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ben4d85

Technical Lead vs Project Manager

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In the games industry, what is the difference between a technical lead and a project manager in terms of:
- work description
- difficulty to find a job
- salary

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A technical lead actually has to be an expert in the technical field that they're leading (e.g. gameplay programming, engine programming, or tools programming), and need managerial skills to lead and delegate to a team of other technical staff (e.g. telling the other programmers what they should be doing, and helping them get their job done). They'll provide reports to the project manager about tasks time estimates, prerequisites, required resources, etc... They'll also be responsible for important decisions in their department, such as coding standards and large-scale architectural choices.

The project manager knows what the end product should be, and cooperates with the leads (from each department) on creating a plan of how to get there. They'll map out which tasks should be done in which order so that every department is being productive, and try to keep everyone on-schedule.
The roles of "producer" or "project coordinator" are very similar to the above, and might be part of the same "project management" hierarchy.

These are both jobs for people with a lot of experience though. At an entry level, the 1st job starts with just a junior-level role in the applicable department (junior game programmer, junior artist, etc), and the 2nd job would probably start as an assistant-producer. Edited by Hodgman

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