NextNY CTO SchoolFall 2010<br />Session 1 – What is CTO<br />
Before We Start<br />Your Mileage May Vary<br />For Everything We say<br />
Today’s Agenda<br />CTO vs. VP Eng vs Dev Lead<br />What Skills Are Needed and Why<br />A Bit More On Technology Skill<br ...
CTO School – S2<br />10/11 (Mon) S2 -  Key Technical Decisions <br />Key Technology Decisions<br />Languages & Platforms <...
CTO School – S3-S5<br />10/27 (Wed) S3 – Process - Getting Technical Stuff Done (and Well) <br />Development Process <br /...
About Me: <br />CTO / VP. Eng / Lead Architect<br />   EnergyScoreCards.com<br />Benchmark, Measure, Verify Energy of Buil...
Jean’s Background<br />Jean’s Done / Been / Am<br />Technical Consulting  - many projects, technologies, and business need...
About Pete: <br />CTO, Knewton.com<br />Creating an Adaptive Learning Platform<br />Market:  Starting out in Test Prep. Lo...
Typical Day<br />Morning – From Home<br />Respond to Proposal<br />Talk to Team in Europe (4 people)<br />Discuss status<b...
CTO vs. VP Eng<br />Support the business strategy of your business by formulating and executing technical strategy.<br />C...
http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2010/04/19/want-to-know-the-difference-between-a-cto-and-a-vp-engineering/<br />
CTO Role in Different Organizatoins<br />Infrastructure Manager<br />IT in a support function<br />Technology Visionary & ...
Technical Role, But!<br />Responsible for success of the company, not technology<br />Strategy, Technical & Business<br />...
Your SkillZ<br />Technical<br />Process / Operational<br />Leadership / Management<br />Executive<br />
1. Technical Skills *<br />Expert-Level<br />CS 101 – Data Structures, Algorithms<br />Chosen field of technology (Ruby, ....
Helpful To Know<br />UX & Usability<br />Design Sense<br />Product Marketing<br />Metrics<br />System Administration<br />
Special Tech Skills<br />Enterprise Space & Architecture<br />Facebook, OpenSocial, Web Platforms<br />Payments / Subscrip...
2. Dev Process Skills *<br />Software Development Life Cycle<br />Agile, Kanban, Lean, Scrum<br />Source Control & Build T...
3. Leadership / Management Skills<br />Depend on Company Stage / Size<br />Lead Through Doing / Example<br />Lead Through ...
4. Being Part of Executive Team<br />Think in terms of the company, not technology<br />Offer Technical Options<br />Resou...
More on Executive Skills<br />Review and influence the product road map,<br />Review / provide input on some investor pres...
Skills Conclusion<br />Too much to know<br />Make a plan for your own growth<br />Different priorities compete with each o...
Links<br />http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2007/10/cto-vs-vp-engineering.html<br />http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/20...
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NYC CTO School S1 T1 What is CTO?

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  • Different from lone executor, your job is to make the company successful.
  • NYC CTO School S1 T1 What is CTO?

    1. 1. NextNY CTO SchoolFall 2010<br />Session 1 – What is CTO<br />
    2. 2. Before We Start<br />Your Mileage May Vary<br />For Everything We say<br />
    3. 3. Today’s Agenda<br />CTO vs. VP Eng vs Dev Lead<br />What Skills Are Needed and Why<br />A Bit More On Technology Skill<br />Being Part of Executive Team<br />Tips & TriX<br />
    4. 4. CTO School – S2<br />10/11 (Mon) S2 -  Key Technical Decisions <br />Key Technology Decisions<br />Languages & Platforms <br />Persistence <br />Web Layer <br />Technology decisions related to your startup <br />Prototyping <br />Development Tools Overview <br />Key Technical Building Blocks You Should Know About <br />
    5. 5. CTO School – S3-S5<br />10/27 (Wed) S3 – Process - Getting Technical Stuff Done (and Well) <br />Development Process <br />Project Management for CTOs<br />Security<br />Quality Assurance<br />Estimation <br />11/8 (Mon) S4 - Deployment Infrastructure & Operations <br />Picking hosting environment <br />Server technologies - app servers, load balancers, proxies, caches, storage, etc.  <br />Disaster Recovery and Backups <br />Running Production Systems <br />11/22 (Mon) S5 - Scaling Everything <br />Yourself & Your Team<br />Hiring<br />Your Product <br />
