Six Tips for Staying Technical as a CTO - Deepstash

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The IC and technical leadership tracks mirror each other all the way up

The IC and technical leadership tracks mirror each other all the way up

IC track

  1. Engineer
  2. Senior engineer
  3. Staff engineer
  4. Senior staff engineer
  5. Principal engineer
  6. Distinguished engineer

Technical leadership track

  1. Engineering manager
  2. Senior manager
  3. Director
  4. VP
  5. CTO

Both tracks have similar levels of prestige, influence and power.


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Leaders must stay technical to gain the credibility of their teams

Leaders must stay technical to gain the credibility of their teams

On the leadership track you don't have enough time to manage a large organization and maintain the same level of technical depth. 

However, you need to stay technical in order to maintain your technical decision-making sharp, and to gain the credibility of your team. This credibility helps your team understand and respect you enough to want to follow the vision and strategy you want to lead them toward.


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Tips to stay technical as an engineering leader

Tips to stay technical as an engineering leader

  1. Be a voracious reader — Consume technical articles, books, videos, or podcasts.
  2. Hire well — Hire good technical people because they will teach you things faster than if did on your own. Also, they will eat less of your time than bad hires that are not aligned with the team.
  3. Review PRs & Clear out bugs — This gives you a ground view on the processes and development environment your team uses daily.
  4. Create a team of tech advisors — Have a group of people you can discuss technical topics with.
  5. Code as a hobby
  6. Participate in hackathons


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