In a startup environment, the CTO should work closely with developers, understanding where they are finding success, and where they need work. Technology stack they needto build their product and guide the overall technical vision. Understanding the technical requirements of a project is what’s important here.

What are the responsibilities of a CTO

That’s why a chief technologist should have great interpersonal skills to attract tech employees, manage team growth, and encourage specialized people to stay with the company as long as possible. Nowadays, innovations are the main driving force behind the growth of any business. That’s why the way a tech startup adopts and handles technologies defines if it’ll succeed or not in the end. From this standpoint, it becomes clear that the CTO’s mission is not limited to doing some coding work — it’s much broader.

In addition to her main job, Martin-Flickinger serves on the Advisory Board of Arizona State University’s Fulton School of Engineering and the Board of Directors of Tableau Software. A chief technology officer is a key C-suite executive responsible for spearheading the tech initiatives of a company. Discover how this leadership role is indispensable for supporting an organization’s overall business goals. CIO and CTO are two leadership positions that work at the same level in an organization’s hierarchy.

Both roles are equally important as they contribute to the operation of the business by developing technology-related goals and strategies and working to improve the company’s performance. CIO evaluates technologies and develops technical architectures to manage complexity and improve business agility. The technologist’s responsibilities include identifying and analyzing new technologies, including cloud, mobile, and robotic automation processes, and standardizing various technology platforms. Another leading technical role often confused with a CTO is the technical director. First things first, a TD is not strictly a software development title.

Regardless of the company’s size, age and budget, the main role of CTO usually comes down to ensuring the company’s technologies satisfy the requirements of its business strategy. However, how it is achieved depends greatly on a CTO’s personal approach, industry and, more importantly, the stage of a company’s development. Let’s see how different periods of a company’s life require different types of CTO. A former vice president of engineering at Mozilla, Mike Schroepfer joined Facebook as VP of engineering in 2008 and was promoted to a CTO role in 2013.

Job Description For A Vice President Of Information Technology

A recent development in the CTOs role is taking a lead in product development. The CTO position was created in the late 80’s to meet the need for an executive who could anticipate potential revenue streams and shape corporate strategy based on the nuances of the product or service. Chief Technology Officers are the people who lead these teams since they are a high-level management role or a C-level position, who typically report directly to the CEO. But what is a CTO’s role within a company, and what does a chief technical officer do exactly? If you are a tech-savvy individual with ambitious career goals, this is a challenging yet gratifying role to strive for in your career as a tech professional. The BLS estimates that an aspiring CTO may need to have over 10 to 15 years of work experience in various IT roles before qualifying for the job.

What are the responsibilities of a CTO

To become a CTO, one needs to have solid experience in the tech field. Candidates with at least 15 years of technical experience may qualify for the role. It may take years for someone to become one since only a few may qualify for this position. But, there are steps for a tech professional to one day become a Chief Technical Officer—be it for large corporations or small startups.

How To Manage A Software Development Team

This category of CTOs has a vision, being excellent at conveying it to the rest of the team. We’ve mentioned the skill set required from a CTO, and you’ll probably agree it’s huge. No wonder the average salary of a CTO in the US is over $137,000 per year (according to Where the roles of the above two positions are not properly defined, there will be often confusion. This is because the two positions deal mostly with implementing activities related to information technology.

What are the responsibilities of a CTO

Additionally, when introducing fresh concepts to executives or stakeholders, great communication skills might be beneficial. The CTO should be able to represent technical concepts to a non-technical audience in clear terms. There are many individual obstacles watching every chief technical officer on their post (that aren’t written in the CTO job description software company frequently offers), and they need to be aware of it.

If you take a look at the leadership of any unicorn startup, you’ll see a CTO among the C-level executives. You too may be in search of a CTO to run the tech side of your business. In this case, you need to fully understand the role a CTO in a company is and what responsibilities this position entails. For some companies, the CTO tracks and analyzes trends in big data to anticipate new technologies before competitors. For other companies, they are the operations manager for the entire engineering division, overseeing the teams that create the product/service with a mind to efficiency and security.

How To Become A Cto

A strong CTO is essential for a tech startup’s success since they are in charge of all technology-related issues. As CIOs are responsible for choosing a technology for a company’s infrastructure, it’s reasonable that one day they can become a CTO. Besides that, the responsibilities and duties sometimes overlap, especially in smaller companies. When a tech startup is at its early stage of development, the whole team usually participates in brainstorming and building a strategy. However, it’s a CTO who has the final word on all aspects related to the technical side of the ideas. One of the CTO responsibilities is to validate the feasibility of creating envisioned solutions considering the current state of technological progress.

Those who choose this career path typically start out in a programming or software development role. As they gain experience, they move up the ranks into a senior role, such as chief information officer . Those who excel in their roles and continue their education climb the career ladder and may be promoted as CTOs. So, communication skills are also necessary to fit the chief technology officer job description example on average and should completely meet it. Chief Technology Officers are more likely to incorporate new technologies or follow the company’s goal. As a result, a trained and experienced CTO must have a certain set of skills.

Chief Technology Officer Cto Duties & Responsibilities 2

In the early days, teams are small and often confined to working physically close with one another. CTOs must be able to work closely with small teams and oversee their work. There is a small margin for error, meaning you need to rely on strategic planning for growth and development. You’ll learn the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of a startup CTO here. The CTO is always staying alert to new trends in technology and remains the lead product architect and system administrator.

