On transitioning to a leadership position

Posted on Apr 18, 2019

My job title is defined by the acronym CTO, but many times I refuse to apply it, using instead tech lead or similar wording. I feel like I don’t belong to the role defined by these 3 characters. I’m currently a CTO, but could I be it in a company with 1.000 engineers? No, at this stage I couldn’t: there is still a long way to go. On one side you can call yourself CTO of your 2-person company, or you can call yourself Werner Vogels, and then all the individuals that fall in-between (hint: I’m certainly closer to the first case). On another side you will find individuals that will focus most of their energy on the public facing of the company, others who are completely product-centric and other individuals focusing on tech architecture/strategy and capacity planning. Or ideally you will find all of it in the same person. And maybe most of us use the word CTO indiscriminately and incorrectly, applying it to a variety of management and leadership roles in technology. So am I a CTO? Maybe this is not the question.

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