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Valentin Sawadski (he/him)
Valentin Sawadski (he/him)

Posted on

What's the difference between a Developer and a CTO?

In my opinion it can be summarised like this:

Dev: Technology is key!
CTO: Technology is a tool!

Don't get me wrong, it's important to be good at your craft, but in the end you will not be measured by how clean your code is, but by achieving your companies goals!

Or how would you describe the difference?

Discussion (4)

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Thomas Iguchi

For some reason I read "CTO: Technology is cool!". I actually met a CTO of an early startup who convinced the rest of the team to use a cutting edge backend framework that was the latest fad back then (because buzz words), instead of picking a more familiar technology to suit the strengths, knowledge and skill level of the devs they could afford to hire back then. Well. Startup failed after just a few months 🤷

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Valentin Sawadski (he/him) Author

Ouch 🤦‍♂️

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Ryan Latta

Its not a bad way to distill it down tbh.

It allows for the reality that it can be an asset or a liability.

Some other elements that are hidden in it are budget, teams, organizations, strategic business goals, etc.

Having been the CTO, one weighty problem is looking at where you want to be in the future and acknowleding when the past is holdiing you back and what you're doing to do about it.

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Valentin Sawadski (he/him) Author

True there are many aspects to being a CTO! But in my head it all boils down to setting and meeting company milestones.

And of course it's tricky to actually achieve those but one key learning I had was accepting that in the end picking the right Technology in a company is just as important as picking the right screws in construction. And yes you need the right tools, but screws alone don't build a house.