The difference between a CTO and a VP Engineering

Una interessante riflessione:  The difference between a CTO and a VP Engineering

Alcuni spunti estratti dall’articolo:

[…] The CTO is the #1 technical guru of the company. He or she has deep insights in the protectable technologies and core competencies of the company. He or she stays abreast of cutting edge research and development in his or her area of expertise, and in adjacent areas of interest that might have an impact on the company’s technical direction.

The CTO loves technology, and often keeps his or her hands dirty doing advanced development for interesting new technologies. He or she sometimes maintain a small “CTO office” of research engineers who can help him or her prototype things. […]

The VP Engineering role traditionally includes multiple aspects:

a) Personnel management – for small teams (up to 10 FTE), the VP Engineering is the direct supervisor of the technical staff. […]

b) Program management and engineering execution – the VP Engineering is responsible for ensuring that the product vision is realized through excellence in execution. [..]

c) Technical leadership – the VP Engineering is responsible for co-developing the technical strategy with the CTO […]

d) Strategy development – the VP Engineering serves as part of the senior staff, working in an interdisciplinary manner with their peers in other departments. […]

Can one person do both jobs?

Absolutely yes, especially in the beginning of a startup’s life cycle, with two conditions:

The team is small enough that the management overhead is not overwhelming.

The person involved enjoys and is competent and successful in both roles. […]

Quindi sintetizzando 🙂 (rubo le espressioni da un articolo di Mark Suster)

The CTO / Lead Architect — If you want to build a great technology company, you’ll need a “rockstar” engineering lead.

The VP of Engineering is the person who still has great technical chops but prefers not to be a coding monkey (that term is meant in the most endearing of ways). The VP Engineering aspires to manage teams.




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