A fractional CTO oversees a multitude of responsibilities, including daily operations, cybersecurity efforts, technology contracts, routine maintenance, crisis management, technology contract management, product strategy, and growth planning. Essentially, they’re responsible for designing your company’s tech strategy, overseeing its launch, adjusting the strategy as needed, and looking for ways in which to optimize technical operations on an ongoing basis. However, the role becomes more mature after passing every phase, but at the first few stages, CTO needs to be practical, while the last stage demands leadership and management skills. The duties can also be shifted at various stages of startup growth. For Example, a startup might hire some technical staff which will most likely change the responsibilities of a CTO. Now CTO can direct the technical staff with his decisions to get the job done.

What is a CTO

When you team up with us, you gain immediate access to a team of pre-screened, highly-skilled fractional CTOs. We help startups and established organizations alike find top talent who are ready for immediate hire. Learn more here and reach out to us if you’re interested in our fractional CTO service. A fractional CTO is defined as a CTO who manages technology for a company “for a fraction of the time, on a fraction of the projects, and for a fraction of the cost,” compared to their traditional full-time counterpart. There’s no distinction between education level, years of experience, or any other skill – the only difference is that a fractional CTO is essentially an on-demand consultant for specific projects, plans, or technologies. A primary responsibility of the CTO is the direction and management of software products as they relate to their core tasks.

Chronic Total Occlusion Cto

Almost all other roles in an organization are well-defined and have clear goals and responsibilities. The role of the CTO varies so widely between each organization, it is something that has to be specified clearly when going through the hiring process or even when starting a startup. You are saying Google has a lot of VPs without MBA and no product leadership experience, without any prior experience of having P&L responsibility, strictly engineering experience? I was faced with this same dilemma when I quit my day job in a large multinational company and started freelance programming. As you said, there are career roadblocks in most companies when you are more technically inclined than managerial. Besides, there is no large employer like Google/Microsoft/etc.

One lesson I learnt when dealing with other managers, departments and up the line is that you have to over communicate. Everyone is mad busy in a start up and they will not remember what you discussed and all agreed last month. You almost need to market yourself, your team, goals and achievements to get their buy in. Run some regular workshops to get further buy in from them. These are all just generalizations of course, as every startup is different. I imagine if you’re the CTO of a startup that caters to software developers and code, you probably get to continue devoting some portion of your time to coding.

These are the sorts of things that a lot of developers seem to really dislike about elevating into CTO. If you’re the rare individual who can bridge both worlds and do this job well, then it’s likely your company and your team won’t find anyone who can do this better. And if they have to look, it’s quite possible they’ll find someone who does it a lot worse, makes your team miserable, and drives the company into the ground.

What is a CTO

A CTO, may additionally interact with a newer position, a Chief Security Officer , or more accurately referred to as Chief Information Security Officer. The role of a CSO in comparison to a CTO would be to protect the network from being penetrated which could lead to privacy and legal issues for the company. All executive positions relating to technology must collaborate within companies to have the best working infrastructure and will report to the CEO.

As technology focuses more on integrating applications, processes, and the Internet of Things, CTOs must keep abreast of big data, streaming analytics, and cloud technology to remain innovative and stay competitive. Why your startup doesn’t need a CTOI know it’s a bold statement, but I don’t believe every company needs a CTO in the very beginning. On the other hand, finding the person with the required expertise that you trust may lead to investors getting impatient as it may take some time. Activities describe how people spend their time, whereas goals are the results that they seek. If it was building then you might still be able to make this CTO role work, just in a different way than you are used to.

Lets Talk Business

“The CIO and CHRO are partnering more to make the employee experience as great as the customer experience.” As Enterprisers’ Stephanie Overby recently reported, CIOs that struggle in these areas have lost some of their responsibilities to other functions or business units. Is a flexible service that can be accessed by any company, large or small.

What is a CTO

Block out 2 or 3 hour chunks throughout your week to work on hard problems. You drive a lot more value this way than with the fire fighting, anyway. The fire-fighting thing sticks out to me a bit, in part because it’s caused me pain in the past and in part because you keep mentioning it. This is uncomfortable and unfamiliar and your brain is rebelling against this new environment.

