The CTO's role encompasses more than ever before, especially becoming more strategic and customer-facing. Should a CTO still program/code? Why or why not?

Top Answer : CTOs should not code as part of a project deliverable. But should code in general to maintain some understanding of application architectures

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7 comments
2 upvotes
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Blue Charger
Health Care and Social Assistance
CTOs should not code as part of a project deliverable. But should code in general to maintain some understanding of application architectures
5 upvotes
Green Terminal
Construction
More important than coding is to keep the big picture and the alignment between technology and business, it’s too expensive to make a Chief coding he needs to lead and put strategy
0 upvotes
Black Monitor
Educational Services
I don’t think a CTO should still program/code. My expectation is that they are either working strategically or operationally focused on keeping everything running smoothly.
2 upvotes
Green Monitor
Consumer Goods
CTO in my opinion is a strategic role with respect to products and its technology roadmap. CTO role is increasingly getting engaged with stakeholders including customers to understand the expectations and experience ecosystem, this helps him/her to bring right technology to the organisation.
3 upvotes
Blue USB Stick
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
I’d say this depends on the size of the organization. Startups- yes for sure otherwise cto is a superfluous resource. Larger established companies, probably not as there are so many other things to do, that you would be a bottleneck and stress yourself out. Cto should be someone that coded at some point, but I find it’s not necessary to code as part of my role.
0 upvotes
Red Cloud
Finance, Banking & Insurance
No day to day but a deep technical understanding is definitely valuable. Hard to really communicate about a technical subject of the depth of knowledge is skin deep.
0 upvotes
Blue Cloud
Software
If it's a startup, and/or the team size is in single digit, then yes, he/she should be putting some time working in programming the system. But once the number of people in the tech team increases to a double-digit, then he can reduce the programming time.  In larger teams, CTO need not put the time in programming, but he/she should put the time in developing/understanding Infrastructure and system architecture of the product/service. And it should more on strategic decision making.
0 upvotes
Green USB Stick
Software
It all depends of the company size. In a newborn startup coding is almost a must, but as the strategic challenges grow she must learn hot to delegate and let it go. Accept that the required skills are changing to leadership (the Leadership Pipeline is a great book on this). For large companies, I don't think it makes sense, but it's good to have the geek king of CTO that at least is coding as hobby. I once asked a similar question to Uncle Bob on Twitter. His answer was to always keep coding in order to keep up t date with new technologies.
0 upvotes
Yellow USB Stick
Manufacturing
Continuous learning is important for all leaders.  I believe if you don't have a general technical understanding of the subject matter you can't be the best leader possible.  I've met leaders who actually bragged they didn't have any technical knowledge, and felt they were 100% effective.  In my opinion they managed the budget and the HR processes well, but their teams were not as successful as they could be due to the non-technical leader committed to timelines and projects that were obviously understaffed and/or technically not feasible within the budget.
0 upvotes