Managing a team of people requires a very different skill set to developing software. Moving from a technical role to management is not for everybody. But trailblazer Dinko Sego at New10 successfully made the transition. 

Armed with the insights of 10 years of development experience within the financial services sector and an intuition for leadership, Dinko was ready for a life-changing change. 

In this blog, Dinko shares the most challenging and exciting aspects of being a Tech Lead. He also gives advice for others eager to make the transition from developer to manager. 

 

So, tell us what inspired you to move into management?

Dinko Sego: It was a natural progression for me. I just started being less hands-on and moving more towards functional design and leadership. I guess my driver was that I felt I had an instinct for bringing out the best in people. 

I’ve been Tech Lead since 2018, and I’m so proud of the team I’ve built. People have moved to the Netherlands to work with us from as far afield as Ukraine, Panama, and Brazil, so we’re a diverse bunch and we’re all good friends.

 

What are the most important skills as a manager?

DS: Probably communication. You can’t manage people without being able to talk to them openly and honestly. As a manager, you’re also a mentor, and you have to make the transition from measuring success by your own achievements to those of your team, which can be challenging at times. 

It’s also important to be a secure base for others to lean on. You have to create a safe space so they feel comfortable to experiment and innovate. I think the more trust you give, the better the results you get. But you also need to be prepared to take the bullet when something goes wrong and leave the credit to others when it goes right!

Related: Use Trailhead to earn credentials and learn the skills you need to transform your career!

 

Have you learnt these skills on the job or been on courses?

DS: New10 invests heavily in us, so when I became a manager, I went on a course about communication frameworks and which methods to use in different situations. It’s definitely influenced my management style. I’ve also learnt a lot on the job, and some of it has just come to me naturally. 

 

What skills did you learn as a craft brewer that have helped in your current role?

DS: Business skills! We were one of the first craft breweries in Croatia, so nobody really knew what craft beer was at the time. We had to work hard to communicate to the market how our beer was different.

 I learnt a lot about marketing, selling, and customer engagement, which is exactly what CRM and Salesforce are all about. 

 

What’s most exciting about being in a leadership role?

DS: For me, it’s all about watching your team develop and contributing to their success and happiness. It’s the best feeling to see someone achieve their potential. 

I see Salesforce as a tool that helps organisations achieve their potential too, which might be why I ended up working with the solution in the first place! I also like the fact that I’m responsible for creating a vision for the future. 

 

What advice would you give to other developers looking to make the move?

DS: It’s very different, so you need to be sure that you actually want to do it. You need to like working with people, enjoy being a mentor, and learn to put aside your own successes and ambitions to focus on the needs of your team. 

It can be hard to get recognised as management material. You can start small by presenting yourself as someone that others can look up to and always set a good example. Then talk to your manager and get an understanding of the possibilities out there. The sign of a good leader is often that people just start following.