The Role of A CTO in the Software Development


These days technology-driven businesses and startups are very trendy. Innovative technologies are constantly growing and expanding. Accordingly, these trendy business companies need to adopt all the current trends and go along with the flow in order to outperform their competitors. Especially for this purpose of managing the technological aspect of development, a new executive position appeared - the CTO.

CTO stands for Chief Technology Officer is the executive within an organization who supervises all the current technologies and brings about relevant policies. The primary role of a CTO is to make technology-related decisions, taking into consideration the specific business objectives. For this time, I’m going to highlight the importance of technical officers in the software development companies.

The Role of a CTO

The CTO role differs from company to company. There are several types of CTOs and the software development companies choose the one that perfectly meets their business requirements and objectives. The dominant types of CTOs are Technical Leadership and Operational Management.

CTO Role Type #1 Technical Leadership

CTOs with technical leadership may be considered to be programmers. They are technically skillful and have a strong background in software development and experience knowledge in:

  • Programming
  • Software architecture design
  • Cloud-based infrastructure configuration, etc

We may consider that these CTOs with technical leadership are the leaders of the programmers’ team who check the development process and implement coding themselves as well.

CTO Role Type #2 Operational Management

These CTOs with operational management don’t need to be aware of programming. They don’t have any coding background knowledge. Usually, this type of CTOs are experienced in:

  • Finance
  • Mentoring
  • Project management, and similar non-technical skills

If the first type of CTOs is experienced in the tasks related to the development, these CTOs are expected to shape technological strategies and oversee the development process.

As we have already defined the role of CTOs, let’s pass on to another critical aspect of chief technology officers which is the responsibility.

The responsibilities and duties of the CTO come from the role they play in an organization. As you have already gotten familiar with the primary types of roles, I’m going to introduce the CTO responsibilities for both roles.

CTO Responsibilities: Technical leadership Type

1. Build an MVP

Usually, software development companies require the CTO to have appropriate knowledge of creating an MVP which is expected to roll out in the target market. They say that the CTO should be aware of the trendy tools, technologies, and principles to consider while developing an MVP.

2. Hire IT Professionals

One of the hardest things to do is to find experienced talents who are the masters of their field. The CTO should get good at hiring, training, onboarding, and eventually replacing the technical staff of the company. Here a proven hiring process, as well as a strong network, will matter.

3. Coach and Mentor

Coach and Mentor

The beginner and new developers usually require to have a coach who will mentor them, train and support. The CTO as a mentor is meant to share their experience knowledge and help the novice to easily adopt the company culture.

4. Choose the Tech Stack

The company CTO is also responsible for the selection of the appropriate mobile or web development stack. They should easily identify the best technologies that have a great influence on the project stability, scalability, and maintainability.

5. Improve the Application Architecture

A good CTO recognizes when poor architecture is slowing the team down. Then they will step in to settle the technical debt as required. Accordingly, the application architecture may be passed off to senior developers or dedicated teams, yet it’s possible that this will fall to the CTO for a while at least.

CTO Responsibilities: Operational Management Type

1. Establish a Strategy

Establish a Strategy

The chief technology officer facilitates the working process within a company by shaping a strategic plan tailored to the company culture. They consider the resources of the company in order to improve efficiency.

2. Manage People and Processes

The CTO should be aware of all the business goals and requirements of the company in order to manage the staff and oversee the development process in the best possible way. They should consider the performance of their team members, technologies and tools that are used, etc. The most critical factor is the team management process.

3. Bring Options

CTOs never say “No”. Even in a very complex situation, they don’t have the right to tell something is impossible. Instead, a good CTO always finds out and offers different options for implementing various tasks. As an addition, they have the required specialists in their mind in advance.

 Bring Options

4. Represent the Company

The CTO with operational management should attend multiple conferences and different events and introduce the organization. In this way, they build or strengthen business relationships with their partners.

5. Follow Trends

In order to go along with the current technological flow, the CTOs need to follow all the critical (and not only) trends that bombard the industry. They may even consider what the competitors do in order not to miss something essential.

Final Words

As we may define, CTO is a critical executive in software development companies. These specialists take a lot of responsibilities on their shoulders so that a significant part of the product development process depends on their soft skills, technical background, experience, creativity, problem-solving, strategic thinking, and many more skills. An expert CTO can handle the team and work management process, offer the required tools and technologies in order to complete the product deployment process in time with the best possible result.






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