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Tech Lead Journal

141 EpisodesProduced by Henry SuryawirawanWebsite

Great technical leadership requires more than just great coding skills. It requires a variety of other skills that are not well-defined, and they are not something that we can fully learn in any school or book. Hear from experienced technical leaders sharing their journey and philosophy for building… read more


#9 - Tech Leadership & Hypergrowth at Fintech Bank N26 - Patrick Kua

“A Tech Lead is a person with a technical background, typically an engineer who is leading a team and particularly responsible and accountable for their technical direction."

Patrick Kua is a seasoned technology leader and is passionate about accelerating the growth and success of tech organizations and technical leaders. Before going independent recently, Pat was the CTO and Chief Scientist of N26 (Berlin, Germany), where he transformed the early stage startup culture and led the Product & Technology teams for hypergrowth. Before N26, Pat spent 13+ years in ThoughtWorks as a Technical Principal Consultant, where he researched deep into the Tech Lead role and became a thought leader about it. Pat is a frequent keynote and conference speaker and also an author.

In this episode, I had an amazing learning conversation with Pat about the Tech Lead role and discussed deep with him on what it takes to become a good Tech Lead. Pat also shared his journey as a CTO and Chief Scientist of N26, the challenges he faced there and what he did to transform the Product & Technology teams to align for hypergrowth. This is one of those conversations you definitely not want to miss to learn how to become a great technical leader!

Listen out for:

  • What Pat is up to - [00:04:22]
  • Pat’s career journey - [00:07:37]
  • Tech Lead definition - [00:16:46]
  • Why Pat is interested about Tech Leads - [00:18:02]
  • Tech Lead attributes - [00:21:58]
  • Effective Tech Lead - [00:26:12]
  • Examples of Tech Lead measures - [00:29:53]
  • Tech Lead business angle - [00:36:27]
  • Pat’s N26 story as a CTO - [00:38:51]
  • How Pat grew N26 engineering team - [00:44:03]
  • How Pat balanced his responsibility and time as a CTO - [00:51:10]
  • Target Operating Model (TOM) - [00:53:05]
  • Why Pat switched to become a Chief Scientist in N26 - [00:57:58]
  • Tech Lead resources - [00:59:38]
  • Pat’s 3 Tech Lead Wisdom - [01:01:05]


Patrick Kua’s Bio
Patrick Kua is a seasoned technology leader with almost 20 years of experience. He has had many years of hands-on experience, leading, managing and improving complex organisations and software systems as the CTO and Chief Scientist of N26 and as a Technical Principal Consultant at ThoughtWorks. He is a frequent keynote and conference speaker, author of three books, and runs the free popular newsletter for leaders in tech, “Level Up” and the “Tech Lead Academy“, offering training for technical leaders, or running his very popular “Shortcut to Tech Leadership“ workshop.

Follow Pat:

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