What I look for in a CTO

There are eight things I always look for when deciding if someone would make a good CTO

A CTO is just a title for a leader with sufficient technical experience to help guide the company through technical challenges and to represent the technical interests of the company.

When looking for a CTO here are some of the attributes I think are important:

  • Is approachable by both technical and non-technical members of the team
  • Can get up to speed on the company goal quickly and can ask relevant questions about the trajectory of the company towards that goal
  • Can articulate where the tech team needs to be in three years time
  • Can get employees excited by company goals (often by adding a tech slant)
  • Talks positively about their team and individuals within the team
  • Finds opportunities in changing landscapes (internal and external)
  • Challenges employees to think deeply on problems
  • Pushes for time spent thinking about and acting on tech debt
  • Shares interesting ideas and thoughts both internally and externally

There is a bit more to it than that, but other attributes are specific to the industry or company the CTO would be working in.

When I take on projects as an interim CTO, I put things in place to help a permanent CTO meet these attributes.

Recent posts View all

Web DevMarketing

Getting more out of Plausible

Some things we've done to up our Plausible analytics game

Web Dev

Creating draft posts in Jekyll

How to create and develop with draft posts in Jekyll