An initial CTO will often wear multiple hats. They lead a team of engineers and collaborate with suppliers. They focus on the customer, the end product, and increasing revenue. They also develop strategies and use technology to improve or create a product.
However, the day-to-day role of a CTO in a startup can be very different from that of a CTO in a large company. However, both are necessary for developing a strategy and observing the big picture. A CTO in a startup must first be prepared to get their hands dirty and do some hard work. They will find themselves taking on different responsibilities just to fill in the gaps in the team. However, as the business grows, the role will often become more managerial.
What is expected from a startup CTO:
Develops the technical strategy: The CTO must develop and direct the technical strategy of the organization. This includes creating the MVP and subsequent versions thereafter. In today's dynamic and rapidly changing environment, it is important that they stay up to date with the latest technology and also understand how to best use existing languages and structures. A good startup CTO needs to be able to evaluate multiple technologies and identify the ones that are best for the business. Many new technologies seem promising and interesting, but community support and developer pool can stagnate over time. The choice of technology should be based on a deep understanding, long-term vision and playing on the team's strengths. Instead of following the latest trend. The right choice can make or break the launch.
Making a prototype
The prototypes are far from what the final product will be, but this step is very important. The task of the cto as a service for startups of a startup is to make sure that the concept and prototype created are made for the future. What does it mean? All the features that you want to see in your product should be taken into account in advance. The product interface should be designed in such a way that in the future developers can scale features without major changes.
We design UI / UX design
It also requires special attention from a startup CTO. At this stage, he must assess the complexity of the project from the technical side and find the optimal solution. In order to do this, a TFS (Technical Feasibility Scan) is carried out. The technical director thinks over the architecture of the application or site, calculates the amount of work and tries to identify all technical risks (unbearable scale, complexity of implementation, or the need for rare skills).
Writing the code
Move on. When the tech stack is selected, the developer enters the scene. Or not? Again, if your cto as a service is the developer, everything will hang on to him again. If he lacks the skills or time to implement the product, he will of course still turn to a third-party company or freelancer for help.
In parallel with writing the code, the team launches QA testing. The CTO takes part in the alpha testing, which is carried out within the team, and fixes bugs.
You don't have to look for someone on the side - this will greatly reduce costs. But! Let's be realistic: nobody learned to code in a day. According to statistics, it takes plus or minus 3 months to study only BASICS. The key word here is "basics". Changing shoes into a specialist for such a period and making a cool product from scratch are all the fairy tales of Baba Fisa, which have nothing to do with reality.
The average time to create an MVP, including coding, design and testing, is 3 months. Are you sure you want to spend so much time learning just one skill?
If you are an enthusiast who is eager to learn programming and adores difficulties, go ahead and ride a white horse! If this is not your story, you should think at least twice before buying programming books and courses and installing Visual Studio Code.
Let's imagine that you still decide to become a developer. After several months of unsuccessful attempts, you may want to send everything to hell. And not only the study of the code, but the project itself.
Hiring a highly qualified technical director at DjangoStars at the stage of creating an MVP is hardly possible. They will not work for cheap. Even if you promise them mountains of gold in a month.
You don't have to hire a startup CTO if you or your friend know how to code. In the first scenario, be prepared for the fact that you will have to spend an incredible amount of time prioritizing the functionality, of course, the development itself and communication with the designer. In the second: think about how to pump your nerves to the level of steel, as arguments and quarrels will become a regular part of your everyday life.