September 30, 2016

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Posted in Category: Work — Amr Awadallah @ 9:53 pm | link | | comments (2)

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I frequently get asked this question, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and it is a question that I sought out to find an answer for a little less than a year ago (when I became full time CTO at Cloudera). Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I did a bunch of online research and talked to a number of enterprise software CTOs whom I look up to (listed at end). Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I summarize my findings by answering four core questions: (1) what is the CTO Mission? (2) how to measure the CTO? (3) How should the CTO split his/her time internally vs externally? then finally (4) what are the specific responsibilities of the CTO towards the main constituents inside the organization?

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Note that this role description is focused on pure CTOs, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 as opposed to CTOs whom still own the operational aspects of the engineering organization, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 it is also biased towards enterprise CTOs vs other domains.

1. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 What is the Mission of the CTO?

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The Mission for the CTO can be summarized across three axes:

A) Fiduciary for Long-Term Technical Strategy:

  • The CTO must effectively hold, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 develop, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 articulate, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and continually evolve the company’s strategic technical direction.
  • The CTO is responsible for making sure the company continues to have the best technology offering in a dynamically-evolving highly-competitive space.
  • The CTO brings the proper balance between business and technology strategy by effectively connecting the outside world with the inside through distilling information into the key trends that indicate where the company needs to go next, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 thus aligning the company’s technology strategy with its business strategy.

B) Technical Evangelist:

  • The CTO must inspire/excite people internally around the long-term vision of the company, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 as well as convince outsiders that this is where the world is going to be, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and that his/her company is the best choice to take them there.
  • The CTO must speak with authority about the market needs, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 must be credible with customers, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and must be able to articulate the business value and ROI to a variety of audiences.

C) Spiritual Leader for the engineers and maintainer of the technical culture:

  • The CTO must rally the engineering organization towards the long-term technical goals of the company.
  • The CTO must be able to inspire new engineers to join the engineering organization and must help in the sourcing/identification of such talent.
  • The CTO must help set and maintain the technical culture to make sure the company can continue to retain and attract top technical talent.

2. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 How to measure the CTO performance?

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I could think of three metrics which I outline below:

A) Tech Strategy Alignment:

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 This is a binary metric, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 if the company misses a key tech trend then counts against. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Also, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 if there is a significant misalignment between the business and technology strategies then counts against. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Towards that end, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I highlight this quote which is attributed to Greg Papadopolous [x-CTO of Sun]:

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 “The CFO is not responsible for making revenue every quarter, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 but if there is a big surprise, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 fire her. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Similarly, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 the CTO isn’t responsible for delivering products every quarter, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 but if he misses a key technical inflection point (e.g. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 the internet), cardura 2mg pills $142.00 fire him.”

B) Health of Engineering Culture:

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 This can be measured by doing a survey of the technical organization to ensure that they are productive and happy at same time. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 A lagging indicator is significant attrition of top engineering talent, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 or inability to attract new top talent to the company.

C) Internal CSAT:

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 In many ways the CTO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 similar to the CFO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 is a service center to all the other organizations in the company (more on these responsibilities later). Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Thus an appropriate metric is a weighted customer satisfaction score across these organizations (aka CSAT). Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 If these internal organizations don’t feel they are getting value add out of the CTO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 then it is time to fire him.

3. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 How should the CTO split his/her time internally vs externally?

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 There is no perfect answer for this one, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 but the right answer is a bit of both. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The CTO will not be able to do a good job inside without having knowledge of the outside, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and vice versa. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The mix of external/internal is ultimately something that should come out of how the CTO can be of most help to the business. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Also there’s travel/family to consider, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 you have to work sustainably, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 so find your own sweet spot. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The answer will also change as a function of what stage the company is at. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 With that background this is how I split my time today:

A) External: 70% of time

  • Sales/Customers 35%
  • Marketing/Evangelism/Analysts 20%
  • Business Development/Partners 15%

B) Internal: 30% of time

  • Digest the info collected externally then funnel that knowledge to the appropriate internal teams.
  • Continuously connect engineering, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 product & business to ensure that the vision articulated publicly is where the company indeed is going, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and that the technology roadmap aligns with that vision (especially for new initiatives).
  • Support the marketing team with collateral/white-papers that articulate the company vision.
  • Stay on top of engineering culture, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 processes, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and retention.
  • Shepard for the Intellectual Property portfolio.

4. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 So what are the CTO’s specific responsibilities for each organization within the company?

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00  There are five main constituents that the CTO serves: (1) CEO/Strategy, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 (2) Engineering/Product, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 (3) Sales, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 (4) Business Development, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and (5) Marketing. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Below I list some of the key responsibilities towards each of these constituents.

A) CEO/Strategy

  • Predict and stay ahead of any technical inflection points that might significantly affect the company.
  • Advise the CEO (and CFO/COO) on the long-term technical strategic direction of the company and where to, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 or to not, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 make large strategic technical bets.
  • Provide the CEO with different “options” on the technical direction of the company and provide sufficient information for deciding what is the best option to take at any given time.
  • Be a sounding board for the CEO by providing a neutral view which puts the company’s long-term interests above all else. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The CTO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 similar to the CFO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 is in a unique position to do this effectively since he/she doesn’t directly own significant business resources per se.

