Non Traditional Route to CTO

Andrew Weaver
April 19, 2022

Not every tech leader follows a traditionally tech led career.

As most companies are now technical companies roles like the CMO can sometimes have a bigger tech budget than the CTO and it’s more possible than before to achieve senior tech roles via non traditional routes, though it’s highly unusual.

What does happen quite often is that being an effective CTO doesn’t mean you are necessarily the person with the best technical skills in an organisation.

A CTO has many responsibilities and tasks, he/she wears many hats and that is the reason why for example, being the best at coding is not of primary importance.

A CTO should be aware of technology trends and have the skill to use the trends in the favor of a product that is being developed in a company. More important are the soft skills that define the highly effective tech leaders – communication, collaboration, empathy, EQ, critical thinking. capacity to learn and adapt.

When we are talking technical skills, his/her knowledge shouldn’t be limited to only one side of the product (e.g. back-end). A CTO should have knowledge in the full-stack range in order to make the right decision about the product as a whole – to choose the architecture, the appropriate technologies while keeping in mind the growth and the scalability of a product, to put it simply, to have a clear vision of a product. But he/she certainly doesn’t have to be the best full-stack developer in the company.

If you’d like to find out more about the route into tech leadership, visit the CTO Academy website.

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