Working with a recruiter or a talent sourcing agency will save you valuable resources and leave your team free to devote their time to revenue-generating tasks. A fractional CTO oversees a limited number of activities, issues, and business needs, whereas a part-time CTO is responsible for all technology-related needs in a limited capacity (part-time). The CTO title has been in use for over 10 years, but there is still confusion about the role and how it differs from the CIO. The title first developed at dot-com companies in the 1990s and then expanded to IT departments. The CTO role became popular as the information technology industry grew, but it is also used in other industries such as e-commerce, healthcare, telecommunications, and government. Chief technology officers evaluate new technology and implement it to launch or improve goods and services for their firm’s clientele and customers.

CTOs generally have at least 15 years of IT job experience under their belts. Along with technical expertise, they must demonstrate leadership, decision-making, management, and business strategy skills. A chief technology officer is a high-ranking executive-level position in a company, part of the senior-level, “c-suite.” So applicants may need more than 15 years of experience in the IT field before being considered for a CTO job. Despite the titles, the CTO has more of an outward-looking, strategic planning role, while the CIO has more of a technology-focused, operational role. Generally, a CIO is responsible for technologies that run the company’s internal operations and business procedures. The CTO is responsible for technologies that grow the business externally, implementing services and products that serve clients and customers.

They might not be writing code, but they’re sure providing technical guidance – sometimes on a highly granular level…(e.g. famously Bill Gates micromanaging date/time storage in new language development when MS was a billion dollar company). The second and most common stage is around Series A. The company has grown either through outsourcing their technology to date, or a team that has been led by a co-founding CTO. Often this CTO will struggle to make the transition from technical architecture and building a platform, to leadership and management to achieve scale, which is a different ballgame and type of skillset. As you can see, the role of a fractional CTO spans departments, managerial levels, and business goals. We’ve found that, regardless of your company’s hiring objectives, the best fractional CTOs ultimately have a blended skill set that includes technical prowess, strong leadership, and a mastery of soft skills.

Your leadership should help people avoid that fire fighting. IMHO an A1 CEO/product/sales/business-guy can’t be an A1 CTO/tech lead/research-guy and vice-versa. Welcome to any senior/management/executive position ever.

Is The Position Of Cio More Important Than That Of Cto?

This is really the only end goal for which it makes sense to do an MBA. On this last point, I feel several tech people, although very able, often lack the confidence to play managerial roles. Have seen a friend who is CTO and very good, playing subordinate to his co-founder who is CEO.

When this happens, blood flow to the heart is compromised. The Head of the Engineering department is also active in designing product architecture while looking for new strategies popping up in the industry. In the United States, the average salary for a CTO ranges between $130,000 and $195,000 per annum depending on the company’s sector. According to a 2018 report from the InfoSec Institute, CTOs in the financial sector earn around $200,000, while e-commerce CTOs earn around $76,000. Shai Agassi is an Israeli entrepreneur and founder of Better Place, a battery charging service for electric cars.

Having a manager who can wrap her head around complex architectures, and argue/negotiate for one strategy over the other is extremely important. Yes, so are team skills, but I wouldn’t call the the path from coding to manager coders fundamentally flawed. Right, I wonder if this person ever understood what the job of CTO is. Yes it’s “dealing with everyone’s crap”, it’s a management position. Yes you haven’t written code in months, it is a management position. You know, maybe it makes me sound bad but I do enjoy leadership on a smaller scale and where I am ultimately in control.

  • CTO of a 10 person startup might translate to Tech Lead in an enterprise software business.
  • I also write pieces of the code and help out in engineering task as needed.
  • The first time you present to your board of directors can be nerve-wracking.
  • The CTO usually reports directly to a company’s chief information officer , but may also report to the chief executive officer of the firm.
  • The chief information officer must be the most senior person in control of the organization’s information technology infrastructure.

I’d actually say culture is the overriding factor in all of the decisions, because at their level, they’re not testing technical ability, but cultural fit. If I had time to set up a CTO academy, where we bring aspiring tech leads together to train them and support them in advancing their careers, I would. For now, I would say ensure that you are working for a CTO that you rate and can learn from. Exceptions to that will be companies that have an extremely aggressive growth trajectories led by HNWI , celebrities or previous successful founders, or incubated businesses built within funds. While CIOs and IT leaders traditionally reported up through finance, that has become less common.