    6. 6. About Me: <br />CTO / VP. Eng / Lead Architect<br /> EnergyScoreCards.com<br />Benchmark, Measure, Verify Energy of Buildings<br />Market: Real Estate Portfolio Owners (B2B), Energy Efficiency Programs (B2G)<br />Technology: <br />Groovy / Grails, Java<br />Tomcat <br />MySQL<br />Product Team Size: <br />2 NY (me and Analytics / QA person)<br />4 Outsourced to Ukraine<br />
    7. 7. Jean’s Background<br />Jean’s Done / Been / Am<br />Technical Consulting - many projects, technologies, and business needs.<br />Technical Lead of a small team<br />Trainer<br />Software Architect<br />Developer on a Product Team<br />Writer<br />Public Speaker<br />Project Manager<br />Proudest Accomplishments<br />Got 20 Fresh-Out-Of-College to go from zero to completed project in six weeks. 3 Times!!!<br />Launching FordDirect.com as Tech Lead 18 months out of college<br />
    8. 8. About Pete: <br />CTO, Knewton.com<br />Creating an Adaptive Learning Platform<br />Market: Starting out in Test Prep. Looking to expand.<br />I’ve Done / Been / Am<br />Technical Lead of Research and Development<br />Manager of Medium Size Engineering Team<br />Managed Large Product Development Organization<br />Developer<br />Customer Advocate<br />User Experience Advocate<br />Proudest Accomplishments<br />Turning Recent College Grads into great developers, shipping product in weeks.<br />Moving from a 1 month to deployment cycle to 1 day for a critical infrastructure system<br />Taking a complex product from vision to launch in fewer than 6 months<br />
    9. 9. Typical Day<br />Morning – From Home<br />Respond to Proposal<br />Talk to Team in Europe (4 people)<br />Discuss status<br />Assign New Tasks / Talk through Design<br />Fix two bugs<br />Afternoon - Come in Office<br />Dev Meeting. <br />Deep-dive into some issues<br />Try to do some hiring (interview or try to reach out)<br />Follow up with tech team from potential partner<br />Late Night – Home<br />Review quote for a sale<br />Review some new code from team in Europe<br />Finish coding a new feature<br />2am – put up a new build <br />Observation: Lots of Context Switching. Barely any “actual” work. <br />
    10. 10. CTO vs. VP Eng<br />Support the business strategy of your business by formulating and executing technical strategy.<br />CTO - Technical Vision<br />“Great CTO’s usually can’t manage their way out of a paper bag, but have huge vision, the ability to pull an all-nighter and crank out a rough prototype of the thing they are thinking about, have the unique ability to translate complex / abstract thoughts into simple English that a non-technical end-user can understand, and a willingness (or even desire) to get up in front of 1,000 people and talk about the latest greatest thing they are working on / thinking about. They are also perfectly happy to work collaboratively with the VP Eng while leaving the engineering team completely alone”<br />VP Engineering – Technical Execution<br />Process / management gods (and goddesses) – totally focused on building and shipping products.  Most of them are “medium technical” – strong enough to stand up to the engineers they manage, but not necessarily the best coders on the team.  A few were rock star developers; a few were non-programmers (i.e. “anymore”)<br />Source: Brad Feld<br />http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2007/10/cto-vs-vp-engineering.html<br />
    11. 11. http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2010/04/19/want-to-know-the-difference-between-a-cto-and-a-vp-engineering/<br />
    12. 12. CTO Role in Different Organizatoins<br />Infrastructure Manager<br />IT in a support function<br />Technology Visionary & Operations Manager <br />Startups & Technology Companies<br />External Facing Technologist<br />Technology is used to provide products & services to customers / partners<br />Customer-Focused Technologist<br />Market research & key customer focus<br />Big Thinker<br />Evaluate how technology can be used to create new business models / products<br />Advanced technology, competitive assessments, prototyping<br />(Werner Vogels) http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/cto/<br />http://www.brixtonspa.com/Career/The_Role_of_the_CTO_4Models.pdf<br />
    13. 13. Technical Role, But!<br />Responsible for success of the company, not technology<br />Strategy, Technical & Business<br />Participate in Sales<br />Partnership Discussions<br />Fund Raising<br />Build vs. Buy Decisions<br />
