When you become a CTO, what are you looking to achieve? Is it leadership? Is it fame and fortune? Is it building a product that will make a difference? Is it the camaraderie of building a successful, top-performing team? A mix of all of these things perhaps?
So how much of your time do you want to commit to the various activities you’ll do? Where can you add the most value to the company and to yourself?
Should you code?
A lot of CTO job descriptions seem to imply that you’re going to be coding, managing, hiring, and architecting. You’ll be holding client meetings, fixing production issues and dealing with sales and marketing. You’ll be negotiating new cloud contracts, doing staff reviews, working with corporate or general management and of course your peers the CFO and the CEO.
When do you find the time to stay on top of any of these things? And should we be more realistic about the roles and responsibilities that a CTO has? And should a CTO still code even? And do you ever see the CEO or CFO taking on such a wide set of responsibilities?
Your job as CTO should be to build something that is a successful statement of software engineering and that you have happy customers and happy engineers. How you do that should be up to you. How are you going to shape it?