Technology development does not stand still and to keep up with it has led to the necessity of a new leadership position – CTO (Chief Technology Officer).
Needless to say, creating your own startup is the top of the iceberg. It is not as easy as it may seem. Forget one particular aspect and all your blood, sweat and tears sink like a stone. In this case, planning strategy is the core of a prosperous startup building. Here comes a proficient CTO to save the day. So, let’s see how to hire a CTO.
What are the Part and Duties of a CTO in a Developing Startup?
In order to make your startup flourish, attracting a technical lead is essential. Senior founders with a strong technical background can lead the team from the baby steps and keep the technological point of the project under control. When the startup begins to grow, it needs a skilled manager to guide the company, providing the most effective solutions to achieve business goals.
The term of CTO itself entails that the person holding this position is responsible for technological improvement in the company. However, this definition of a CTO is too general and does not shed much light on the responsibilities of a typical CTO. Moreover, keep in mind that there is no standard for what a CTO should do precisely. While most organizations stick to the term CTO, some of them use alternative names, such as Head of Development or Technical Lead for this job.
The meaning of a CTO part is quite vague. The reason is that the name for this spot in different companies has different definitions. One company’s expectations may completely differ from another’s. In order to avoid confusion, we will use CTO as a general term and focus on these position requirements and the necessary skills to fulfill them.
Generally, the typical set of responsibilities, which requires a CTO’s active involvement, is the following:
- Shortterm and longterm technical strategic plan.
Technological, social and scientific tendencies monitoring, which are capable of making an influence on the company’s achievements. A CTO participates in making management decisions, revealing the business risks and any other possibilities.
- Technical design and the platform choice.
Supporting the strategic direction of the projects, managing developers teams, making decisions such as choosing the platform for further development or technical design planning and so on.
- DevOps and MVP cases.
Creating the product’s technical side from the very beginning, solving the technical challenges, connected to the backup and technological process of MVP development.
- Product testing and safety.
Dividing tasks between team members, connected to the testing and improving the product, developing the steps for its safety and discussing the quality approach.
Now, when we have come clear about CTO’s main responsibilities, let’s dwell into the next equally significant question.
Main Types of a CTO
There are a variety of CTO’s classifications, however, most of them can not give a clear picture of what duties this role includes. Nevertheless, we will try to classify a CTO according to their consistent activity direction in the company.
A CTO can concentrate on:
Technical lead. The duties of this type of CTO can include interviewing and hiring candidates with deep knowledge in the necessary area. They are also qualified developers with great experience in programming, cloud security setup and so on. What is more, a CTO is always willing to assist minor developers.
Operational lead. This type of CTO’s duty is guiding the team. They are the professionals with wide knowledge in programming, however, the tasks and challenges connected to the technology growth take a back seat for them. These CTOs determine the technology improving strategy and manage the optimization of the company processes.
If in the beginning of the startup, a CTO takes an active part in building and developing the startup, then as the technological startup grows, a CTO pays a lot of attention on managing mainly.
What Skills Are Important for a CTO?
As we have already mentioned, CTO’s duties rely on the kind of role a CTO plays in a company. Needless to say that this position requires a variety of competence from the candidate. However, we will list the most essential ones.
When you hire a CTO, stick to the following:
- The negotiation and mentoring skills.
For a successful company development, a CTO should see the strong and weak sides of the company members and how to channel carefully. A CTO should inspire the co-workers and have a gift of persuading people that your view of the situation is going to work and give effective results.
- Product management.
Technology evolution and product development go side to side. The CTO’s duty is to truly understand the core of the product, how to back up the growth of the old ones and make new ones.
- Technology area knowledge.
It goes without saying that working in the technology field demands not the basic, but deep and wide experience in that region. A CTO, who is always informed about the latest technology tendencies, is a great choice.
- Strategic skills.
A qualified CTO should predict and forecast the way of successful company development. The ability to foresee the benefits and possible risks and be one step ahead in any situation is one of the most significant skills for the CTO.
Of course, the list of the demanded qualities of a CTO may be way longer, however, the above-mentioned ones should be enough for the beginning of the startup and its further development. Yet again every staff member is growing with the company, so a CTO can gain the missing skills in the organization’s development process.
Benefits of Attracting the CTO
Hire a CTO and check the various profits yourself. One of them is eliminating the possible operational risks. A CTO is the one to establish infrastructure and technology processes, controlling the budget and improving the resources planning.
Moreover, it is obvious that every product requires improvement and development. The ability to plan the product development steps and keep up with the latest tendencies is quite a challenge and not everyone can pull that off, so here the CTO’s expertise is required more than ever.
Another important reason to hire a CTO is creating and supporting the team of developers. Every startup needs a person who can mentor the not enough experienced developers, pass on the precious experience, find and hire new specialists. All these duties are on the CTO’s shoulders.
If you take all those aspects into consideration, you will understand that it is essential to hire a CTO in your startup.
Best Ways and Places to Find a CTO for Startups
If you do not have much experience yourself, and you are at a crossroads, but you have realized that you need to hire a CTO, look at it on the bright side and pay attention to the following tips:
- Take into account the previous CTO’s experience. You can contact the latest employers and ask for feedback.
- Check the social accounts of a CTO. Study CTO’s LinkedIn or any other social media.
- Consider the communication skills. A CTO is a professional who cooperates with developers and many other people. The ability to find common ground with almost everyone is crucial for effective development.
Now, last but not the least, where to look for and hire a CTO. Well, let’s see. Question for thriving tech leads advice, who have been in the same place as you are and can give you some useful contacts.
Visit as many tech events as possible. However, take your time and choose wisely, because not everyone can suggest to you what is necessary for you.
Flick through LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media. You can do your own research and find what you need yourself. Another way is to speak with your friends and acquaintances. Maybe some of them have enough experience to help you, or they can give useful recommendations.
Besides, there are plenty of platforms for you to check and hire a CTO. Let’s look at some of them:
- Instagram, Facebook or any other social media
These are the major places for you to find and hire a CTO, however, try to stay focused and do not get lost in all that information, otherwise, it will get you nowhere. Do not rush, analyze every detail, ask for advice from experienced people and make the right choice.
Hiring a CTO can be quite difficult, however, if you have made up your mind then take your time, think everything through and take your shot. Try to be as involved as possible and use any opportunity you can get to find the right person for your business. Where there is a will, there is a way.