X Cto Job Description By Startup Growth Stage

I thought perhaps being CTO in a startup would give me some of that same ownership, control and enjoyment but it just feels like another job. I actually feel a bit depressed by the whole thing which is a new sensation for me and my personality. The positions of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer are arbitrary positions that any corporation may define as they see appropriate. The term COO often implies that the CEO has delegated the majority of operational power to that individual in order to allow the CEO to concentrate on “larger picture” issues such as leadership, company strategy, and so on. The CTO sometimes reports to the COO, however this is uncommon.

What is a CTO

This significantly helps whenever you are stuck and need somebody from the outside to give you a fresh idea on how to evolve or refactor your platform by engineering means. It highly relates to trust but communication is the key. Having good technical documentation that states things clearly is something more than required. If somebody is not open with communication and decision making, then it may result in issues while passing the project off to another team/person. Without that, the future development team will likely not be able to work efficiently.

Cto Myths Debunked: Interview With Masterborns Cto Przemysław Królik

There are exceptions to every rule, but I’d say within the context of “jobs at existing large employers of MBAs and/or Engineers” the true intersection of engineer & business is nonexistent. I think the difference between line of business software and companies that are actual software companies is so huge that it starts to make no sense to compare them. Cornell has launched a program that aims to be what you’re describing here. There’s also a Technology Management MBA from the University of Washington’s Foster School, although it’s more of a technology-oriented part-time MBA than a traditional MBA targeted at engineers. What I’d been missing was not strategic input, but the opportunity to build things. To weave together inspiration and ideas into innovation and growth.

Cto Role Evolves With Startup Growth

In your case you were hired on, so they wanted you to use your technical expertise to help guide the company (or keep the tech from getting into trouble — but even on the execution side, that’s the VP of Engineering’s job). The reason to do the job is to make the company successful and to make the lives of those on your team better. If you believe enough in the company’s mission, the other executives, and your team, then you’ll figure out the rest. I took up a job as CTO after being a lead developer and junior partner at a bunch of startups. In my experience some of the best managers have been the ones who shielded their employees from bullshit, taking the brunt, making sure we can keep moving quickly towards completing the goals.

As A Result, The Issue Becomes, To Whom Should The Cto Report?

The latter is more in touch with customers, does more public speaking activities, and tries to condense feedback and requests in a way that the VP of Engineering can translate it into the product. I am enjoying it, mostly because the two co-founders are great individuals and leaders. This goes alway down to components required, system architecture, external interfaces and how we can do things better, faster, cheaper. I also write pieces of the code and help out in engineering task as needed. Involvement with ENG tasks and coding is what keeps my sanity.

This is where the idea of a CTO focusing on the overarching technology infrastructures originates. Executives and other leaders—collectively known as upper management—hold the primary decision-making power in a company. The chief operating officer is a senior executive tasked with overseeing the day-to-day administrative and operational functions of a business. In this role, a CTO will act as a liaison between the customer and the business by taking on the responsibilities of customer relations, getting a grasp on the target market, and helping deliver IT projects to market.

If you are not capable of doing so, you should hire someone who is capable of doing just that. But only in the last year or so I have come to realize , I have no desire to be CTO or a coder, I’m having a hard time being a coder, lol. But I found it to be exactly as unfulfilling you described it, for much of the same reasons , and it cto roles and responsibilities ultimately drove me back to being a software developer. Thank goodness my skills hadn’t atrophied completely, but I’m definitely behind my cohort in terms of expertise, and I spend too many cycles regretting the lost time I could have spent growing my skills. I’m not bad at managing peer and executive relationships, and I enjoy it.

CTO develops new frameworks to balance the technical resource usage. He needs to ensure that all resources are being efficiently and securely used. He also uses his soft skills to keep development and engineering teams motivated. A CTO is a decision-maker and a strategic https://globalcloudteam.com/ planner who ensures the technological growth and management of your company. Despite his technical skills, he is less of a hands-on person and more of a decision-maker with authority to regulate other technical employees who get the job done under his command.

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