Our VP of Engineering and I both report directly to our CTO. On Wall Street, managing directors are department or division heads. For me, there’s no better feeling in hiring than getting through reference checks and completing negotiations with someone who you’re excited to join the team. It's of course assumed by a founder that is technical, even if their experience isn't as senior as a CTO in a real company would have. Directors are also responsible for setting or approving policies, establishing department guidelines and managing a budget. Colonel). Executive Vice President is a top VP, and is often an interchangeable with CTO. To me, this seems like a mix of CTO, VP of Engineering, and Chief Architect...and that perhaps a "Director of Engineering" title is underselling the responsibilities for the role. A FOUNDING MEMBER. Our VP of Engineering and I both report directly to our CTO. Books that every engineering manager should read, Career Growth Frameworks in Software Engineering: A Review, Engineering Management Philosophies and Why They Matter Even if You Are Not a Manager, You’re Not Managing a Team of Software Engineers, You’re Managing a Team of Writers, A Voight-Kampff Test for Identifying Engineering Managers, A Mental Model for Leading High Performance Engineering Teams. Major). Having said this, I don’t believe of all of the soft side is innate. Captain). I recently got a proposal from a company to work as their main and only in-house technical person. While the workload can be demanding at times, being an engineering leader has been the most rewarding experience of my career. If so, then they work for you. We joined the same week (I’m in sales / sales ops). Their current product was built entirely by contractors for the last 2 years. I have a director of engineering in a 300+ people company, moved to Amazon and now his title is just engineering manager. Engineers need opportunities through projects to push themselves and reach their professional development goals. The VP Engineering role traditionally includes multiple aspects: Personnel management – for small teams (up to 10 FTE), the VP Engineering is the direct supervisor of the technical staff. That technical co-founder role is very specific. As a quick background, the company is 2 years old and has just taken on their first major funding round (over $1M, but under $5M). Insist on CTO role. You’re basically a front so the CEO can claim the tech and intellectual property developed by the consultants. It’s also my job to sell that person on why it’s so great to work at thredUP (this is my favorite part because it’s the easiest). I led scrum, sprint retrospective, and was working with the team to scale and improve team processes and engineering culture. So if they are slating you as a director, they are expecting you to run multiple teams, possibly with EMs to hire. As a quick background, the company is 2 years old and has just taken on their first major funding round (over $1M, but under $5M). They are typically an extension of the VPE seat and report directly to them. Why did you leave your last job? Getting ready for their first day and watching the team welcome that new person like a family member gives me great pride for the engineering team and culture our team has worked so hard to build. Our engineering team does not have a conventional org. Three jobs in four years, what’s the story there? do we need to build for scale? It’s hard to tell someone how I know when to rally the team or attempt to bolster morale. Major General/Lieutenant General/Vice Admiral). You may even be able to learn from the more senior consultant engineers. That might seem strange to some, but the intention is to position our engineering leadership team such that engineering leaders are directly interfacing with business units within the company that can leverage our engineering strengths in terms of competencies to maximize efficiency and output. Basically learn everything you can from the consultants, and leap frog them. You're the only developer at the company. As our team, product, and infrastructure grows, issues arise consistently regarding systems/processes/environments that no longer work at our current scale. Rebuilding the whole thing is an incredibly tall task. After we determine the execution, we’ll bake out the project in detail followed by time estimating each effort. The only thing I'd say is if you take the CTO title, be prepared to be fired if someone feels they need to bring another person in above you. While you may report directly to the CEO, it sounds like these guys are going to keep making product decisions even if you’re in control of budget. For me, the majority of my professional engineering experience is from thredUP so I try to leverage my experience of our product, my application domain knowledge, and the history of previous engineering successes/failures for architecture planning sessions. I'm not expecting anything with "founder" in the title. You can make an argument for that CTO role, for this team to answer to you or for them to move into an advisory role where you don't directly answer to them. So on some level this is a red flag. Some will dive into the candidates approaches and explain difficult problems and whether their interpersonal skills are compatible with the team. This is kind of a prove it boots on the ground role. Our web team hasn’t had someone leave in over two years and our mobile team has only had one person leave in that same amount of time. I also need to know when current projects are scheduled to be completed so I know when engineers will be available for new projects. I've got 7 years in tech under my belt, including management roles, so I get that to someone with 25+ years, I'm not a "CTO" like "they are". To speak on the clarity of the roles, I like to think of military analogies in engineering management: Engineering Manager is a base level manager that runs a team (military company). One of the problems with a P2P marketplace is that you have to depend on your customers to deliver great experiences to your other customers. I’m usually creating Asana stories during this discussion so that any details that surface can be documented within the story’s description. This is a senior field-grade officer (i.e. I believe the two of these are highly correlated to job satisfaction. And that thing could be the unique experience of carrying responsibility that you would not normally have a chance to carry in another more mature company. You’re basically being asked to do everything the consultants don’t want to do. It keeps track of all of our efforts, when they started, when they’re slated to end, what engineers are working on them, and when engineers will be able to work on future projects. Web. The CEO pretty much needs to tell those guys they're in or they're out. Once it’s ready to be released, we debrief our customer service team about the project and its potential impact on them and on our customers. Within 60 days he had a team of 4ish including in house iOS, Android, a junior full stack and a networking / data/ technology generalist. The title is meaningless unless the company goes somewhere. I've already met with the largest customer and largest investor where I was presented as "the tech guy" for the startup. Here's the high level role description I was given: Maintain and architect infrastructure, CI/CD pipelines (basically all of DevOps), backend code, APIs, and mobile app, Recruiting and mentoring engineering team, Day-to-day management and troubleshooting for all of the tech stack (mobile app to backend to infra to DBs), Work with Head of Product to implement product roadmap, Prioritize features based on business needs, All information security and compliance for the company, Design, develop, and release new mobile app. The hardest decisions and biggest messes always fall on your plate. There's also usually not a strict definition for each roles, it's usually just a difference in scale - basically how many engineers you manage.