What does a CTO do and what skills are required?


The one-on-one meeting should be focused on the team member’s goals, challenges, and development. Give the team members ample time to speak and share their thoughts, ideas, and concerns. When developing a product or service, it’s vital to have a solid understanding of who the final user is. A lot of startup co-founders end up building something for themselves and lack a key understanding of who the end-user is going to be.

what is the role of a cto

However, as technology continued to advance, there was a growing need to separate the CIO job into two roles to ensure a company’s success. No one can know everything, but a skilled chief technical officer understands technologies and ensures appropriate ones for the startup company. That’s why a CTO must be many steps ahead of the rest of the team in terms of technical knowledge providing team members with the right project tech stack, according to the average CTO role description. From the start of a business, the CTO role and responsibility include employee recruiting, onboarding, training, and management.

The Role Of The CTO

Having an ecosystem of partnerships is a great way to de-risk and accelerate innovation. Architecture is a core part of the CTO’s remit, and this, combined with policies and principles, form the foundation for the company’s technology governance. Almost every CTO will need to manage a large portfolio of projects and balance a range of stakeholders. At the same time, they will need to build an inspiring technology roadmap. It is important that technology investments are governed well, policies and principles are set and resources are well managed. This leaves the CIO to concentrate on more internally focused technology and systems.

what is the role of a cto

Adobe, most Google applications, and the entire Linux operating system was built with C. These are software systems that have topped the technology sector and have garnered worldwide familiarity and usage. In computer programming, keywords are the smallest building blocks of programming that work as gateways to writing complex code. As a programming paradigm, structured programming allows developers to make complex programs by compartmentalizing their codes into simpler structures via task-oriented functions. Some examples of structural programming in action are if-else statements and for-loops.

Tools and Programs Chief Technology Officers Use

Organizations looking to hire a CTO should seek someone who is ambitious and bold, “someone who can shake the status quo, stay resilient, and turn technology into something useful for the organization,” Aksakal says. These traits can be demonstrated by earlier career choices and accomplishments. Most CTOs undergo training throughout their careers in IT departments, and they might also earn certifications in development, programming, database administration, or other related fields.

  • C is equipped with a number of supportive features to develop keeping high-level functionality in mind.
  • They are typically in charge of discovering and analyzing how technology processes affect the business, as well as identifying potential areas of improvement.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 482,000 computer and information systems managers in the U.S.
  • The larger the company is, the more administrative levels are between a startup CTO and personnel performing fundamental tech-related activities.

Furthermore, such meetups may aid in the identification of skilled and experienced developers for future collaboration. After getting acquainted with inspiring chief technical officer samples, we offer you to return to our CTO startup discussion and look at the most common CTO types. Because the role is dynamic and responsibilities can vary depending on the type and size of the organization, industry, and other factors, there isn’t really such thing as typical day for a CTO. As you can see, CTOs at some of the world’s most successful unicorns have mostly management-related missions. But this isn’t the case for recently launched technology startups where there can be only a couple of employees and a CTO is often one of the founders. In fact, there are two major types of CTOs, so let’s take a closer look.

Define the Technology Stack

If you look at his last 2019 compensation, i.e., $21.81 million, $785,385 was received as a salary, $1,295,885 was received as a bonus, $19,678,923 was awarded as stock and $52,784 came from other types of compensation. The following diagram represents what is the role of a cto the executives in a large corporation, where a CTO reports to a CIO. However, they may report directly to a company’s CEO, especially if there is no CIO position. The average base salary of a CTO in 2022, according to Salary.com, as of Jul. 14, 2022.

what is the role of a cto

They now need to hit the ground running and deliver value quickly in a fast-moving business environment. The CTO has some of the most diverse and wide-ranging success KPIs of any C-Suite role. There are no hard and fast rules, sometimes the CTO reports the CIO and sometimes visa versa. So as well as being an expert technologist, they are the external face of the technology offering. To be honest, getting a CTO with all above qualities is hard to find due to exponential demand in the software industry. Product owners – upscale the product on every stage, advise on new engaging features based on market research.


They also understand how this technology can help fulfil organisational objectives and modernise processes, and transform workflows within an organisation to become more efficient. The job outlook for CTOs is good, as more companies go through digital transformations. With this heightened demand, employers know they need to compensate CTOs well for their advanced degrees and skills, and the challenges they may face regarding investments in business technology post-COVID.

The CTO position and responsibilities is considered to be one of the vaguest C-level roles as the CTO roles and responsibilities depend on a number of factors. These include startup area, business processing style, the number of in-house and outsourced workers, and many more. They need to focus more and more on developing the potential of their people, moving away from the purely technical and toward how people and teams can work together for the good of the business. The title chief technology officer (CTO) is a relatively new one, made popular in the dot-com boom of the 1990s. Its definition is incredibly fluid, as you would expect given the speed at which the IT industry is innovating, with the role meaning something different in every organization, never mind industry.

What Is the Role of a CTO at a Tech Startup?

However, skills of a software architect are essential for CTOs of tech startups. If a CTO doesn’t have these skills, they won’t be able to make wise decisions related to application architecture and infrastructure. As a tech startup grows, the focus of the CTO often https://www.globalcloudteam.com/ shifts from technologies to management. So let’s take a look at how the roles and responsibilities of a CTO change through the tech startup lifecycle. The CTO role description is vague because the job title often means different things in different companies.

Role of CTO is vital in any startup since he looks into technical-related issues and makes sure the company’s product is solving the end-user problems. After looking into the CTO roles and responsibilities, you must be thinking ‘it’s huge’, that is the reason why they draw over $140,000 / year in the US (Indeed). The CTO is one of the key executives that drive a company’s vision and technology strategy while at the same time considering the needs of the company’s customers as a top priority. The CTO at Extreme Networks is Nabil Bukhari, who also developed the futuristic vision of the world that is the Infinite Enterprise. Under his watch, we’re all working on creating tech that will build that world of the future.

CIO vs. CTO: Their key differences

“The most important thing for me, as a CTO, is to be curious, always – and never – stop asking questions. You should always look for ways to grow your knowledge and expand your horizons,” he argues. Nearly half of CIOs also identified the CTO as a role of increasing importance in the C-suite – behind the CFO and COO – while four in every ten of 3,000 CEOs recognised  the role of CTO as strategically important. According to IBM’s The CTO Revelation report, which polled 2,500 CTOs and 2,500 CIOs, 61% of CTOs saw themselves as the executive that will play the most crucial role, beyond the CEO, over the next three years. Established companies often look for this branch of CTO, very seldom startups.

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