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I've been in a startup for 4.5 years. The company is doing reasonably well, but I can see that, unless it grows quickly soon, there won't be an interest from a technical perspective & I could risk my future career. I run all aspects of the technology platform and manage one other developer (the company is only 5 people). Considering the resources, I think we've done a very good job.
The trouble is, looking at senior technical positions outside (£80k+), they seem to require:
a) Leading a large team, with alot of people management. (I've led teams of 4-5 before, but that was a while ago and isn't that big).
b) Compliance framework buzzwords, like TOGAF, CMMI etc.
c) Being focussed on a specific niche technology (e.g. Kubernetes), which clearly isn't the case , because I handle everything, I'm a generalist.
I can't help but feel that having had full responsibility for a (successful) company's IT strategy & technical direction has some value.
Can I legitimately market myself as a CTO? It's effectively the role I'm performing, but not official and, being very hands on, it's clearly not the role of a CTO in a bigger organization.
Is there somewhere where these sorts of skills are vital?
Do I have to assume all of this was a waste of career and look at building up the more “corporate” skills that people seem to want?
I'd love to know about other people's experience and advice.
Well you can, but do you have the management skills and experience to actually do the job? You first need to decide whether you want a technical or managerial role, as the two are (in my experience) totally different beasts. I tried being a manager once and hated every minute of it, so was happy to spend my time in purely technical roles.
Well, considering I've done something similar in my career, I'll chime in. I think most experts in the industry recognize that we love our buzzwords like people love their lottery. I mean, it's not Notepad we use, it's a Strategic Data Procurement Appliance Application.
As cheesy as it sounds, be honest with new employers if you're looking. You're learning new skills that not every tech person learns, and that's valuable to the right people. Here's what is going to happen. The non-technical people (which is most) are going to usually glance right over your resume. It may as well be gibberish to them. Which means, you'll need to play some catch up on the latest trends and buzzwords.
IoC is a good example. Any real pro has been doing some form of IoC or another for decades now. It's also a buzzword, just like Cloud and IoT. There are buzzword frameworks now to help with IoC. You can explain the fundamental concepts to someone about what IoC really is (more than just DI), but once again... gibberish. So you'll have to speak the language of your customer and use the same key buzzwords they're already looking for. They don't know what they're hiring. And so, it's buzzword bingo. Much like a primitive pre-Google search engine.
None of this applies to people who are technical mind you. Just those that aren't. Also, if you use a recruiter, most of them will remove links to work examples and personal websites, etc. in fear of you being contacted directly. So, I'd give work examples or charts explaining how you helped grow the company, but also remove personal ways of contact on them so a recruiter has no qualms about using it.
So in short, yes... market yourself as a CTO if that's the career path you want. But also mention the size. Say it was for a small team. Leading five people isn't that much different than leading one, just as long as you keep organized. Business is about communication and systems. So... communicate and catch up on the latest buzzwords and just accept not everyone will see the value in what you've accomplished, but the right people will.
I just looked at and article that compared functional programming with OOP. Seriously I just don't care. Right now I am working on recreating a program, with updates where the source code was lost. The last guy who got the job took three months and got no where so starting from scratch I have two weeks and two days to get this done and I had to finish my last project at the same time. The tester just passed the last project on to UAT. This is a full stack project from creating the DB to the UI so what the foreign object is functional programming? Don't tell me because I don't care. When do working programmers with short dead lines have time for fads? I really don't have time to write this but it needs to be said.
Leadership equals wrecked ship.
If you think you are leading my look behind you. You are alone.
If you think I am leading you, You are lost.
When do working programmers with short dead lines have time for fads?
It's not a fad. It's been around for a very long time, it's just that it's become more mainstream lately. Plus, other working programmers with short deadlines have time to learn; a lot of them do it in their own time because they want to be exposed to other ways of thinking, other ways of doing things. If you're not one of those developers, fine, but don't moan about how hard the world is being on you with your short deadlines. Lots of people have to work to short deadlines.
And the result is probably going to be worse than the original, because you have no time to properly design, test, or even - probably - specify the project. So a three month project that needs to be replaced gets chucked together in two weeks.
So in six months time, you'll have a hacked hack of an abortion to support: been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Time to change jobs and dump this on the poor sod who follows you.
Bad command or file name. Bad, bad command! Sit! Stay! Staaaay...
AntiTwitter: @DalekDave is now a follower!
I work 9-12 hours a day, 5/6 days a week, helping companies stay prosperous. I don't have much time to learn all this other new sh*t as well. However, you can't knock someone that has the time. Every so often I make the time so that my skill set stays as up to date as possible, but it can be challenging.
Most of this crap is a fad, and is pure shite - I agree, but sometimes, meaningful tools and functionality fall through the cracks and makes our world a better place.
Pretty much every modern programming language incorporates some of the concepts of FP.
I will be leaving the pub shortly (I hope) and am battling with Capitas Security Watchdog, a less pro outfit I have not dealt with before. Complained to the person I am in contact with at the firm, I have a feeling that heads will end on sticks. But there was a tradition of answering telephones, all the numbers I have dealt with have a robot answering them and to try to ask a quick question to a human is impossible! I am starting to feel like the lone survivor of an apocolypse, trying to get hold of a human voice!
It's the current thing you might end up doing something security related...I have worked on air traffic control and simulators for the F-35/Carrier combo so working on a video system for motorways should less security controlled, but no....
Nooo, Capita was a part of the UK's goverment that had a few issues and was lumped together and privatised a PLC as that is the route to solve all problems...Oh the InThePub monicker was due to the estimed CP fellow Nagy...
Not quite - it was formed as part of the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy and later underwent a management buyout. It has taken over many of the government IT functions as a result of outsourcing agreements. I worked for them for a shot time at the Criminal Records Agency in Liverpool.
I'm an optoholic - my glass is always half full of vodka.
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