutions instead of giving them

Announcing the Team Leadership Google Group