computer science

Embracing Technical Leadership and the Architect Role: Insights from Venkat Subramaniam

A deep dive into the critical aspects of becoming an effective technical leader and architect


Venkat Subramaniam, a renowned software developer, consultant, and author, shares valuable insights into becoming an effective technical leader and architect in a recent The GeekNarrator podcast episode. From identifying essential qualities to understanding what makes architects invaluable, he offers advice and tips for developers seeking to elevate their careers and grow into leadership roles. In this article, we explore key takeaways from the podcast and learn how to hone our leadership skills and architectural thinking.

Key Learnings from Venkat Subramaniam

1. Understanding the Architect Role

An architect’s role is much more than just design. It’s about driving the vision, ensuring cohesion across different components, and understanding how decisions affect the system. Architects need to be problem solvers, constantly making trade-offs and evaluating the best course of action.

2. Essential Qualities of a Technical Leader

  • Curiosity: A technical leader should be curious about learning new things, exploring new technologies, and adapting to new situations.
  • Humility: Recognizing that we don’t know everything and being open to learning from others is crucial in leadership positions.
  • Fearlessness: A leader should be willing to take risks and make decisions without the fear of failure.
  • Adaptability: Embrace change and be willing to adapt to new situations and technologies.

3. Architects Should Code

While architects may not be expected to code daily, they must understand the codebase and maintain their programming skills. This helps them make informed decisions and avoid limiting the team’s capabilities. Pair programming with developers can provide valuable insights into the system’s internals and constraints.

4. The Importance of Time and Space Complexity

Understanding time and space complexity is fundamental for developers. It helps them evaluate the efficiency of algorithms and make informed decisions about code performance.

5. Diversifying Your Knowledge Portfolio

Learn multiple programming languages and paradigms to expand your perspective and problem-solving abilities. Reading multiple books on a subject helps gain different viewpoints from various authors.

6. Learning from Colleagues and Peers

Collaborate with your colleagues, attend conferences, and engage in discussions to gain new perspectives and challenge your understanding. Learning from others is invaluable in expanding your ideas and growing as a leader.


Becoming an effective technical leader and architect requires a combination of curiosity, humility, fearlessness, and adaptability. It’s essential to understand the code, learn from colleagues, and diversify your knowledge portfolio. By applying these insights from Venkat Subramaniam, developers can elevate their careers, grow into leadership roles, and contribute to the success of their teams and projects.

Watch the full episode to enjoy this insightful discussion.

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