Many well-known startups have failed before becoming successful due to their decision to work with an in-house team on a poorly thought-out concept. So one of the CTO tasks and responsibilities is to determine which components of the work can be created and optimized by an in-house team and which would necessitate the engagement of external resources. It is critical to recognize the necessity for outsourcing services as soon as possible. Slack, for example, had a rocky start until enlisting the help of a third party, MetaLab, to overhaul its website, app, and logos.

This Chief Technology Officer job description template will help you save time, attract qualified candidates and hire the best employees. You may need to use or oversee equipment’s and tools for assembling or manufacturing prototypes, products and services. Solid understanding of current application development tools and practices and with operating systems. Consult with business leadership on potential solutions to customer requirements. You are a strategic thinker and effective communicator offering expertise in technological development and the demonstrated ability to implement and execute organizationally.

A CTO is a highly experienced technical person who usually has more than 15 years of experience building solutions to improve business processes, increase productivity, and reduce costs. In mature enterprises, responsibilities of a CTO rarely includes a requirement to be a hands-on programmer. Even if there are some hired developers, a chief technologist is expected to code along with them. As a person responsible for the minimum viable product production, a CTO may design a product architecture, select a technology stack, suggest third-party services, and test the solution.

  • Besides that, the responsibilities and duties sometimes overlap, especially in smaller companies.
  • The simplest method is to look for user forums related to your expertise .
  • The recent growth of the internet, smartphones, and user-intent based offerings has substantially increased a CTO’s role in other organisations as well.
  • This is one of the trickier management tasks you can face so you need to employ a strategy that counters this risk and the best way to do that is double up.
  • The CTO at a startup will have to get good at hiring, onboarding, training, and eventually replacing the company’s technical staff.
  • Cynthia Stoddard of Adobe has 25 years of experience in the role of CIO.
  • Top 5 CFO interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates.

Develop a global innovation strategy that leverages external technical partnerships. Identify, negotiate, and develop strategic technical partnerships to support business priorities and objectives. Responsible for the development and mentoring of a set of mid to senior level technical staff. Actively participate in the definition and implementation of the long-term technology strategy aligned to the Operation, Group, and Corporate technology strategy and goals. Proactively establish relationships and meet with current and potential customers to demonstrate the company’s credentials at solving problems with technically-differentiated solutions.

Product Management Tasks

I was growing and maturing as a technologist and as a leader and, at some point, was offered an opportunity to become a CTO of our digital practice. I’ve never implemented a security policy before, but when one of our partners asked to see ours, it immediately fell to me to come up with one. A startup’s CTO will likely be the first team member to own security, run audits, document security procedures, and train everyone on the basics. So rather than just oversee big picture technology direction or strategic partnerships (although he/she will certainly do that), a startup CTO pretty much does a bit of everything. We’ve created a slightly light-hearted look at CTO life but tried to focus on the key changes that take place when arriving in a senior role and what should and shouldn’t be part of your workload.

The Skills A Cto Needs

However, in simple terms, the CTO is the executive who holds responsibility for the technology within an organisation. Responsible for ensuring that cybersecurity procedures and policies are communicated to the management. Also, he or she ensures that the management enforces compliance of these policies. More than other executive role, the responsibilities given to the CTO largely depend on the type of company. Researching and discovering new technologies that can be implemented to accelerate work processes.


The CIO also manages its IT infrastructure and determines new tools to implement in the organization. A CTO has to observe the market for related technology solutions, learn if they suit the company’s tech strategy and set the acquisition goals. There are digital product companies, where CTOs are responsible for product design and are focused on the customer. And there are non-tech companies, where a CTO manages engineering efforts in the organization and makes sure that the digital part of the product works. If a CTO is an enthusiast, then the VP of Engineering is a great manager. These two people can be peers or report to one another, and often, one can do the job of both, regardless of the title.

And their availability isn’t relatively as easy as it is for your own team. Ten years ago, cyber security was some way down the list of CTO priorities, but increasingly today it’s amongst the most prominent. Flat is an iBuyer for the Mexican market, focused on solving the liquidity problem of residential real estate, with a deep tech layer to the traditional home-flipping business. For sellers, it makes the process easier and faster, with the possibility of immediately sell the asset.

As technology has become essential in the business world, new positions continue to arise. 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 cto duties positions relating to technology must collaborate within companies to have the best working infrastructure and will report to the CEO. As a C-level position, a good Chief Technology Officer must primarily be someone who is always eager and willing to learn and keep up with new technologies and developments. Moreover, their job responsibilities call for a range of skills they must possess and hone over time.

Top 5 CIO interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates. Top 5 CTO interview questions with detailed tips for both hiring managers and candidates. Maintaining a consumer-focused outlook and aiding in the delivery of IT projects to market. Feedough is the one-stop resource for everything related to startups.

At a company’s inception, the CTO is heavily involved with talent acquisition and its onboarding, training, and management. Their expertise in the field is crucial to identify talent at this juncture without an experienced HR department. To hire the perfect specialist, recruiters need to fully understand the CTO roles and responsibilities. Advanced technological skillset and a demonstrated history with technology. Making executive decisions on behalf of the company’s technological requirements. Aristotle Balogh transformed the Airbnb platform into an AI-backed, customer-first experience.

While the IT infrastructure is the core responsibility of a CIO, the latter may tap on a CTO for this specific task. An IT department may include a CTO to keep a close eye on the organization’s data maintenance, security, and network. In addition, they may oversee the creation and implementation of the tech roadmap. The better and stronger the collaboration between CTO and CIO is, the faster your company and your products improve. He tracks additional tactical performance metrics such as power, number, and speed of features provided. At a high level, CTO sees to it that the work being done by the engineering team supports the goals of IT and the company.

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