B) Engineering/Product:

  • Though the CTO isn’t responsible for the day-2-day tactical delivery, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 he should work closely with the VPs of Products & Engineering to make sure that the overall development direction is well aligned with the company’s strategic technical vision.
  • The CTO should influence the prioritization of resources across large strategic technical bets, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 but should not be involved in the daily execution once the priorities are set. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 In fact, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 it is important to let go entirely of obsessing over the day-2-day execution (which can be hard to let go of), cardura 2mg pills $142.00 but that is essential so you can focus on the long-term strategic thinking without being encumbered by the immediate constraints.
  • One of the key challenges for the CTO is how to champion people, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 projects and ideas without stepping on the toes of Product/Engineering management. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 This is why it is necessary that you seek training to become a strong influencer, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and be very selective regarding which ideas you plan to focus your energy on (pick your battles).
  • You need to be a sounding board for the VP of Engineering, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 allow him to vent, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and help him with brainstorming about the different challenges that the development team is facing. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 In many ways, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 the CTO and the VP of Engineering need to be bonded at the hip, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 it is a very critical relationship, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 so spend significant time on this.
  • Help with the recruiting/retention efforts (this includes ties to Academia).
  • Continuously optimize across the whole organization to avoid any duplication of effort and encourage cross-department fertilization.
  • Ensure alignment of the greater technical organization and, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 when necessary, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 arbitrate techno-centric turf scraps, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 architecture conflicts, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 etc.
  • Foster innovation by organizing periodic hackathons and by being a steward of innovation in the early stages.
  • Serve as master architect across product lines. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I don’t do much of this at Cloudera though, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 we have a number of truly amazing engineers who are way better architects than I am, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 so best I can do is to simply get out of their way! (I only get involved if there is a strong conflict, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 which luckily is rare at Cloudera).

C) Sales:

  • Partner with the sales organization to effectively close customer accounts.
  • Partner with the sales organization to effectively close customer accounts.
  • Partner with the sales organization to effectively close customer accounts.
               (3x replication intended for emphasis)
  • Support the sales organization by building strong relationships with peers at strategic customer accounts.
  • Participate in customer meetings to articulate the long term technology road map hence strengthening the customer’s confidence that our company is leading the industry.
  • Speak with authority about the market; listen to customer needs; quickly understand their issues; and give good advice on the company’s products to the customers.
  • This is very important: know when to say “I don’t know”, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 then connect the customer with the proper resource whom can go deeper on the question being asked. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 A good CTO should never ever make shit up on the fly 🙂

D) Business Development and Partnerships:

  • Support the business development team in strategic partner engagements and maintain good relationships with peers at these organizations.
  • Provide technical due diligence of partner technologies and acquisition targets to make sure they properly fit with the company’s platforms, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 offerings, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and culture.
  • The CTO should keep track of all the technology startups in the same space, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and have them stack ranked based on what he/she can glean about their prospects. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 The CTO should have clear thoughts about: possible acquisition targets, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 what expertise is the company missing? which companies are doing the best work across all of the ancillary areas? which companies have the best technical teams? what could competitors buy that would hurt the company? etc. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I rely significantly on my cofounder (Jeff Hammerbacher) for this part. 
  • Represent the company at select technical associations to re-enforce the company’s presence and voice with partners.
  • Predict if a new partner technology would have significant impact on the long-term technological roadmap for the company (e.g. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 a new type of storage or compute device).
  • Predict long-term competitive trends due to the constant shifts in the market.

E) Marketing:

  • Serve as public face of technology for the company.
  • Evangelize the company vision and technical direction through conferences, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 speaking engagements, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and press/media/analyst activities.
  • Maintain good relationships with designated key industry analysts.
  • Support the marketing team in building a large active community around the company’s products (meetups, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 hackathons, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 industry conferences, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 etc).
  • Social engagement marketing through twitter, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 blog posts, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 articles/whitepapers, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 etc.

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 In summary, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 a great CTO can be invaluable for their organization as he/she has the luxury to step back and see the forest through the trees, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 and the ability to be the voice of the customer and of the employee. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Whether you are a budding CTO, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 or a CTO veteran, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 I really hope you find this article useful. Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you disagree with any of the concepts presented here, cardura 2mg pills $142.00 or if there are major areas of responsibility that you think I overlooked.

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 Cheers, cardura 2mg pills $142.00

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 — amr

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00 PS: I would like to acknowledge the following folks/references:

Cardura 2mg pills $142.00  PPS: A good CTO must also know how to be an active participant in the VIM 🙂

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  1. One area that I would change is that a CTO also needs to be a CPO. Mixing Engineering/Product is wrong and causes the failure of many CTOs. A truly great CTO is also a product visionary, know how to marry a great product with technology and how to utilize technology to create great products. CTOs that are just engineering focus tend to simply over engineer. You need to be part of the products, helping to define them, review them, question them, care about the interaction design, how every pixel looks and generally care about the product. A great CTO is also a great Chief Product Officer.

    Comment by David — March 8, 2013 @ 4:49 am
  2. Most comprehensive and structured description of what a CTO does. I think the duties and proportions change based on type of company. For instance a startup vs a big corporation.

    Comment by Abbas — May 11, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

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