    14. 14. Your SkillZ<br />Technical<br />Process / Operational<br />Leadership / Management<br />Executive<br />
    15. 15. 1. Technical Skills *<br />Expert-Level<br />CS 101 – Data Structures, Algorithms<br />Chosen field of technology (Ruby, .NET, Java, Python, PHP)<br />OO / Functional Design<br />Performance Tradeoffs<br />UI Technologies (HTML, CSS, Ajax Libraries)<br />Design & Software Architecture<br />Good General Understanding<br />Security <br />Persistence Options<br />Cloud Architectures / Hosting<br />Mobile Platforms<br />Scaling<br />Integration Options & Architectures<br />Infrastructure & Systems Operations<br />Evaluating Technologies & Products<br />* (Focus of CTO School Session 2)<br />
    16. 16. Helpful To Know<br />UX & Usability<br />Design Sense<br />Product Marketing<br />Metrics<br />System Administration<br />
    17. 17. Special Tech Skills<br />Enterprise Space & Architecture<br />Facebook, OpenSocial, Web Platforms<br />Payments / Subscriptions Technologies<br />Content Management<br />SEO<br />Ad Platforms<br />Special Algorithms & Technologies<br />Hardware<br />
    18. 18. 2. Dev Process Skills *<br />Software Development Life Cycle<br />Agile, Kanban, Lean, Scrum<br />Source Control & Build Tools<br />Issue Tracking<br />Quality Assurance<br />Security Processes<br />Project Management<br />Estimation<br />* (Focus of CTO School Session 3)<br />
    19. 19. 3. Leadership / Management Skills<br />Depend on Company Stage / Size<br />Lead Through Doing / Example<br />Lead Through Others<br />Lead By Vision<br />Setting Technical Direction<br />Hiring & Growing Teams<br />Managing People, including Remote<br />Mentoring & Growing People<br />Motivating<br />Public Speaking<br />Writing <br />
    20. 20. 4. Being Part of Executive Team<br />Think in terms of the company, not technology<br />Offer Technical Options<br />Resource Planning<br />Educate the other executives about technology capabilities, processes, etc. <br />Input on short and long-term business vision, strategies and plans; <br />Help define business priorities<br />
    21. 21. More on Executive Skills<br />Review and influence the product road map,<br />Review / provide input on some investor presentation materials, business proposals<br />Participate in new business, partnership or investor meetings on a limited basis,<br />Business practices that will help to derive greatest short-term and long-term value from the technical team and other resources.<br />http://socalcto.blogspot.com/2007/12/acting-cto-role-in-start-up.html<br />
    22. 22. Skills Conclusion<br />Too much to know<br />Make a plan for your own growth<br />Different priorities compete with each other.<br />ALL are important<br />Difficult to make short-term vs. long-term tradeoffs<br />Effective Time Management is essential. <br />Make sure you know what’s most important for you right now<br />
    23. 23. Links<br />http://www.feld.com/wp/archives/2007/10/cto-vs-vp-engineering.html<br />http://www.startuplessonslearned.com/2008/09/what-does-startup-cto-actually-do.html<br />http://pmarca-archive.posterous.com/the-pmarca-guide-to-startups-part-8-hiring-ma<br />http://www.joelonsoftware.com<br />http://mitchellashley.typepad.com/the_converging_network/2007/10/cto-and-vp-engi.html<br />http://www.bothsidesofthetable.com/2010/04/19/want-to-know-the-difference-between-a-cto-and-a-vp-engineering/<br />http://www.quora.com/Engineering-Management/What-are-the-most-important-qualities-in-a-great-VP-of-Engineering-for-a-consumer-Web-business<br />http://littletutorials.com/2008/07/07/success-as-technical-lead/<br />http://stackoverflow.com/questions/833897/what-makes-a-good-technical-team-lead<br />http://stackoverflow.com/questions/79896/what-else-does-one-need-on-top-of-programming-skills-to-be-a-good-technical-lead<br />http://stackoverflow.com/questions/465560/most-important-non-technical-skill-youve-acquired<br />http://stackoverflow.com/questions/246585/what-is-the-most-important-thing-to-do-for-a-new-technical-manager-or-lead<br />http://codemonkeyism.com/startup-cto/<br />http://www.allthingsdistributed.com/cto/<br />http://www.amazon.com/CTO-Job-Manual-Leadership-Technology/dp/1587623676<br />http://www.brixtonspa.com/Career/The_Role_of_the_CTO_4Models.pdf<br />http://www.modelbenders.com/papers/CTOStrategy_SmithR.pdf<br />
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