1. Superior Technical Expertise
As the designation suggests, a CTO must exude commendable technical prowess. He might not be someone with mind-boggling coding skills. But his knowledge has definitely outgrown your engineering team.
A CTO would have hands-on expertise in several programming languages. And he has evident code development experience on his CV. This makes him the person whom the senior developers approach for expert technical guidance.
But let us not mistake him for a senior developer or a development team manager. A CTO’s experience is not limited to the client projects, but he manages the company’s technical stand.
He decides the ideal toolset and resources for your company. These can be project management tools, development tools, deployment tools, etc. He ensures these tools are crucial to a company’s progress and offer high productivity.
Your CTO candidate must comprehend the perks and limitations of several languages. So, to make the rightest technical choices for your business.
He has his lens set on the evolving market trends and the latest updates in technology. And nothing goes past his lens unnoticed.
Therefore, he knows the right time to leverage technology or tap into an opportunity.
Technical Degree & Certifications
A CTO candidate usually acquires several technical certifications and relevant degrees. Some of these include:
2. A Sharp Wit and Excellent Communication Skills
An ideal CTO candidate has superior intellect and authoritative communication skills. These are things that make a CTO mark his distinctiveness amongst other developers.
A CTO must be able to convey the technical issues faced by the developers to the CEO. And he must have his technical vocabulary at hand when dealing with developers.
A CTO plays an important role in placing and preserving your brand’s technical stance. He offers technical insights into the media and establishes relations in the tech domain. So, he must be ruled by his sharp wit and communication expertise.
3. A Far-sighted Strategic Vision
A good CTO always has his fingers on the nerves of the market trends. He is aware of the ins and outs of your business domain and where the industry is heading.
When you commence on your search for a CTO, you must try to find a strategic visionary.
A CTO invests oodles of hours in learning about new business models and technologies. And he is the one who will help your business stay ahead of the curve with new tech trends.
Another important quality of a CTO is his ability to bring definite ideas to the table. This quality is especially crucial for startups that are in their initial phase of the experiment.
A CTO can bring disruptive ideas into the discussion room and help your startup to lead this disruption. An ideal CTO candidate can represent the broader picture of your business strategy.
Despite being a visionary, a CTO has the nerve to call a spade a spade. His vision is backed by technical expertise, making him stand out amongst starry-eyed idealists.
A CTO must scrutinize the competitors and suggest strategies to stay ahead of them. If a candidate fails to represent the bigger picture of your brand, he isn’t the right choice.
4. True Leadership Qualities and Adaptability
While you screen a CTO candidate’s experience, look for his team management experience.
Even if you have a dedicated team manager, a CTO might wear the manager’s hat at times.
As a leader, a CTO has different responsibilities like:
Except for excellent leadership qualities, a CTO must have high adaptability.
For instance, there are times when a CTO has to offer dedicated coding support. Especially in small and medium-sized companies, a CTO is a member of the coding team. When the company is in a project surplus state, he has to dedicate time to coding regularly.
Meanwhile, he is also the one who would supervise complex coding projects. Or, at times, he can be involved in client coordination.
Therefore, a CTO candidate must be willing to switch between different capes and hats. After all, being a CTO is not an ordinary job.
5. An Eye for the Right Talent
When your company is in a growth stage, you need to plan immediate hiring campaigns.
However, you cannot rely upon your regular hiring procedures.
And here is where your CTO puts in an appearance. He helps you with immediate hiring for the development team.
A CTO naturally has a genius for examining the right talent for your business. His technical skills allow him to scrutinize the development and coding skills. And, his management experience allows him to analyze a candidate’s cultural fit.
A majority of CTO candidates already have extensive experience in hiring developers. And the right CTO can help you with:
6. Strategizing and Decision Making Experience
A CTO must be a reliable strategist and a confident decision-maker. He is someone to whom you would consult when the company needs technical guidance.
He prepares, analyzes, and keeps forth the ideal technical growth strategy for your company. And he should be able to bring the strategy into execution once approved.
Face-to-face interviews allow you to assess the decision-making skills of a CTO candidate.
As a CEO, you rely on the CTO for making decisions related to the brand’s technical stance. And so, the ideal CTO candidate must exude brilliance in strategizing and decision making.
He can suggest to you whether your startup strategy needs refinement. And if an MVP is the right choice for your business.
He must have a clear choice amongst options and must be able to back it with validations.
Moreover, a CTO must be able to stand firmly by his decisions.
With the right CTO onboard, you will be able to make prompt technical decisions. And this will enable you to seize opportunities before they perish.
The right CTO must be ready to uphold the accountability of your business growth. He must know where your business is headed and make changes in the strategy if required.
7. Exceptional Project Management and Coordination Skills
An ideal CTO is undoubtedly one of the smartest members of your team. He has unparalleled coding expertise, amazing communication skills, and stellar leadership qualities. These qualities make him a natural fit for the project manager profile.
A CTO is already the uncelebrated head of the development team. He has deep expertise in the development field and has a great repo with the developers. So, he can seamlessly manage a development project.
His communication skills allow him to dominate client conversations and convert Nays to Yays.
In fact, a majority of CTO candidates already have substantial project management experience. And they have practiced client coordination skills at some point in their career.
For startups and small businesses, a CTO can uphold several technical responsibilities single-handedly. And he can contribute to your company’s growth both as a team player and a decision-maker.
Meanwhile, large enterprise businesses must look for candidates with vast managerial experience. The CTO is likely to manage and build upon the already established processes.
Aug. 2, 2021, 12:03 p.m.