Recently I was interviewed for the role of Assistant team lead and the interviewer asked about the difference between the roles and responsibilities of an Assistant Team Lead and a Team Lead. I am confused about it, though I am aware of some of responsibilities of a Team Lead as below:

  • Understand the testing effort by analysing the requirements of project.
  • Estimate and obtain management support for the time, resources and budget required to perform the testing.
  • Define the Strategy.
  • Identify Training requirements and forward it to the Project Manager (Technical and Soft skills).
  • Assign tasks to all Testing Team members and ensure that all of them have sufficient work in the project.
  • Document, implement, monitor, and enforce all processes for testing as per standards defined by the organization.
  • Escalate the issues about project requirements (Software, Hardware, Resources) to Project Manager / Sr. Test Manager.
  • Review various reports prepared by Test Engineers.
  • Ensure the timely delivery of different testing milestones.
  • Prepare / update the metrics dashboard at the end of a phase or at the completion of a project.
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    This will vary from organization to organization. Differences should be easily identifiable in clearly spelled out job descriptions managed by a Human Resources department.
    – semaj
    Dec 20 '16 at 16:27
  • In my company assistant makes coffee for a team lead ;-). In yours it might work differently.
    – dzieciou
    Dec 20 '16 at 21:36
  • @dzieciou : i had asked about role of them in testing. your lead/assistant can do 100s of other work i don't care about. :)
    – Keshav
    Dec 21 '16 at 9:42
  • @semaj : i agree, but was looking for some key roles which can be answered for this question in some interview.
    – Keshav
    Dec 21 '16 at 9:45
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    @dzieciou : yes i agree, so is the case with junior tester, tester and senior tester. But there are always some key roles defined. i am not sure if Assistant team lead has any or not.
    – Keshav
    Dec 21 '16 at 10:26

One assists the other and the other seems to have an assistant.

I like Semaj's comment. It depends per company what these roles do and what their responsibilities are. During an interview it is a perfect valid question to ask what it means for this company instead of answering what you think the differenc is from your experience. Your answer might be wrong in their perspective. Better turn the question around.

Now I wonder how many people should a lead tester lead to need an assistant. Really it sounds like either like your the second tester in a team of two or it's a secretary function. An assistant might really make sense in a team of two, instead of junior or something like that.

I think testers should be integrated in the development teams and that a separate team lead testing makes no sense. A lead tester might make sense if you have lots of testers. This person could create high level strategy, but even then I would prefer team level decisions.

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