CTO Roles & Responsibilities
The CTO roles and responsibilities are very different from those you’ve been building as a developer.
Focus needs to shift away from the keyboard and towards the company board. Management, communication, strategy and people become the priority – which is not always a comfortable shift for those of us from a technical background.
What Roles & Responsibilities Change?
CTO or tech leader has to step away from day to day technical involvement and focus instead on everything from negotiation to finance to board meetings to futurology.
What they can’t do is stay focused on development work, which needs to the team they’re now in charging of building, managing and motivating.
It’s a big step to take and is why skills gaps sometimes exist between talented developers and senior management roles.
Different Factors Impact Change
Start Up / Fast Growth
Fire Fighting, Rapid Learning
If you’re launched a new business or become one of the early hires, then your roles and responsibilities are going to change rapidly. If you’re a fast growth company then, hold onto your seat. What happens though is that individuals have to grow with the business or recruit people who can.
Steady Progression & Learning
Working within more established businesses enables you to follow a career path and build a learning programme that enables you to grow into senior tech roles. You can assess what skills you need to make that transition from team player to tech leader. Shadowing others, taking time out to learn new skills.
Work, Life Balance
The speed and nature of change is predicated by what you need in your life. Do you know yourself sufficiently well to understand what you need to find the perfect work:life balance? Do you like the thought of being part of an early stage company or prefer more secure environment?
Boost Your Income, Build Your Skills
Moving From Technical To Managerial
Any senior role requires a shift of skill set so whatever your specific motivation, build up the managerial as well as the technical skills
Build those communication skills
Progress within a company and/or a career is often about people, about understanding and communicating with people
Move from out from behind the keyboard
Senior management and higher salary expectations mean you need to get out more, at least out from behind the keyboard
Consider a mentor
Mentoring can be a very powerful 121 tool for building up your management skills and confidence. Find someone who has been through that journey, work with them on yours